The Denim Guide: How to Pick the Best Jeans for Your Body Type
Denim Guide
by Aaron Jay Harris

The great thing about jeans is they can be worn casually or dressed up, and they never go out of style. Jeans are the perfect go-to piece for any day, and that’s why it’s so important that you purchase the right jeans for your body. There are so many options for both men and women when it comes to style and brands, so I’m going to help break down which style is best for your body type, and tell you which brands make the best jeans in the right style for you.

Womens Style Guide

Most women can identify with one of the following body types: Athletic, Petite, Pear-shaped, Apple-shaped or Hourglass. Even though certain jeans look best on specific body types, that doesn’t mean that you can’t always have other options. One can never have too many options!

Whether you are a man or a woman, it is good to stay fit and healthy. For those women with athletic bodies, either naturally fit or from working out often, the best pair of jeans to show off your body is skinny-fit jeans. The skinny-fit style will help to create shape by hugging the body, and also create length to your legs, which is good no matter what height you are. This is why skinny-fit jeans are also the best option for petite women. G-Star Raw makes the perfect skinny-fit jeans, the 3301 Contour Skinny. They are casual but still give the right amount of fashion, and still very reasonably priced.


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G-Star 3301 Contour Skinny

For women with pear-shaped bodies, the most flattering style of jeans to wear is flared jeans. These have made a huge comeback within the last 10 years. The flared bottom helps to balance out the curvier hips, butt and legs on a pear-shaped woman and can really bring life to an outfit. I always recommend for use on models the Jiselle Phenomenal Flare by 7 For All Mankind. They don’t come in many variations, but the options they have are perfect to make any outfit look its best.

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7 for all mankind Jiselle Phenomenal Flare

Another common body type with women is apple-shaped, or carrying weight in the mid section. You want to make sure that you get a pair of jeans that doesn’t draw attention to this, but still makes you look and feel sexy. Low-rise bootcut is the perfect choice, as the low-rise waist won’t cut into the stomach, and the bootcut fit keeps the attention away from the midsection. I again go to 7 For All Mankind for this fit, always using the Original Bootcut style.

7 for all mankind Original Bootcut

7 for all mankind Original Bootcut

The last female body type that I tend to come across often is the hourglass figure, bigger hips creating a more defined waist. Having natural curves is an amazing thing and it’s best to embrace them and show them off. I find high-waisted jeans always look amazing on hourglass figures, especially the Rocket High-Rise Skinny by Citizens of Humanity found at Great colors that can be worn casually or more dressed up.

Citizens of Humanity Rocket High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Citizens of Humanity Rocket High-Rise Skinny Jeans


Mens Style Guide

As you can probably imagine, things are a little easier for men when it comes to shopping, but making sure your jeans fit right is just as important for us guys as it is for women. Men can be broken down into 4 typical body types: Muscular, Heavyset, Slim or Tall & Defined.

The best style of jeans for muscular and heavyset men is relaxed-fit. Relaxed-fit jeans will fit these types perfectly because they have a little more room to spare through the butt and legs, but still give you a straight cut from the knee down. This cut keeps you from looking like you are swimming in denim, and the larger back pockets will help make your butt appear smaller. I have found that the Austyn Relaxed Straight Leg from 7 For All Mankind makes the best relaxed-fit jeans, offering a variety of different washes.

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Slim guys have issues similar to those of muscular guys; you want to avoid wearing anything too baggy or too tight, as both will make your legs look overly skinny. The best jeans style for slim guys is straight leg jeans. They will give you a little more room without drawing too much attention to your undefined legs. My favorite straight leg jeans are the Kane Straight Leg by J Brand, available at Another great, sturdy pair of denim jeans, cut amazingly, with many fade and wash options to choose from.

J Brand Kane Straight-Leg

J Brand Kane Straight-Leg

For someone who is tall and toned like me, thanks to the amazing trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp, the best option to show off your trim body is a pair of slim-fit jeans. These jeans will hug your legs and butt in all the right places, showing off all the hard work you have put in at the gym. I live in Max Slim Fit jeans by Acne, also found at, because they are incredibly durable and the denim used is super comfortable, making them easy to wear.

Acne Max Slim Fit

Acne Max Slim Fit


Ed. Note: Many of the sites in this article offer free returns for home try-ons, but if you want to do things the old-fashioned way – trying on multiple pairs in a dressing room – here are some suggestions in the New York and L.A. areas. lists its favorite New York stores for denim here, and in Los Angeles we recommend the America Rag Denim Bar, where educated salespeople can help guide you to that perfect pair (and they carry thousands).


Aaron Jay Harris


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Aaron is a fashion stylist and personal shopper based in NYC. He has had the opportunity to work with many great talents through styling, all of whom have helped him to develop his aesthetic and who he is as a stylist. He is also grateful to have fashion forward clients who understand the importance of looking good. You can contact Aaron on Twitter at @TheAaronJay, on Facebook at Aaron Jay Harris and via email at