How To Find The Perfect Skinny Jeans


Finding the perfect fitting pair of skinny jeans can be somewhat daunting due to the fact that there are millions to choose from and most of the time they are all different. Knowing the difference between the fits, finding the perfect stretch content, the correct rise height, the appropriate leg length as well as finding a nice wash is very overwhelming and a lot of people struggle with it. I often get a lot of emails asking for help which I’m always more than happy to answer, but I thought I would make a post with some tips that can help you in finding the perfect pair of skinny jeans. Please click this post to find out all of the information.


Body Shapes And Sizes

In my opinion, everyone can wear skinny jeans, it just completely depends on the way you style them. Don’t be put off in thinking if you have fuller hips or a curvier figure that they wont work for you, because when styled right, they definitely will. I’ve seen all different shapes and sizes in skinny jeans and when worn with the correct clothes to balance out the proportions, they look amazing. For Example:

Curves And Hips

If you do have a curvier body shape, wearing skinny jeans tucked into mid-calf/knee high boots will balance out the lower leg portion, while wearing a longer shirt or tunic that hits just below the butt will flatter the top half. If you have fuller hips, then wearing the skinny jeans tucked into boots again will balance out the hip to lower leg ratio, but on top you can wear something that’s wider on the shoulders like a blazer with shoulder pads to keep the proportions correct.

Slim And Straight

If you have a straighter figure, more so what they call the boyish shape or fashion model style, I would say that a low rise can be very flattering. Having the jeans super skinny and tailored at the calves and ankles is the best option as it creates the illusion that you have a smaller lower leg area which in turn makes the hip area wider to the eye. I find that also boyfriend jeans work the best on this shape, but I know this is a skinny jeans post so I wont delve into that.


If you are petite then wearing a skinny jean with a high rise, pump style heels and a shirt/blouse tucked in at the waist can really elongate your legs for a more dressier look, but for casual I would definitely recommend a low rise skinny jean that’s super skinny all over. Definitely stay away from mid rises, I myself have experience with the mid rises and unless you wear a long top that hits at the front pockets, this particular height in rise is not very flattering. It can make you look shorter.


For the taller ladies, they are very lucky as they can pretty much get away with just about any skinny jean on the market, but the ones I would be more inclined to recommend would be mid to higher rises as they are most flattering. If you have long legs and are conscious of their length though, you could try a lower rise jean with a top that skims at the waist band so it doesn’t make your legs lengthier and then pair them with flats.


Butt Shapes

Now the back pockets, for me, are something that I always make sure I look at first. It’s the selling point of the jeans in my opinion. If a pair of jeans look really gorgeous from the front, but awful from the back, then I wont get them. Having the jeans back pockets in the perfect place is something that everyone should look out for so that they are flattering all the way around. It’s the same principle as if the jeans looked bad from the front, but great from the back, you would most likely put them back on the shelf. The back is equally as important as the front in my opinion, so that’s why pocket placement and positioning is a key factor in finding the perfect skinny jeans.

A few simple tips to remember are make sure the back pockets are symmetrical and in line with each other, make sure they are not too big or too small and also make sure they are a flattering shape; the classic pocket with the V at the bottom is always the best in my opinion.

Smaller/Flatter Butts

If you have a smaller or flatter tush area, then there are quite a lot of jeans to suit you. For pocket positioning, I would recommend choosing back pockets that are slightly higher up as they create the illusion of a pert butt. Picking jeans with back pockets that are also slightly wider apart will create the illusion that you have a wider butt, however this isn’t always very flattering and can look bad if they are placed to far apart. The best option would be picking central back pockets with a higher positioning. I think these can be very flattering. The above photo is of higher positioned back pockets, but my butt is more on the rounded side so as you can see it’s not that flattering.

Bigger/Rounded Butts

If you are quite gifted in the butt department then some jeans can actually look quite bad from behind. Unlike my advice above, I recommend staying away from higher positioned back pockets due to the fact that they don’t sit right on the cheek areas. They sit too high and don’t look very flattering. The perfect position for pockets are where the bottom of the pocket (as it dips into a V shape) hits just at the bottom of your cheeks (where the cheek meets the thigh). Having the pockets end here gives a rounded look and is very flattering. I also find that slightly lower down pockets (maybe 1-2 inches below) can also be quite enhancing. The lower down placement will create the look of a smaller butt if you are looking to minimise it a bit.


Leg Shapes

Leg shapes are definitely another very important factor when choosing your skinny jeans. Most brands know this and that’s why you have such an array of fits from ankle peg and jeggings to 12 inch and pencil legs. There will be something for everyone, it’s just knowing the difference between the shapes and what might suit you best. I’m only including the two opposite ends of the scale here as regular sized/shaped legs can pretty much do any skinny jean and look fine.

Athletic/Fuller Legs

If you have more muscular/athletic or fuller legs then I would recommend choosing a 12 inch skinny jean, or something around that proportion, as it will fit a lot like a slimmer skinny jean. It will leave more room in the calf area and it wont be too constricting on your legs overall, but it will still look really skinny. Sometimes, if you find the 12 inch skinnies still too tight, you might want to opt for a straight leg with a 14 inch opening and these will still look skinny on you. I’ve seen a lot of jeans worn this way and they still look fine. How jeans fit varies greatly on the body shape of the owner.

Very Slim Legs

This is the issue I struggle with. My hip to leg ratio is off, so when I find a pair of regular jeans that fit in the hip area, they are usually baggy in the legs which is really unfortunate. My advice for very slim legs is picking an ankle peg skinny jean with a 10 inch leg opening or less. These will definitely be very flattering and look like regular skinny jeans on you. I also find that jeggings look very flattering, they hug in all the right places and don’t leave any room for gaps or bagginess which can be unflattering. I wouldn’t recommend picking anything over a 10 inch leg opening as if your calves are small they end up looking like straight leg jeans that don’t go past your ankles and it looks quite sloppy.


Gaps At The Waist Or Muffin Top


This post I have written is not sponsored by anyone at all, it’s all written by myself, but I want to mention Levi’s Curve ID on my own accord. A lot of you may know about their Curve ID range already, but I do fully support the collection. If you usually have a gap at the waist when the jeans fit tighter all over, then Levi’s do the Bold Curve for this particular body shape while if you usually have muffin top and looser fitting legs, then the Slight Curve will work for you. The collection has 4 different cuts and it’s for different body shapes.

A lot of the questions I do receive from you all are based around this issue and I find myself usually always recommending Levi’s Curve ID because it works. I have tried the Slight Curve, Demi Curve and Bold Curve all in the same size of 27 and they each fit me differently. The Slight Curve works for me perfectly as that’s my body shape, where as the Demi Curve fits in the waist, but is baggy in the legs and the Bold Curve is really baggy in the legs and I can’t actually button the waist. This is why this collection is perfect if you are struggling with any of these types of issues when finding jeans. So definitely try out the range before you give up on denim! There is always a jean for everyone!


Figure Enhancing


I also wanted to include this section so I could mention James Jeans Couture Collection. Again, this is off my own accord and not endorsed, but they are one of the most flattering skinny jeans I have ever put on. They are designed to give you a gorgeous silhouette because they are contoured. The Couture Collection features suction thigh wrapping to make your legs slim, vortex waist contouring so you don’t get muffin top and it holds it in, hip padding to give you curvier hips and sculpted bottom volume in the form of perfectly placed and sized back pockets which contain a minimal amount of padding. The power denim appears smaller at first because they expand to hold your body in order to achieve maximum hold and lift. Everything mentioned here is true. Mine are the perfect pair of skinny jeans in a dark wash.



Washes are something that I can’t delve deep into due to the fact that they are purely about personal preference. What one person thinks is amazing, another may not like and vice verse. But what I will mention is how some washes can be flattering and how others can give the impression you are bigger than you are.

Another thing I have to include is fading. Again, this is personal preference, but a lot of the times if the jeans are faded in the wrong places quite heavily, for example over the butt and sides of the thighs, it can look highly unflattering as it creates the illusion those areas are larger than they are. Always be careful and look closely in the mirror at the fading to make sure you are happy with how it looks. Some washes can look stunning on the hanger or on the floor, but when worn, sometimes they don’t sit right. Also make sure that any honeycombs (faded lines on the backs of the knees) are in the correct place as it can look silly if it’s hitting at mid calf. This is not an issue if you have the correct inseam though.

Dark Washes

Dark washes are the most flattering of them all. The dark colour gives a slimming effect and it also hides any lumps and bumps you may be worried about. They are versatile too so you can take them from day to night without any worry. I would say, if you are going to only invest in one pair of designer jeans, make it a dark wash, preferably one that has a sheen to it because it looks nicer and will be the pair that you wear most often. Dark indigo is usually the best shade and luckily almost every brand has a dark wash pair of skinnies so it doesn’t limit your options.

Medium Washes

Medium washes are ones that I class as in between light and dark. They can vary a bit with the shade, but I find them very versatile too. They are harder to pair with certain clothes and colours though in my opinion as if you wear a lot of denim shirts or jackets, you would need to make sure they were super light so that they don’t clash against the wash of the jeans. Medium hues are also very flattering though, they are an easy shade to wear on your legs.

Light Washes

With light washes, you need to be careful what shades you pick as some can be very unflattering. I recommend staying away from super light bleach blues as they can give the appearance that you have larger legs and also some can be see through which is not very convenient as it shows off any imperfections as well as your underwear. I would suggest picking them in a more mid to lighter blue in a sturdier denim to eliminate any of the above issues. Lighter washes make great summer jeans as they are more casual and keep you cooler than darker jeans, but like I listed above, they can come with some issues.

Coloured/Printed Washes

Now coloured and printed washes are always on trend, but they can be a bit of an issue when it comes to making sure your jeans are flattering. Some prints can give your legs a rounded or large impression, so you want to always make sure you pick something flattering. Smaller patterns on jeans are always good as are vertical stripes (not horizontal). The small prints like leopard or polka dot don’t give your legs any larger look and vertical stripes make your legs look longer and slimmer, where as horizontal ones would do the opposite. As for colour, generally most colours are ok, but like the rules of the blues, the lighter colours can be see through, thinner and make you larger where as the darker colours will be flattering.


Rise Information:

Super Low Rise – 6 inches and below.
Low Rise – 6 – 7 inches.
Mid Rise – 7 – 8 inches.
High Rise – 8 – 10 inches.
Super High Rise – 10 inches and above.


Cut Information:

Jeggings – Skin tight and very stretchy skinny jeans, almost like leggings but made of denim, hence the name Jeggings (Jean Leggings).
10″ Ankle Peg – Super skinny jean with a 10 inch leg opening that hits at the ankle without stacking/bunching. Usually with an inseam of around 28 inches.
12″ Skinny – The most common of them all. A skinny jean with a 12 inch leg opening. Usually with an inseam of 32-36 inches, depending on the brand.
Pencil Leg – This is very similar to the 12″ Skinny, if not the same. It has the look of a pencil which is slim all the way down and slightly tapered at the ankle.
Cigarette Leg – I will include this one as like I mentioned above, some body shapes can wear them as skinnies. A Cigarette leg is slim and completely straight all the way down. Usually with a 14 inch leg opening.
Carrot Leg – I am including this one as well as it is a skinny jean, but of the boyfriend variety. It’s exactly like the shape of a carrot. It features a dropped crotch and loose thighs, but tight and skinny at the calves.


Final Note

So this is all of the information I have put together to give you advice on finding the right skinny jeans for your body shape. This post is based on all the knowledge I have gained over the many years of working with denim. I would love to know what all of you think and whether or not it was helpful to you. Also, as I mentioned above, I don’t mind answering any of your denim questions, so if you have any, just leave me a comment here and I will get back to you as soon as I can! I just have a couple more tips to leave you with! Remember to buy your skinny jeans quite tight to begin with as they will stretch out with wear and can become quite loose and don’t be afraid to size down or up if you need to, every brand fits and runs differently and sizing can vary!

All credit goes to Lorna Burford/
Written by Lorna Burford


  1. Thanks for the great post Lorna! I am 100% in agreement on the dark washes as the most flattering and I learned something new about pocket positioning. Sharing with our followers on Facebook.

  2. Good write up! Just wondering what your thoughts are with long back pockets that start running down the back of the thighs as with those Swedish labels like Nudie & Cheap Monday? Some of them look great from the front but those long back pockets look a bit off to me.

  3. Hi winnie, I think those types of back pockets on Nudie and others need to stick to the bigger/rounded butt people. They are lucky enough to have enough butt to push the pockets out and not make them look so long. If you have a flatter one then the pockets will look really straight and long which wont be so flattering. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Lorna! Excellent review! But I’m more looking at your photo!) You are very beautiful! It would be interesting to know your opinion on the men’s skinny jeans. It would be great to see such a review

  5. Hi Aramis! What did you want to know about men’s skinny jeans? Skinny/slim jeans for guys are actually my favourite styles! And thank you very much for the compliment!

  6. The best advice for skinny jeans is: don’t wear skinny jeans. They make your legs spindly and unattractive. The girl in the pictures looks like a fadster, someone who follows the crowd and the latest trends. The best fashions are timeless and do not belong to any subculture. In 20 years, will you look back on pictures of yourself and react the way people react now when they seem themselves in the 90s? That’s what will happen if dress like the above.

    I say the above without meaning any offense to anyone, everyone is beautiful, fashion should accentuate that, not hide it.

  7. Don’t worry I don’t take offense to it (that’s me in the photos), I think skinny jeans will be popular forever, they were around in the 80’s (insanely popular) and they are still around now and incredibly popular. Even years and years back the likes of Steve McQueen, Elvis etc all wore skinny jeans. I think (along with so many others) that they are one of the most flattering jeans around, much more flattering than bootcut or flared jeans, they don’t swamp your frame or make you look larger than they are etc.

    I think everyone is going to have photos from their past that they look back on and think ‘gosh what I was wearing?!’ that’s part of life ha ha. As long as you wear clothes you feel comfortable in and look good, it’s perfectly fine. Everyone is going to look back a few decades and think they looked silly, like the 70’s super tight flares and tapestry vests, the 80’s perms and the huge shoulder pads, the 90s shell suits and more. It’s just how it is. I do follow trends, but only if they suit me or look good, but I always wear whatever clothes I want to wear. I have really old vintage pieces which I love and I also have brand new classic pieces, along with the trendy pieces. It just depends on what I feel like wearing 🙂 🙂

  8. Wow great post!! I was wondering, which wash do you have of the Coutour James Jeans? I’m looking in to getting some, and them only two similar shades online are Riviera and Vesper. I love the dark wash in your photos, but it’s fine if you can’t remember!:D
    Thanks bunches

  9. Sorry, I missed this one! I recommend something with a larger waist and slimmer legs. Current/Elliott have some good fits like that, maybe you could check them out? Or you could go down the custom denim route!

  10. Great post ; thanks for sharing it’s quite hard to find perfect pair of jeans specially if you get little out of shape. But don’t ever buy jeans without trying. Long boots are just perfect for skinny jeans but if one don’t wanna go for this then you can opt for leg warmers to add style.

  11. Great post, thanks for sharing ! You are very beautiful ^_^ your jeans makes me think of Lotus Premium Denim !! 😀

    And i repeat that is difficult to find a perfect pair of jean ! Specially if you are small !!
    I spend a lot of time on the web looking for premium denim because i love jeans ! I could wear it every day :$ 🙂

  12. Great advice!
    Plus, you’re really pretty.
    Not to sound dumb, but what exactly would you call the shirt that you’re wearing in the first picture? I’m trying to get a lot of those, and searching anything with ‘sweater’ will give me giant, thick sweaters.

  13. Hi, thank you so much! That was a thin knit sweater, it’s actually by Sparkle & Fade, but you can get similar ones at Urban Outfitters and Zara! I guess they are just called lightweight knits? I have no idea on the specific name! Sorry!

  14. Hi there, what jeans are you wearing in the first photo, under the category “Smaller/Flatter Butts”?

  15. I am wondering about creasing on the back of the thighs. I have a new pair of AG jeans and I have a tiny muffin top (my husband says it looks fine) and a couple of creases on the back of my leg…. are they too tight and should I size up? It seems like all my skinny jeans crease regardless of waist size. Thanks!

  16. Hi, if they are really stretchy then it’s normal. Mine crease too sometimes, it depends on the fabric. If they fit you tightly and are not uncomfortable then they are fine. Jeans stretch out with wear so if you can fit into these without feeling like you can’t breathe, then they are the ones to keep. Sizing up probably will not get rid of the wrinkles and will make them too big in my opinion. Which jeans are they?

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  18. I hope you give advice to guys too 🙂
    I have skinny lower legs\ankles, hasn’t bothered me until the last few years, I feel that people are staring at this region alot. Most trousers\jeans I wear seem to be flappy and creased(ironing out doesn’t work) in this area which I personally don’t like. Maybe I need to wear skinny or piped trousers so I’m showing my ass which is better proportioned Ive been told. Also, I have worn skinnies before and they hurt my crouch 🙂
    Also I’m thinking of doing squats to strengthen my stomach, gluteus and calves.
    Your advice would be appreciated.

  19. Hi there! What’s jeans are you wearing in the third to last picture under medium washes? I was hoping to find a model of H & M super low rise skinny jeans. Thanks for the great post!!

  20. Great post! Super helpful. Was wondering if you have any specific brand recommendations for petite super skinny ankle jeans/leggings in black? I was looking at AG petite and a couple other brands but I’m having a hard time finding brands with a super skinny ankle. My biggest issue is when my jeans aren’t skinny enough to fit well under boots without looking bunchy or coming up a lot

  21. Hey Sam, have you thought about trying the AG The Legging Ankle? Those are super skinny and the inseam length is cropped, it’s about 27 inches I think. Those are great jeans. The Citizens of Humanity Rocket Crop are also really nice too!

  22. Searched “Pencil Leg” and “Cigarette Leg” and got a picture of what I was looking for. Searched “Carrot Leg” – actual picture of carrot leg, like literally.

  23. Hello what a perfect and detailed post. Whoa! What I think is the key rule when it comes to durability it is my rule:

    The basic rule of thumb for denim on denim is making sure that the washes and colours are completely different from each other. This means pairing a light washed blue denim jacket or shirt with dark blue, black or grey jeans.

  24. I was a fan of skinny jeans . But Day by day , my hip is going to be fat, now i think now it,s my time leave that? Can anyone recommend me what kind of jeans is now perferfect for me and i could feel comfortable.

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