Buying jeans that fit first time

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This guide explains how to get yourself measured accurately and what to look for from a supplier.



Finding a bargain pair of jeans that fit properly over the internet can be tricky unless you're perfectly proportioned (unlike me!). There are so many different designers each with their own sizing systems, and an ever increasing number of different styles to choose from. To further complicate matters, two pairs of identical jeans from the same manufacturer can vary in size by as much as a couple inches around the legs, seat or waist. Add to this the fact there is no friendly shop assistant to fetch us another pair of slightly smaller jeans (dream on!) when they don't fit, it sometimes makes me wonder why on earth do we bother?

Here's a few good reasons why, the first one being the bargain factor. You can save yourself a small fortune buying brand new pairs of designer jeans for around half the high street price. Used pairs of top brand name jeans like Diesel or Armani will not cost you much more than £25, used Gap or Levi's typically go for around £15 - £20. You may even get lucky and scoop a pair with no bids on for the price of a drink!

Secondly, there is no need treck into town to the big designer store and spend your hard earned cash on petrol and parking fees before you even get through the shop door.

Thirdly, if you have kids (or a short tempered spouse!) you can enjoy more quality time with them instead of dragging them around the shops too.

Lastly, how many high-street designer outlets will let you buy a pair of jeans at 2.00 a.m. while you sip a glass of your preferred tipple, play your favourite tunes and dive into tasty midnight feast?

With all this in mind, lets go find some bargains . . . .


Finding a bargain

Searching for a particular make and style that you know fits is by far the safest option, but just imagine while you searching you spotted a cracking pair of Armani's for £2.50 with no bids on. You've never worn Armani jeans before so your first thought is 'Will they fit?'. . . . We'll find out later, first of all you need to see if the seller will accept returns and how much it may cost if they don't fit. If you have to pay the return postage (true in most cases), a heavy pair of jeans 1st class within the UK will cost around £3.00, Airmail to Europe about £5.00 and the rest of the world around £8.50. When returning jeans always wrap them in a polythene bag before using any outside wrapping or envelopes. This prevents them getting marked if the outer wrapping fails, and it stops felt tip sinking through from the address on the envelope.

Now you know the return costs it's time to see if those bargain Armani's will fit . . .


Checking out the measurements

For a perfect fit you must be sure of 4 things:

1. Some accurate jeans measurents from the seller.
Typically: Waistband, Inside leg, Rise, Thigh-middle, Knee, Foot opening.
These need to be taken from the actual pair of jeans that are listed, and not it's label.

2. Type of denim.
Stretch denim is a lot more accomodating and comfortable than normal denim for a tight fit, but will cling to odd lumps and bumps if stretched to the limit. You can comfortably squeeze an extra inch or so into a stretch denim waistband or Thigh-middle and Knee measurement.

3. How you would like the jeans to fit.
Most jeans will fit in one of 2 ways: 
Close Fit - Where the crotch seam will fit close to your body and the jeans will 'hug' your bottom. (Mainly for the ladies!)
Loose Fit - Where the jeans crotch seam will hang a few inches lower than your body and the legs will be at least an inch wider than yours.  (More popular with the fellas !)

4. Your measurements around where these jeans will sit on your body.
You will need to compare your measurements with those from the seller to get some idea of the 'fit'.

A quick way to do this is to take the above measurements from your best fitting pair of jeans.
Note: The waistband is measured with the top edge of the tape level with the waistband top, and  around the inside of the jeans. If you just lay the jeans flat and double the measurement across the waistband width, your measurement may be short by an inch or two.

Alternatively see section 'Measuring Up' below.

If all of the above compare favourably - Go get yourself a bargain!


Measuring Up

Close Fit

The most accurate way to do this is to put on your best, closest fitting jeans with the footwear you intend to use with your new jeans. A taylors tape measure is best for measuring but if you don't have one handy try using a piece of string or cord - when you've marked a measurement on it just stretch it out next to a tape measure or ruler. When taking measurements ensure the tape rests lightly on your body with no slackness, and that it doesn't dig-in anywhere. 

Start off by measuring your inside leg from the crotch seam downwards to where you would like the leg bottoms to be, and keep a note for future reference. Compare this to the measurent from the seller.     

The rise needs to be measured next to determine your waist/hip size at where the new jeans will hang. Measure from the crotch seam upwards to the ammount as quoted from the sellers rise measurement. Make a note of this point (or put your finger on it), let's call it point A. Measure from point A, around your waist/hips and back to point A. Now you can compare your waist/hips measurement against the sellers waistband measurement. 

Just to be sure the new jeans will not be too tight on your legs, compare measurements around your leg, mid-way between the knee and crotch with the sellers thigh-middle measurement, then do the same for around your knee. If you're wearing boots with the new jeans, check the sellers foot opening measurement against yours from around your boot.

While you've got the tape measure out it may be a good idea to make notes of your waist measurement at different rise heights for future reference. (7.5, 8, 9, 10 inch are the most common) 

Loose Fit

First we need to find where the waist on the new jeans will sit on your hips, and from there see where the leg length will drop to. This is best done over your underwear so you get an accurate hips measurement. Bear in mind your hips are the only thing which will keep these jeans up!

Start off by adding the rise to the inside leg measurement. This will give you the overall length of the jeans - let's call this measurement L.

Next, make a loop with the measuring tape (or cord) around your waist, the same size as the waist measurement on the new jeans. Let the loop hang on your hips, if it can slide off your jeans will too!  Make a note (or put your finger on) where the tape sits below your navel - let's call this point A.

From point A measure down your inside leg the length measurement L. This is where the new jeans
will drop to which should be at least an inch or so below floor level to get a baggy look.  

If the sellers rise measurement is less than 9 inches it is advisable to measure from point A as above the rise measurement  also. This will show roughly where the crotch seam will hang. 

Just to be sure the new jeans will not be too tight on your legs, compare measurements around your leg, mid-way between the knee and crotch with the sellers thigh-middle measurement.


If they don't fit

Don't be disheartened if you need to return them, even if you pay UK postage costs for 3 returns and the 4th pair fits you've still got a good bargain!

Thanks for reading this guide, I hope it will save alot of people alot of money and perhaps boost my sales a bit! (At least I'm honest!) If there is anything wrong with this guide please let me know and I'll put it right immediately. If you have any questions or suggestions please drop me a line.


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