Answer to a reader question...

Hey, i am shopping for jeans. Do you have any favorite brands/ and waist styles? I love the low rise, but after 4 kids they don't fit as well anymore. Even at pre-preggo weight the "squishy" middle just doesn't work with low rise, any suggestions? I do not want jeans up to my rib cage just good ole normal waisted jeans! thanks!

I have lots of favorite brands, but usually I'm a cheapskate and just go for what is cheapest (I'm trying to change this). For what I can afford, I can always rely on Express jeans, but when I can get jeans for $5-13 at Old Navy or the juniors section of Macy's, I don't hesitate! Since I am so short waisted, the lowest rises on me look like mid-rises, and anything mid rise looks like a high waist, so I always shoot for the lowest rise they have.

As for recommendations...

First, I'd recommend trying out some jean finder websites like Zafu. These sites allow you to type in your measurements/requests, and then gives you a list of jeans that match your criteria.

Secondly, I'd recommend trying out websites that allow you to actually create your own jeans and have them made especially for you. In Style magazine just did an article about these options and gave these sites rave reviews!

Lastly, I hear from many people who have a hard time finding the right jean that Lucky Brand has the best selection of styles, and that anyone can find their perfect jean there.

My personal belief, however, is that no one can really tell you what a good jean is for you. Every person is different, which is why we all struggle with finding just the right jean. That being said, the bottom line is that you just have to look. Make a day of it, bring your hubby or a friend for an opinion, get someone to watch your kiddos, and try on anything and everything.

A few suggestions for starters is to try Ann Taylor and J.Crew. Ann Taylor for a dressier jean and J.Crew for a casual jean. Both these brands tend to have higher rises that don't look like "high-waisted" pants. These brands also tend to veer more towards classic styles and run roomier than most. Also, don't be afraid of extra length. Take your jeans to a local drycleaners and you can get them hemmed for about $7. In fact, you may want to buy two pairs of that perfect pair so you can hem one short enough for a flat, and keep the other long enough for a high heel.

If you don't have $90 to spend on a pair of jeans, try Ebay. First spend that day shopping for the right brand and fit. Then once you know what works for you, go to Ebay. If you don't find what you are looking for right off, keep checking back for a few weeks. Eventually what you want will turn up, and who knows, you might score that perfect pair of designer jeans for $20!

Be sure to let us know what you find...I think most of us can agree that we need a higher rise these days (especially during the holiday season!), and will be curious to know what you find works for you!


  1. These are great tips Nic! I also wanted to add that I really like trouser jeans for a more loose natural fit. Still modern and stylish too. My fav pairs are from the Gap and Express.

  2. Great advice & info! And you are especially right about each of us being different. I hesitated trying low-rise jeans because I just figured they would'nt work on my figure for much the same reasons your questioner stated (2kids via C-sec + huge weight loss = VERY squishy middle, lol)....but low rises actually fit me just right -- they hit me in the perfect spot on my midsection.

    Moral of the story is try things you wouldn't normally try...what have ya got to lose?

  3. Try J.Crew Favorite Fit pant styles. They work great at squishing down my stretched-out belly skin! Their City Fit is just too low.

  4. Hey, I also found out watching "What Not to Wear" (and from my sister) that you can get jeans tailored too! Not necessarily cheaper, but if you're looking for fit...

  5. There is another great website (and pretty cheap too) that custom make jeans - www.makeyourownjeans.com I know quite a few people who have used it and found it excellent.


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