Denim Do’s and Dont’s

We’ve all seen some denim disasters in our time. Here’s a compilation of rules to follow to ensure you aren’t the denim eyesore in the room. I’ve added some suggestions in case you discover you have made a major fashion faux pas.

Before you leave the house in your favorite pair of jeans, stop and take a long look in the mirror. Is your backside sagging like a day-old diaper? Are your jeans so acid-washed they belong in an ’80s music video? Do the tapered legs make you look like a walking ice cream cone? Could your waistband double as a push-up bra?

According to Oprah’s in-house experts, about nine out of 10 women are wearing the wrong jeans. So, yes, that probably means you. To combat this out-of-control epidemic, Oprah asks Stacy London, host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, to debunk denim myths and warn you about common fashion blunders.

Muffin Top or Dunlap Syndrome

The dreaded muffin top or dunlap syndrome. You know, when your stomach dun’ lap over your jeans! The “muffin top” is caused by a waistband that’s too low, too tight and your tummy spills over the sides of your jeans. That’s how you know you’re a member of the muffin club. There’s good news for muffins! Go mid-rise! Styles like Diesel Ronhar Bootcut Jeans in Medium Wash will keep your belly from bulging.

Plumber’s Crack

Whale Tale

Unless you have a tool belt strapped to your waist, there’s no excuse for plumber’s crack nor the whale tale. Low-rise jeans are usually the culprit. Before you crouch or sit , be sure to pull down your shirt and hike up your pants! I’m not interested in what yo’ momma gave you! Or if you still want to be sexy. Get the Rock & Republic Berlin Lowrise Skinny in Regression Line, a hot jean that accentuates your butt with a slightly higher rise. Dare to not bare… your underwear.

Ice Cream Cone Effect

If you have thin ankles and you want to show them off, by all means, buy a tapered jean. But, keep in mind, tapered denim only accentuates the width of the hips. Flares will lessen the carrot shaped legs. Try Diesel YBO Wide Leg Jean or J Brand Lovestory Jeans. I’ve yet to see anyone look bad in either of those jeans.

Mom Jeans

Tina Fey has taught us all the wrongs of Mom Jeans. I’ve even started MY MOM on designer denim . My momma is wearing Paige Premium Denim Avalon and they look GREAT on her and she doesn’t look Mutton dressed as lamb”.

Common denim myths.

Boot cut is flattering on everyone.

Not true. Petite women, in particular, should avoid boot-cut jeans, and wear jeans with a straighter leg. If you’re shorter than 5’4”, a boot cut may make your thighs look heavier by hugging the knees too tightly before flaring at the bottom. Boot-cut jeans can also make your legs look shorter. The ideal body type for boot-cut pants is a woman taller than 5’4” who has long legs. Try AG Jeans The Kiss Straight Leg or for Petites try Joe’s Jeans Provocateur.

Stretch Myth

Stretch denim is always better. NOT!!! Sometimes stretch denim can make your legs look like sausage in casing if it’s too tight. Another reason to avoid stretchy fabric? Stacy says the skin-tight fit can give women “dimples” right below the tush. Her advice is to try on nonstretch, as well as stretch, to find the best fit. Try 7 For All Mankind Flynt Jean or try J Brand Mid Rise Flare if you must have stretch. Their stretch is the best I’ve found on the market.

A “Distressing” Myth

Distressing doesn’t always look great on everyone. Old jeans distressed along the leg, can “spotlight” your thighs. In the wrong place, whiskering, bleaching or distressing can actually accent a wide hip, a larger booty or a heavier thigh. Distressed jeans also look more casual than darker denim. Dark-wash jeans like Raven Denim Sierra Trouser Jeans are perfect for your denim Fridays and are a great evening look!

Don’t Be a Fashion Victim!!!

If you go for jeans that have a lot of bells and whistles, you may fall into the “fashion victim” category. Don’t fall for every new trendÔÇöskinny jeans and blue jeans tucked into boots may look good on your favorite celebrity, but not everyone can pull it off.
Don’t just try on two pairs of jeans, and then say “nothing fits” and leave the store. You’ve got to try. And even if you don’t get lucky after seven, but you do get lucky after 20, it is worth it!
Source original & adapted pieces from


  1. Jessie this is awesome 😀 Nice work on this! I agree on the bootcuts not suiting everyone, im more suited to straights an skinnys too, bootcuts make your legs look bigger or if you dont have bigger hips it makes you look disproportionate.

  2. “skinny jeans and blue jeans tucked into boots may look good on your favorite celebrity, but not everyone can pull it off”

    I wish more people could realize this. ty ty ty ty TY for pointing this out. Also you didn’t mention anything about length! I hate seeing people stepping on their jeans that are obviously too long for them and ruining the hem. Poor jeans, what did they do to deserve being stepped on.

  3. You are SOOO correct…. see I presume everyone knows about hemming but how many celebs have we seen stepping all over their lovestory jeans?

    Prayes I’ll make an edit for you!

  4. Oh, you’re probably right jessie, I’m sure everyone who is a regular on here knows. I was thinking more about the general population, like when I’m walking around, I seriously see half of the people in jeans walking all over their destroyed hems! Now that I think about it, we DO see a lot of celebs doing just that too.

    lol, you don’t have to edit it! As Lorna said, this is awesome as it is 🙂

  5. I can understand the first 2 they are trashy people wearing trashy jeans but isn’t the last wearing SFAM?

  6. If butt crack and whale tales are bad, why don’t the designers/manufacturers stop with the damn low rises already? As someone on the other side of 35, I just wish there was a happy medium between low rises and so-called “mom jeans,” especially if you wear bigger sizes. Even a lot of the alleged mid rises I’ve tried button at the crotch.

  7. Marc, a lot of designers fowl things up sometimes. If all 7’s are distressed by hand don’t you think someone could screw it up just once? Of course they can. I know Liane got a pair online and the whiskering was…mmm just not right.

    Also, greenfairie, I actually have the same problem with what is called mid rise. And if it is high rise, then it usually gapes at the back for me. I wear a size 30, and a “mid rise” for me also is just too low sometimes.

  8. Im the same, mid rises on me look really stupid from the front and then i have a gap at the back between my back and the denim, i wear low rise because it looks better at the front and it doesnt gape at the back, i just wear longer tops to cover the back so nothing shows lol. My preferred rise is 6.5-7″

  9. The “distressing myth” pair are Rock & Republic – and Jessie is right – once I got a pair of R&R online and they looked just like this pair – yikes.

  10. The pockets should never be below the cheek line. I always feel bad for girls that wear diaper style jeans and insist on showing a thong when the jeans should be the beauty. When you think about it, you are dividing your curves with lines. The sexiness of the constriction is a prelude and the constant reminder of her desire. Lastly, a woman can never wear jeans that are too tight. It’s good, honest and just down right SEXY!!!


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