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Credit: Jacquie Shaw

For many women, jeans rival bathing suits for the most dreaded—and daunting—items to shop for. After all, with so many cuts, fabrics, and colours available, where does one even begin?

Luckily, Katie Gustin, fit expert at premium denim shop dutil., has some insider tips to help you find that perfect-fitting pair of jeans.

 

Know what you want

Before you step into a shop, think about what purpose you’d like your denim to serve. Will it need to stand up to daily commutes by bike? Will it be worn largely in a corporate environment? Will it need to work with your extensive collection of heels?

“Don’t try to be someone else,” advises Gustin. “Know what you want your denim to do for you.”

 

Consider your body type

“Sometimes, women come in with a specific style in mind because it’s been in a magazine or on a celebrity,” says Gustin. “But it isn’t necessarily right for their shape.”

Do some research to determine your body shape and what styles may suit your frame better beforehand. Ladies with hourglass shapes should opt for slim fit with a higher rise, for example, while those with pear shapes should look for a straight leg or trouser cut.

 

Try multiple sizes

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to venture outside the sizes we’ve purchased time and time again. But it’s important to remember that the numbers printed on your denim do not define your body.

“Different jeans fit differently,” stresses Gustin. “Where you are a 26 in one brand, you might be a 27 in another so don't be afraid to try multiple sizes on to find what is right.”

 

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dutil.'s Gastown location features a wide selection of raw and washed denim for men and women | Photo: Jacquie Shaw

 

Consult an expert

Jeans shopping can be an overwhelming experience, so make sure to ask for help when you need it. “When you’re working with people that know different body types, fabrics and cuts, it makes it a lot easier,” says Gustin.

Denim experts like Gustin are familiar with a wide range of body types and the inventory offered at the store, so they can recommend styles you wouldn’t normally notice or even go for.

 

Tailor if needed

Whether it’s a quick hem or a small adjustment in the waistband, don’t be afraid to turn to a tailor to make those almost-perfect pair of jeans perfect.

“You don’t always have to buy a pair of jeans and keep it the way it is,” says Gustin. “If you feel like there’s a small detail you need to fix to make it fit you better, that’s something we encourage you to do.”

Many stores offer either their own tailoring or discounted services at a nearby shop. dutil., for example, offers free hemming on all products from its house brand. They can also tailor denim according to the customer’s body shape.

 

Consider aftercare

Great—you’ve found a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly in the fitting room; but don’t forget to consider how the cut or fabric will change once you begin wearing them regularly.

“It’s important to ask staff about the behaviour of a pair of denim over time,” says Gustin. “Often, you should buy jeans as tight as possible or a size down as they will stretch out over time.”

 

Keep an open mind

Chances are you won’t find the perfect pair of jeans on your first try, so it’s important to stay positive and have an open mind. Ask for help when you need it and don’t shy away from brands, cuts or colours just because you’re not familiar with them.

“As long as you feel comfortable and secure in a pair of jeans, that’s a good sign,” says Gustin.

Presented by dutil.