While I'm sad to put away my capris now that cooler weather seems here to stay, I am happy to pull out my jeans and sweatshirts again.
If you know me well, you know that I live in jeans. I simply can't understand people who want to wear pants other than denim for everyday wear. I mean, you'd actually have to MATCH your pants to your tops! Denim goes with practically everything!
However, my love affair with my jeans is a torrid one. I've always struggled to find jeans that fit me well. If they fit in the hips, they're ginormous in the waist. If the waist fits, I'll pop a seam before my hips and thighs will fit. There's an entire 12" (ONE FOOT) difference between my hips and waist. You might say I'm extremely curvy. Most jeans are incredibly uncomfortable or leave an enormous gap at my center back.
But in the past year I have found two brands that I love. I'm usually in-between sizes - I can sometimes fit in the upper range of standard sizes, and sometimes I'm on the low end of plus sizes. Thankfully, my two favorite brands are one of each.
First, Lee jeans woo'd me earlier this year with the promise of capris that would fit my curves, without gapping at the waist. Later in the summer, Lee sent me a pair of their new Comfort Fit bootcut jeans to try out. I didn't get to give them a good try until a few weeks ago when the temperature took a sudden dip.
The best feature of these jeans is the comfort waistband, which has a touch of hidden elastic to help provide a better-fitting waist without feeling too tight. The waist isn't a super tight fit for me, but compared to the hundreds of jeans I've tried on, it's one of the closest by far! I don't need to wear a belt to prevent flashing my undies - the hidden elastic holds the waist close. Also, I love that there is ample room in the backside - no feeling like your jeans are trying to become a thong.
I also like the feel of these jeans. The denim is satisfyingly heavy without being stiff. These feel like jeans that will last for a long time. And after a few washes now, the dark color still looks just as good as new.
If I had to pick one thing I didn't like about these jeans, it would be that they are cut a little lower in the back than I'm used to. (Not super-low - it's just below the waist.) Not horrible, but if you're used to higher-waist jeans, it takes a little getting used to.
Lee Comfort Fit jeans come in petite, misses, and plus sizes. I've only tried their misses sizes, so I can't speak to their petites or plus sizes.
Now, if you're plus size and want even more control over the fit of your jeans, I highly recommend the Right Fit series by Lane Bryant. Before I knew about Lee, the Right Fit jeans by Lane Bryant were the only ones I wore. I actually stressed out about losing weight in the spring because I knew I'd no longer fit in my jeans and worried I'd never find anything that fit that well again.
The Right Fit series is designed based on your build. Got extreme curves like me? That's the blue line. Have a waist and hip measurement that's nearly equal? You'll find your best fit in the yellow label line. Red is for those in-between.
These jeans are genius. (Or would that be jean-ius?) It only makes sense to create different cuts of jeans for different body types. I have to do a little wiggling to get them on over my hips, but once they're on and zipped, the waist fits well, and there's still plenty of room in the hips.
Downsides? The Right Fit jeans are stretch jeans, and I find that over time they lose some of that stretch, leaving them looser than before. Not a bad thing if you buy them tight, but not so good if you wear the smallest size they make and they're now baggy on you. And of course, the other downside is they are only available in plus sizes.
I've tried on so many pairs of jeans in my 33 years that I practically feel like a denim expert. These are by far my best recommendations for jeans if you're a woman with curves, whether they be smaller or larger ones.
Full disclosure: I received a pair of the Lee Comfort Fit jeans and a pair of the Lane Bryant Right Fit straight leg jeans to review, although I have purchased other pairs of Right Fit jeans in the past. No further compensation was received for this review.