27 October 2009 – HELP!

October 27th, 2009 § 64 comments

27 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed…
  • Pink Sweater – Banana Republic
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap
  • White Tank – Banana Republic
  • Boots – Banana Republic, via ebay
  • Necklace – The Limited
  • Earrings – Gift
  • Bracelet – Gift from S.


I don’t usually wear pink but I do love pink and brown together, particularly this kin-of dusty rose.  I also like the combination of turquoise and pink — it gives this otherwise very basic ensemble a little something extra.

What I really want to talk about though, is JEANS!  I need your help dear readers!  Today I attempted to go jean shopping.  I have a couple pairs of skinny jeans that I like, but what I really want is a pair of versatile everyday jeans that can be worn with flats and a tee.  I love the way Gap “Real Straight” jeans looked on the leg-less mannequin but they looked more like skinny jeans on me (even on the model they are a bit too skinny for what I am looking for).  After trying on many pairs at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, the closest I found were a pair form the Men’s side of Gap — Limited Edition Skinny Jeans (which I can’t find on line).  Surprisingly, the rise fit fine (unlike most jeans sold for men), the color was perfect, and the fit through the hips, thighs, and lower legs was all perfect.  The problem – they were too big in the waist.

So, any suggestions? I have hips and thighs but a rather small waist so I need something with a higher rise.  I am willing to spend a little money but can’t fathom paying $1oo or more on a pair of jeans.

27 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Tagged , , , ,

§ 64 Responses to 27 October 2009 – HELP!"

  1. mira says:

    I’d buy the jeans and spend the extra $10 to get the waist taken in. It’ll be fitted to your body.

  2. Jen F says:

    Try zafu.com. You can put in all sorts of criteria for what you’re looking for and they give you a bunch to try. I also have a small waist. I’ve had quite a few good jeans from American Eagle and H&M.

  3. Cat says:

    I have the same exact problem and have found that shopping in the juniors department helps. I have found a pair of jeans (thrift find) that fit all over and not gaps in the waistline – London Jeans. I’m not sure where to find those but if I find another pair, I’m buying 3 or 4!

    I also want to let y’all know that I have passed on the Kreativ Blogger award to you all. I am not sure if you ladies do awards but wanted to let you know all the same how much I admire what you are doing here and…hopefully send some others your way. I know they will learn as much from you as I have.


  4. Whitney says:

    Totally understand about the jeans problem. I have a not-so-small waist thanks to my son, so I’ve had good luck with Gap outlet jeans. My advice is this: go to a mall or an outlet mall and go to every store with jeans. Try each brand on. You might be surprised at what fits. I’ve had people do very well at what is considered a “frumpy” brand and it look very modern on them.

    If you have a smaller waist, I’d try American Eagle.

  5. Jennifer says:

    If you live near a Nordstrom’s, I highly recommend the store. I went to one last weekend and told the saleslady that I was looking for straight-to-wide leg dark rinse jeans for $100 or less, and she came up with about 4-5 pairs for me to try on (of course there were many more over $100!). I ended up buying a pair pair of “Jag” brand jeans that look amazing on me, are very comfortable, and have maintained their shape for a week now without being washed (this amazes me having never owned jeans from anywhere but old navy). They were $79 and worth every penny! And the sales clerks were incredibly friendly and helpful even though I had a budget.

  6. D says:

    though i think most of american eagle to be juniorish, i have found jeans i really like from there. give them a try. try on all their styles.

  7. Alexia says:

    Cute outfit! I have your same problem – my waist is a full size smaller than my hips/butt. No matter where I buy my jeans (or any pants for that matter), I have to get the waist taken in. However, the best fitting jeans I have found so far are JCrew. They fit my hip area really well and don’t stretch out as much as my Gap/Banana jeans (which seem to stretch out a whole size after wearing them a couple of times).

    You could try the “curvy” jeans at the Gap/Banana Republic – those tend to fit me a little better.

    But the best thing I could recommend is to find a good tailor. I have been taking my pants to the tailor to get the waist taken in (and the hems taken out sometimes, as I have freakishly long legs) since I was in high school and it’s really the best way you can get a pair of jeans/pants to fit your body!

    Good luck. :)

  8. Julia says:

    I’ve had good luck with Express jeans and they seem to have a lot of different styles/fits. I haven’t tried Ann Taylor Loft, but I’ver heard some of their jeans fit well.

    And Express often has jeans sales – like buy 1 get one 1/2 off. They have expensive ones (~$100), but on average each pair is ~$60 I think.

  9. Sabrina says:

    You might want to try Express. They have a “curvy” fit (with some cutesy name that I don’t remember) that’s worked for me in the past, and I have similar proportions.

  10. meghan says:

    …from a random reader who just stumbled on your blog and absolutely love it. I recently finished my stint in grad school and am adjuncting while on the hunt for a tenure track. Finding a way to look professional and professorial on an adjunct’s budget is a challenge.

    For jeans, I swear by Delia’s. Their Morgan style (a stretch/skinny style) are a little low rise, but they seem to work for me, and I’ve got the same skinny-waist-but-hips-and-thighs shape. They also have the same Morgan stretch-skinny cords. And they are wicked cheap to boot (usually buy 1 get one half off).

  11. Genevieve says:

    I like to find a cut of designer jeans I really love and then search for it on ebay. Frankly, I really find that the more expensive ones are better designed. I recently found a perfect pair of J Brands for $38, including shipping. That’s more than I’d hope to pay at a thrift store, but so much less hassle (although it takes a bit of patience, and it’s much less money than buying them new, of course. I have a different body type than you, but I’d suggest Joe’s in the Honey or Socialite cuts might work well.

  12. Luinae says:

    I’m quite fond of the “curvy flare” at GAP, even though I’m no where near curvy! They are fitted (but not too much) throughout the thigh and more bootcut then flare at the bottom.

  13. Julia says:

    You need a department store. I normally avoid department stores at all costs, but it turns out they’re good for basics and jeans. Prices won’t be high either. Try Macy’s or Nordstrom’s. The selection is unbeatable.

  14. Tania says:

    I would agree with Alexia’s recommendations. I have similar problems with jeans–I have hips and a butt and jeans tend to gap in the waist.

    I bought two pairs of J. Crew jeans (at the outlet for $50 each) this summer and have been wearing them constantly. The bootcut pair is flattering because it is not too skinny, nor too flared (and is great at showing off cute flats). And, mostly importantly, they fit at the waist perfectly (jeans never do).

    If you can find Joe Jeans, the Honey style, less expensively (I bought one pair at a consignment store for much cheaper), they are pretty much designed for the girl with a small waist and wider hips. Oh, and they make one’s butt look banging!

  15. Colleen says:

    I live in St. Louis and have always had good luck shopping at Plato’s Closet resale shops. They have a wide variety of previously-owned Gap, American Eagle, Express and Abercrombie jeans for $12 to $18 a pair and even a selection of designer jeans that still comes in under $50. Also don’t be afraid to try Marshall’s and TJ Maxx! They often have designer jeans for a fraction of the price.

  16. Jenni says:

    My favorite jeans are the J.Crew matchsticks ($98). However, they are fitted through the thigh and have a slightly tapered leg. The matchsticks have a 2% stretch and they hold their shape beautifully over time (I’ve had mine for more than a year, and they still look new). If possible, they are worth a try.

    My second recommendation are the Citizens of Humanity “Kelly” bootcut stretch jeans ($149). Yes, they are $50 more than you wanted to spend, but these jeans are worth it. I have a pair – my go-to bootcut jean – and I recommended them to my sisters-in-law and BFFs (who have all purchased pairs). The Citizens have a bit of stretch, and give a little in all of the right places. The denim wash holds up nicely over time. My little secret = I presented a paper last year at a conference in these pants!

  17. Shannon says:

    Joe’s Jeans, Saltworks, DKNY, and J.Crew all make great non-skinny jeans (though 95% of my jeans are skinny jeans…)
    If you live near a Loehmann’s, check out their jean selections–they have tons of designer jeans for under $100.

  18. Shay says:

    I bought a pair of Gap long and lean jeans on sale, then took them to a tailor to get the legs narrowed. Now they’re a perfect pair of not-too-tight straight leg jeans! I have problems with finding long enough pants (5’10″) and Gap longs, Zara and London Jeans from VS are the only ones that work on me. As a fellow long-distance runner, I usually have to go up a size to accommodate the hips. Then I have my tailor take in the waist.

  19. MsAmanda says:

    Eva curvy bootcuts from Express. They have stretch and work for my shape, which is quite similiar. Booty, hips, small waist. I’ve been very happy. So happy, i bought two pairs.


  20. Rose says:

    I would say J Crew via outlet if possible or Calvin Klien via outlet as well. I have found them to have a decent rise, room for hips, and to be of quality and flattering.

    I also love the punk and brown.

  21. Chelsea says:

    Okay so I’m going to suggest a more expensive brand, but you can find them at TJ Maxx for under $100… sometimes.

    Anyway… to the jeans. I highly recommend Joe’s Jeans in the Muse style. I have these jeans in two lengths because I love them so much. They’re perfect for girls with a smaller waist and curvy hips/thigh. Also, the higher rise is comfortable (no worry for exposed butt crack). Finally the shape is more of a wide leg, which I find flattering!

  22. I totally get what you mean about the jeans, but I’m confused about why people are saying shop in the juniors department? From my experience, juniors sizing is not forgiving in the hips whatsoever. So if I buy them large enough to fit my hips, the waist is HUGE.

    My waist is a size “small or medium” and my hips are considered like XL at some places! They’re only 12 inches apart, which you’d think would be pretty proportional but apparently my body is freakish =P

    I’m embracing Fall and taking advantage of wearing skirts and dresses =) For jeans, I say if you’re not looking for amazing quality try like Target and Walmart. I got a pair of LEI dark wash, skinny jeans from Walmart for omg, like $20? They look great with boots, fit my waist and hips, and don’t gap at the waist =)

    Love the necklace and skirt btw!

  23. krage says:

    Hey- I have a similar problem on a small budget. You should try Maurices brand and Vanity Brand, they seem a little more forgiving of a fuller bottom, and both brands run about 30 bucks a pair, so you could still have the waist taken in a bit in the back if you needed and not spend a crazy amount.

  24. Emily says:

    Surprisingly enough, I have had excellent luck for the past year or two with Target jeans. The Converse brand line, in particular, are great. I have a pair in a nice dark wash that have snagged me so many compliments – even from my boyfriend’s crazy, married-rich mother who can’t conceive of spending less than $200 on ANYTHING.

  25. Amanda says:

    I recommend looking at New York and Company. I buy pretty much all of my pants there, because my waist is also quite a bit smaller than my hips and rear area. Love the site, btw!

  26. hanabi says:

    I don´t know if they´re available in the US, but I swear by Esprit jeans. I own like 3-4 pairs of them. The style that fits me best (like you, womanly hips and thighs, small waist) is called the “five”. They come in skinny, straight, flared with a little stretch and are usually around 40-80€. Love them!

  27. Liz says:

    I have a similar problem and almost always end up buying my jeans from the men’s section.

    I find that Men’s “Relaxed” fit aren’t really relaxed enough for my hips, so I tend to gravitate toward the “Loose” fit jeans.

    Levi’s used to make a Low Loose Bootcut jean that they sold at Target, but I think it’s now discontinued.

    The last pair that I bought were Levi’s 569 Loose Straight and they fit really well. I think I got them at Sears for $20.

  28. Aimee says:

    I like The Buckle. You tell the sales person what you’re looking for (color, rise, style), she sticks you in a fitting room, and then brings and brings and brings you jeans to try on. The only downside is their jeans are a bit trendy/young, but the pair I ended up buying are my favorites and I wear them again and again.

  29. missrobin says:

    Believe it or not, Talbots! Stretch, basic straight or boot cut, dark wash, and just made for smaller waist with womanly hips and thighs. Also, Lee’s make some stretch that fit the same, higher rise, made for bods like ours. Found mine at Macy’s….

  30. Kelly says:

    I have the same issue and I finally found the right pair. Gap has a perfect boot in the 1969 collection, they have a smaller waist! I have no gapping around that area. The perfect boot is a great everyday cut, it’s not too big but not super skinny either! I would give it a try!

  31. Nicole says:

    Currently, I’m loving the “Barely Boot” from Express…just enough skinny without looking like leggings. The “Stella” style in Barely Boot have a higher rise.

  32. Sally says:

    I’m with Mira – get those men’s jeans and take ‘em to the tailor!

  33. Nerd Girl says:

    My absolute favorite go-to jeans are a pair of Sevens (not All Mankind) that I found at Steinmart for about $30. I also like the Sweetheart jeans at Old Navy and the Westside Flare (I think) at NY&Co. $35 is my price limit for jeans and I usually hover at around the $20 mark.

    Good luck!

  34. Rebecca says:

    I haven’t actually tried buying jeans from Express (I wear the same ones I’ve had forever), but I’ve found that the editor style pants fit the best for me (big hips and small waist). I’m sure they make something comparable for jeans.

  35. Keri says:

    I also highly recommend Express.

    I spent years struggling to find a pair of jeans that fit my hips without gapping at the waist. I was never able to find anything at Gap, New York & Co., Limited, or Macy’s.

    Express jeans fit me perfectly though, and I’ll only buy pants there these days. They have a lot of different styles of jeans, and they also come in short and tall versions too, which I really appreciate (I need the short).

    As a previous commenter mentioned, Express also has a lot of sales on their jeans too.

  36. Sylvia says:

    I recommend Levi’s, especially if you can go into a Levi’s store to try them on. I have similar proportions and have good luck with them (and I only buy online).

  37. D. says:

    I would:

    A.) get the men’s jeans and have them altered
    B.) go to TJ Maxx and try to find Calvin Klein Jeans
    C.) get a pair of Lucky Brand Jeans; they are made for women with a small waist and more rounded hips and butt. I’m not surprised that Gap/BR don’t fit you as well with the shape you are after. Gap jeans fit me very well and I have a more boyish shape. For curvier girls, I always always suggest Lucky. (I sold Lucky brand for a couple of years.)

    Good Luck!

  38. A-C says:

    Did you try the Dreamer fit from Old Navy? I have the same problem, butt + thighs with a smaller waist and found that the Dreamer fits great. it has a higher rise and comes in a boot cut. They’re the first pair of jeans that fit me really well in a long time. Also, they’re only ~$35 so you could easily buy a few pairs for under $100.

  39. Lisa says:

    Try Ann Taylor Loft. I’ve never really tried their jeans, but swear by their Julie fit pants. They fit perfect every time and for a short girl (5’4″ who’s carried two babies) that’s saying a lot. In most brands my hips are a size bigger than my waist, but these fit perfect every time. PERFECT! I can’t say it enough.

  40. _LMC says:

    I don`t know if you have Esprit near you, but they have some really nice straight leg jeans :)

  41. Great suggestions ladies! As a jean lover, I’m excited to check out JCrew and Express jeans. Much cheaper than the spendy ones I have been buying!

  42. Sara Darling says:

    It’s likely going to sound a bit dowdy, but my suggestion is Eddie Bauer — they’re geared towards a slightly older clientelle in general but if you’re looking for basic and quality at a good price they’re fantastic. Not trendy but they’ve usually got a subdued version of whatever is popular. They have a few different fits, one of which is specifically designed to be a size smaller in the waist than the hips/thigh, and if you check their outlet section online, you can sometimes find them for $20ish.

  43. jphys says:


    I’ve got a pair of Calvin Klein skinny jeans (on sale of course!) that fit more like straight leg than skinnies. as a soccer player i’ve found it hard to find jeans that fit over my legs and aren’t too big in the waist and these fit the bill!

  44. iris says:

    Have you tried Lands Ends’ ‘Audrey’ jeans or corduroys? I find them to be not too skinny-ish, and with custom-tailored inseams…I dunno, ‘seems like a win-win to me.

  45. Tara says:

    I would recommend “Ginger” jeans by 7 For All Mankind! They are amazing. They are probably more than $100, but I got mine for $35 at a boxing day sale, so keep your eyes peeled. They are a dark wide leg jean, and are amazing. I work at a university, and I wear them to work if it’s a casual day (they are also great with a fitted top/blazer), and also on the weekend. Just try them on! :)

  46. Sarah says:

    I also vote for Eddie Bauer jeans! Good quality, great for curvy figures and easy on the wallet. Lands’ End jeans are ok, too, but are sometimes a bit too high in the rise (even for someone with a very long torso).

  47. T says:

    I have your exact shape, and the same problem you have. When I was a teen, Guess jeans were all the rage, but you had to have absolutely no butt or hips to wear those. I coudn’t get those stupid Guess jeans past my knees!

    I have good luck with jeans from Eddie Bauer and Lands End. They offer a variety of cuts and rises. The online stores have a broader selection than the brick-and-mortar stores. And they don’t cost $100.

    Someone mentioned finding London Jeans in a thrift shop. Those are from Victoria’s Secret (catalog only).

    Good luck, be sure to share what works for you!

  48. Amy says:

    My thighs and hips are also larger than my waist and for some reason i have a really long pelvic/crotch area (is that called rise?) so super low cut jeans don’t do it for me.

    I usually stick to Gap jeans. I don’t own a pair of their “curvy” jeans but i remember they fit when i tried them on. And I just have to say that while I love Gap, their quality is not the greatest…ie try on a style even if you’ve tried on in the past b/c their fits are very inconsistent.

    I got a pair of Gap jeans from the consignment shop that fit perfectly and only realized later that the label in the back says “stretch capri”. Not only is there no stretch in the pant, but a size 6 fit my 5’3″ body perfectly in length.

    Also I had a Jcrew gift card to use up and got a pair of jeans from the outlet and they do the wide thigh/smaller waist perfect.

    Another suggestion is Express jeans. Also I haven’t tried on Apple Bottom jeans, but I imagine their fit is for bodies shaped like ours.

  49. gina says:

    If everything on the men’s Gap jeans fits except the waist, that shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to have fixed.

  50. Joni says:

    Wow, you got tons of responses to your query. I would second Express and Lucky jeans as a possibility. My waist is also quite narrow and I usually just resort to a belt. I have to wear a belt with most of my pants and jeans. I have had several pairs of pants and jeans altered in the waist and I have to caution that with jeans it can be a bit tricky, it can adversely affect the overall fit. It depends on how much needs to be taken in and whether its from gaping in the back or from general bigness. In my experience alteration works best for a gap in the back of 1 inch or less.

  51. Diana says:

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned truejeans.com yet! They’re truly amazing – you enter your measurements (be honest!) and they match them to the jeans they have in stock. Apparently they have measured and tried on all of the jeans they carry using various fit models, and from my experience, their recommendations seem quite accurate. The one thing is that they tend to skew towards the more expensive designer jeans but they do have some in the under $100 category as well, as well as a decent sale section.

    I am shaped rather similarly to you and my absolute favorite jeans are Red Engine Scarlett (or Garnet if you prefer a higher waist) but they are rather spendy. You can often snag them on Ebay for a good price though (it’s best of course if you can find somewhere to try them on first). Lucky Brand’s Sweet and Low cut also fits me well.

  52. Winnie says:

    First of all – I am addicted to your site! I am doing a PhD in Melbourne, Australia and can completely understand some of the tragic fashion crimes that exist within academia.

    Re. jeans. I too have a small waist, but larger hips and have never, ever found a pair of jeans that doesn’t have the waistband gap when I try them on. However, I just take them to the tailor and get them taken in at the waist. That way I always have jeans that fit perfectly. You can do this with any style, even if they are one size too big, which can also be great if you want more of the ‘boyfriend’ style.

  53. Alina says:

    I have a similar body type (small waist, womanly hips), and I am in love with my new Gap Curvy jeans. Did you try them on? If not, you should definitely give them a shot.

  54. Ellen says:

    Yet another vote for the tailor. After years of hearing Stacy and Clinton lecture about tailoring, I took a couple of pairs of jeans and had the waist taken in (I, too, have a big waist-to-hip differential) and they look great. $12.

  55. Anna says:

    I’ve got the same shape as you, and I find a trip to Kohl’s usually does the trick. I can try on 20 pairs of jeans (at a good price) and I always leave with something that works. Lately I’ve found Levi’s and Lee jeans to be great — not the most desired brands, but it doesn’t bother me!

  56. [...] of all, thank you for all of your jean support!  I will give jean shopping another go and report back [...]

  57. Jess says:

    Wow! You are going to have so many suggestions. I have a full booty with hips and thighs. I recently purchased at The Buckle:
    BKE Sabrina http://www.buckle.com/product/product_detail.jsp?bmUID=1256913325951&prd=48665BKL3191&sku=1798042529&N=23+43+145&gate=true

    BigStar Liv
    and Silver Aikohttp://www.buckle.com/product/product_detail.jsp?bmUID=1256913444399&prd=881659528M36&sku=1181092633&search=true&Ntt=Silver+Aiko&N=43.

    I love them all, but I think I like the BKE Sabrina best. It has the higher waist and keeps my 30 year old non-flat tummy tucked away. The only drawback about the others is the lower waist means I need wear longer shirts because I hate having my back hang out when I bend over. Overall, I would by them all again.

  58. Jenny says:

    I just picked up a pair of Joe’s “Muse” style jeans for $80 at a Nordstrom Rack. (After trying on about 20 pairs.) They have a higher rise, and flatter my big thighs, round bottom, small waist. I will have to get them hemmed b/c I am petite, but I think you’d really like them. Many people recommend Joe’s Honey jeans, but I find the rise isn’t high enough to really flatter my curves.

  59. Sarah Jane says:

    I am a similar shape, and most of my jeans are from Express. You can usually find them pretty cheap at Plato’s Closet or another consignment shop. I’m also a big fan of their Editor cut dress pants, which another poster mentioned above.

    The most flattering jeans I’ve ever owned are from 7 for All Mankind ($3.50 at a Goodwill in Louisville, KY — I didn’t even know they were an expensive brand until I got them home and my husband freaked out!) They look amazing on me and I get lots of compliments on them, but I don’t think I could bring myself to pay retail for another pair.

  60. Kathy S says:


    Custom-made jeans for $87. I have a pair, and I love them a lot.

  61. Matilde says:

    I’m going to second the recommendation for Citizen’s of Humanity ‘Kelly’ bootcut jeans in a dark wash. They are exactly what you are looking for (a grown-up, bootcut, flattering jean). The do exceed your $100 mark, but trust me, they are worth every penny. My girlfriend and I both have a pair and they look awesome with everything, hold their shape perfectly, and make you look awesome.

  62. [...] cozy wool peacoat. Pink Sneakers, originally uploaded by academichic. A few weeks back I asked for help finding jeans.  Advice poured in and I took notes! With a little encouragement I decided to buy the Gap [...]

  63. [...] myself opting for either my skinny cords or ponte pants over the jeans.  I’ve written about my struggles with jeans in the past and, while I have come to embrace skinny pant, I still haven’t found the perfect [...]

  64. Frotzoogy says:

    instant payday loans payday advance for military

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>