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These brilliant hacks for shopping for denim online will take the pain out of jeans shopping

“Shopping for jeans is my favourite pastime,” said no-one, ever. It should be easy to switch heading into an IRL store with weird fitting room mirrors that flatter *no-one* and overwhelming walls of denim (where do you start?) for an online shopping spree... Yet somehow we are still making mistakes when we shop for jeans online. No-one wants to lug a mountain of returns back to the post office, nor do we want to be responsible for unsustainable shopping habits by potentially sending our ‘no’ pile to landfill.

So when you absolutely need new jeans, what can be done?

Erin Fridja, Denim Design and Development Consultant, knows all there is to know about jeans and shared her top tips to make sure your virtual shopping spree goes smoothly. Basically, we asked the questions you need to know the answers to.

What is the best way to shop for jeans online?

“Shopping for denim online is a tough task. There is a huge amount of choice but I tend to frequent online shops where I trust the edit to discover new brands and shapes. I usually get ideas for a different fit, outside of my standard repertoire, from scrolling Pinterest or Instagram.”

Check out the store’s returns policy too and see if you can find out what really happens to stock that is returned.

How can you find your perfect fit without trying on instore?

“A lot of online shops now offer really detailed and specific measurement listings, which you can use to help you find a pair that will fit properly. I actually made a video about this as it can be such a challenge. Take your best fitting pair and measure key points like the waist, leg and rise [from the base of the crotch to the waistband] and then compare them to the measurements of the new pair. You can hold the tape measure up to your body to imagine if the leg opening or rise is bigger. It is a bit time consuming but can make all the difference when you are considering a variation on a shape or trying a new brand and looking to avoid a sizing mistake.”

Check the fabric content too so you can be aware of whether the jeans will have stretch from synthetic fibres or whether they are mixed with more sustainable yarn.

How can you work out what suits your body shape?

“I have always believed that anyone can wear any fit of denim, it’s just about working out the specifics of that fit which work best for you. For example, details like the rise and leg opening can vary a huge amount across everything that is deemed a flare. Some flares are very tight to the thigh kicking out below the knee and some open up from about the mid thigh and these intricacies will have a big impact on whether the jean suits your body or not.”

If you can find reviews, read every last one to get a heads-up on quality and how the denim sits on different bodies.

What are your priorities when shopping sustainably for denim?

“The most sustainable option is to buy vintage jeans. Second to that, I invest in quality timeless pairs that I love, buying a well constructed garment that will last a very long time. Denim is such a classic wardrobe staple and fast fashion denim, even when it is labelled with an eco tag is not sustainable in my mind as the speed and cost at which they produced the garment means it was not made to last more than 10 or so wash and wears. Good denim can become even more beautiful when worn down and mended, some of my favourite pairs on heavy rotation were made nearly 30 - 50 years ago."

What are the shapes, silhouettes and washes you’re backing for AW21?

“I am obsessed with the high straight leg, this is one of those golden universally flattering styles. Clean, classic denim is strong. A finished hem is back - no more raw fraying or rips on the knee. Wash wise, alongside the clean classic rainbow of blues, I’m seeing a lot of black and white jeans. I particularly love an ecru pair, much easier to wear and more forgiving than a bright white and it makes everything in your wardrobe feel fresh again! Also the denim all-in-one, nothing is easier than a head-to-toe denim piece.”

This was originally published on Glamour UK.

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