Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Trauma Unit

I hear it almost every day "I can never find jeans that fit my body." Finding the perfect pair of jeans is almost as stressful as shopping for a bathing suit. I remember being greeted with "Welcome to the trauma unit" upon entering the swim suit section at a department store. I had to laugh at the remark, because I knew before me was the agonizing task of selecting a swim suit. Same goes for buying new jeans. You have to be mentally prepared for the task of finding the "one". You know, the "one" pair of jeans that was cut straight from the design room with you in mind.

You walk into the store and jeans are displayed on a jean wall, hanging neatly on a designer rack, or folded ever so carefully on a table and they are screaming "cardiac arrest" at you!

So, let the jean selection process begin. If you follow a basic jean selecting technique, known as the "pick-pocket", you simply pick up the pair you like based on the design or placement of the back pocket. Sometimes the pocket technique works and sometimes it fails you miserably. Also, there is the "right cut" technique, in which you try on every pair of boot-cut, straight-leg or flare in the store. It gets tricky using this method.

Through my experience in retail, I've developed a system for finding the perfect pair of jeans for just about anyone.

My first recommendation in finding the perfect pair of jeans, is to ask a sales person that you trust! Personally, I am not going to throw 15 different styles of jeans at you, cross my fingers and hope that a pair fits. I think it's best to start with 2 or 3 jean styles that will provide an idea of what you prefer in a jean. Trust me, it doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience or one that requires heavy medication or psychiatric help afterwards.

Here are a few things I look for when helping someone find the perfect pair of jeans:

1- You want the jeans to fit tight. I offer this tip all the time and some women don't believe me. Jeans are going to stretch so if you try them on and they fit like your old comfy jeans that you've had forever - you might want to try the next size down. Jeans look better when they are fitted and you don't want that saggy bottom look. Trust me on this. And I'm not going to let you walk out of the store in jeans that are too tight!

2- You can look at the knee to tell if the jeans are the right fit. If excessive fabric is bunching around the knee, you might need a different size or style.

3- Jeans run long. They are made for people who are 6 feet tall, so if you're average in height, like me, the jeans will need to be altered (or you can just find the tallest shoes and wear those- this will also make your legs look longer - my favorite trick). Bring heels with you while jean shopping and you can get an idea of the length. If you are considering a flare jean, but alteration is required, you might lose a significant amount of fabric which means the end product is closer to a boot-cut. Skinny jeans or straight-legged jeans can easily be altered and the cost is usually around $12.00.

Now it's time to say goodbye to the trauma unit forever (wish buying a bathing suit could be this simple). Happy Jean Shopping!

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