They’re one of our favourite items of clothing but probably one of the hardest to buy. ESP’s resident style expert Karen Miller solves the denim dilemma…

In pre-pandemic times I would advise a trip to the shops and a try on session, however as we are all having to shop on- line at the moment knowing these basic tips will definitely help you to make the right denim choices and not have to make those dreaded returns.

The Hourglass

If you have a defined waist with evenly proportioned bust and hips your figure is most likely an hourglass. This shape is generally in proportion and the best denim styles will maintain this. Wide leg and boot cut denim will work really well providing they are not too baggy and shapeless. High waisted styles can work really well and will showcase a small waist.

French Connection Recycled Flared Jeans £75

The Inverted Triangle

If you have broad shoulders and narrow hips then you probably fall into this shape category. The aim is to ensure you look in proportion and therefore styles that add width to the hips will give you a more balanced appearance and make your shoulders look less broad. Wide legged denim works really well for this body type, if you prefer a cropped style of leg this can also work. Mid wash denim or distressed denim will work well for this shape.

Marks and Spencer Luxury High Waisted £45

The Triangle (Pear Shape)

If your hips are wider than you shoulders and you are generally smaller on your top half you are most likely a triangle shape. Flared or boot cut styles work really well for this shape because they balance out the hips. A darker denim will work well and avoiding any zips or pockets around the hip will also be more flattering.

Paige denim, Manhattan Boot Cut £220

The Column

Generally if you have evenly proportioned shoulders and hips with no defined waist-line you are a column / straight body shape. The most flattering way to dress your shape is to add softness, therefore styles such as the ‘boyfriend’ style which hand loosely on the leg and sit low on the hips can look great on this body type. Just a word of warning about this style, if your stomach area is a  problem for you then avoid low rise jeans and go for a mid-rise with a wider leg.

Hush – Boyfriend jean £75

The Apple

This shape is more or less in proportion but tends to carry weight around the stomach / mid section with a lack of defined waist. The most flattering way to dress this shape is to highlight the hip line and legs whilst avoiding adding bulk around the middle. Flat fronted, semi-low rise if the most flattering denim for this shape and a boot cut or flared style of jean with a little bit of stretch will create flattering proportions.

7 For All Mankind Bootcut jeans £170

Long Body / Short Legs

Creating the impression of a longer leg is clearly the aim here, cropped styles that show off the ankle and wearing shoes with a slight heel in a nude or light colour will create this illusion easily. Add in a high waist will create the impression that your legs start higher than they actually do, therefore always go for high waisted styles.

Frame – Cobbert Jean £205

Short Body / Long legs

Mid rise denim will help to create the illusion of more length in the body that’s if you are comfortable showing of your waist-line. If you’re not a fan of belts or showing your waist play around with the length of the top (the aim being to elongate the body and shorten the leg).

Uniqlo relaxed fit tapered jeans £34.90

And a couple of final things…

  1. If you’re between sizes, then sizing down is the best option with denim. Whilst if it is decent quality it shouldn’t change shape it will stretch especially in between washes.

  2. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, it’s better to take into consideration the cut, fit and wash of the jean that suits you best and that works with your existing wardrobe.

  3. There are many different colours of denim available, it’s well known that darker colours tend to make the leg look slimmer and lighter colours tend to enhance size, it’s helpful to have this in mind that you can use colour to create balance to your overall look.

  4. Distressed denim, ripped denim or embellishments will draw attention to the area that they are placed, therefore if you’re concerned about an area of your figure make sure the detail on the denim doesn’t highlight your concerns.

Karen Miller


#KeepPeterboroughPositive #Fashion #Denim #Jeans #KarenMiller

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