Skinny Jeans for the Curvy Girl



Update! Check out the sequel to this post in which I wax poetic on my favorite boyfriend jeans, bootcuts, and leggings!

On Friday night as we were driving around town after having a dinner with just the two of us, I found myself surveying myself in my jeans.

Simon (unaware): “Whatcha thinkin’?”

Me (pause): “Um, well, frankly, I’m thinking about my thighs.”

Pause. “Oh really. Ooookay. I don’t know if should ask, but what about them?”

Me (offhandedly): “I think about my thighs on a daily basis. And how they are my biggest problem area. I would kill for skinny thighs.”

S: ::befuddled::  “Uhhh… ”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve always had issues with them. See, if I had big boobs, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a boob reduction. But it’s not like you can go out and get a legitimate thigh reduction. Why do you think that is? And if they DID offer it, I would be first in line to sign up!”  (Aside: yes, I’m perfectly aware of liposuction.)

S: “Wait, so, you’re saying you don’t like your thighs?”

Me: ::befuddled:: “Wait, are you not aware of their insane hugeness?”


In case you didn’t gather from that little exchange, my thighs are my (perceived) problem area. As a classic pear shape (small on the top, bigger on the bottom), I carry my excess weight in my booty, hips, and the much-maligned thighs. Remember the great Shorts Revival of Summer 2012? That was such a  big deal to me because I’ve always struggled with how to clothe the lower half of my body.  And apparently a lot of you do too, judging by the response I’ve had both on the blog and in real life to that particular post.

There are two things I can take from this entire exchange I had with Simon (and with others of you on this same topic):

  1. Our perceived problem areas are problems only to us. Nobody else.
  2. Everyone has body insecurities.

So I thought I’d do a little post on some of my favorite skinny jeans for the curvy girl. Being the Pear, I groaned and lamented the rise of the skinny jean a few years back. But it’s safe to say that several years later, it’s a trend that is not going away anytime soon. And to be honest, I feel 10x more confident in my skinnies than I ever did in my bootcuts.  On my size 12-14 body, it’s best to keep things streamlined. I need simple, well-cut clothes, especially on the bottom. And it always felt that bootcuts or flares were adding too much bulk to my overall appearance.  Disclaimer: I am going to talk about a few different styles of jeans including straight, denim leggings, cigarette, and others. These can all be classified under “skinny jeans.”  These are, however, different than the dreaded Mom Jean. Need some help in how to avoid the Mom Jeans look? I love this post here about Mom Jeans & the Dreaded “Long Butt.”

What to wear with the skinny jeans is a whole other post of its own, so I’m not going to touch on that right now. I’m just going to talk strictly about fit and my favorites.  Let’s get started!

I call these the Gateway Skinnies because they were the first ones I ever bought. J.Crew’s Matchstick jean is a lovely dark wash (universally flattering, as are most of these that I’ll show you), and they have just enough stretch. To be fair, they could be stretchier – I don’t believe in a rigid jean anymore with all the deliciously comfy options available now.

These can be termed a straight style – they’re not skintight and are great if you’re easing into skinnies from, say, bootcut or flare styles. I personally think these are more flattering on curvy girls than bootcuts or flares. In my opinion, these are perfect with heels. If you are going to wear them with flats, hem them appropriately.

These CJ by Cookie Johnson “Joy” Leggings (different wash here) are my all-time faves because she cuts them to be skinny jeans for the curvy body. I almost always size down in her stuff, but they are so soft, stretchy, and extremely flattering. Plus I respect that she doesn’t stop at a size 32; she puts her money where her mouth is and makes jeans for curvy girls up to size 38.  Keep in mind that you want the legging jean to be snug. It shouldn’t pinch or be sausage-casing, but it does need to be very snug to get the look. Again, I choose these because they’re stretchy and comfy. They’re perfect for tucking into my boots in the fall. Oh, and if you loved colored jeans, she does a great variety of gorgeous hues.

You’ve heard me singing the praises of the AG Prima jean, and now a week later, I’m still convinced that they are my go-tos for comfy and easiness. The dark wash keeps it sophisticated, but easy enough that I can toss on a plain tee shirt and still look pulled together. Plus, the midrise is comfier around my midsection; it’s not so low that I feel uncomfortable leaning over in public.  I almost wish I’d sized down on these; they do stretch after a day or so of wear.  But who doesn’t love getting to size DOWN, you know?  These hit right at my ankle and are great with heels or flats.

Finally, the most versatile award goes to the Kate Spade Broome Street jean.  These have a great weight and just the right amount of stretch. In fact, they almost never lose their shape. They also have a really cute rear view. I’d prefer they be a little bit higher rise, but there’s definitely no way these could be misconstrued for mom jeans. Plus there’s that adorable pink stitching on the inside of the seams that’s visible when you roll them up. These are the perfect dress-up jeans.


You’ll notice that none of these are exactly cheap and I’m going to tell you why. More expensive jeans are priced that way for a reason and it’s not just price gouging. The fabrics are better and the fits are always better.  Why do I spend money on jeans? Because my butt & thighs are my problem area and are the hardest part of my body to fit. Spend money on your problem areas – want your butt and legs to look better? Find pants that will make them look the best they can. Or, for example, if you have a really hard-to-fit bust, you want to buy a bra that will make it look amazing.  So I don’t have a problem spending money on jeans because I wear them nearly daily and I want to feel & look good in them. Do I pay full retail price? Sometimes, but if I can find them elsewhere such as Amazon, eBay, etc, I’m all for it. The CJ by Cookie Johnson jeans are always easy to find on sale; the others take a little bit of work, but it’s doable. And the result is worth it.

What are your thoughts on skinny jeans? Do you feel like you have a difficult-to-fit part of your body?  And don’t forget to check out  the sequel to this post !



with love,

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