Our Guide to Finding the Best Fitting Jeans

With so many styles, lengths, and sizes available, it can be tricky to know how to find your dream denim. Discover how to find the best fitting jeans with Ariat.

One of the biggest reasons that so many people love wearing jeans every day is their versatility, but with so many different style and fit options of jeans, finding the best style of jeans for you, as well as finding the right fit, can be tricky. With different shapes and cuts on offer, and sizing unique to denim, it can take time to find a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly. To help you find your perfect denim jeans, here is Ariat’s expert guide to finding the best fitting jeans – for men and women.

Finding Your Jeans Size

Jeans for both men and women are usually measured not in standard clothing sizes, but in waist and leg length. For example, when purchasing jeans, a 26W 32L pair of jeans would have a waistband measuring 26 inches and a leg inseam measuring 32 inches. If you’re purchasing your jeans from a brand that sells in waist and leg inch sizes, the best place to start is finding a measuring tape and calculating your measurements. However, to find your perfect fitting pair of jeans, you should measure carefully and keep a couple of things in mind: 

  • Make sure to measure in inches, not centimetres. 
  • The best point to measure is above your belly button, at the smallest part of your waist. 
  • Make sure to relax your stomach and stand straight when measuring your waist, for an accurate reading that will ensure comfortably fitting jeans. 
  • To measure your leg inseam, take the tape measure straight down the inside of your leg, from the crotch to ankle. 

When you go to buy jeans from stores, you can take a tape measure to get an extra specific measurement check on the jeans you’re trying on, to compare them with your own measurements. To find a retailer selling Ariat jeans in stores, you can check our directory of partner stores. When buying jeans online from Ariat, choose jeans with measurements that correspond to your own measurements for the best fit.

Choosing the Right Style of Jeans

So, you know how to choose the right size of jeans, but finding the best fitting jeans also means knowing which style suits you best and will fit your needs. Some important aspects of the anatomy of a pair of jeans to consider when finding your perfect fit are:

The Leg Shape:

Jean legs come in a variety of fits, including slim fit, straight leg, boot cut jeans and skinny jeans. For women, tapered fits are often preferred as they accentuate a modern silhouette, wider at the hips and slimmer at the ankle. Women’s skinny and slim fit jeans have a tapered leg, so are great options when looking for that modern silhouette. For a classic style, men may opt for straight leg jeans which do not taper or flare, but maintain the same width from hip to ankle. This timeless look makes straight leg jeans are great choice for men who like to maintain a capsule wardrobe .

The Waist Rise:

For both men and women, jeans typically are made with high-rise, mid-rise, or low-rise. This refers to how high the jeans sit on your waist, with high-rise jeans sitting around the belly button, mid-rise sitting squarely on your waist, and low-rise jeans sitting closer to the hips. Sometimes the waist rise will depend on the overall construction of the jeans – for example, if you’re buying a pair of women’s bootcut jeans, a high-rise will elongate the leg further. Similarly, mid-rise is often a great option for men’s straight leg jeans as it fits the traditional proportions of the denim.

The Denim:

Jeans are typically made with sanforised denim, which means that it has been processed to avoid shrinkage in the future. However, if you choose jeans made with raw denim then the first few washes will result in considerable shrinkage. Lovers of raw denim often first wash their raw denim by sitting in a filled bath, allowing the denim to shrink to the right size before being washed. Most modern jeans are made with sanforised denim, so the stress of avoiding shrinkage is taken care of for you. When choosing the right pair of jeans to ensure a good fit, you need to consider the exact fabric makeup of your denim. Jeans with elastane or spandex woven through, for stretch, will have a more forgiving fit. This means you can err on the smaller side with confidence that the stretch denim will allow for a comfortable fit. However, with 100% cotton denim, you may need to account for a closer fit.