Steps You Need to Follow to Make Jeans Shopping Less Miserable

Some clothes are fun to shop for. Think cute shoes, comfortable dresses, easy sweaters, and gorgeous bags. But other items aren’t quite so fun to try on in the fitting room mirror. Bikinis may immediately come to mind, but for many women, jeans are just as bad. Finding the right style is complicated enough. (Do you like skinny jeans, or are you a boyfriend jean kind of girl? Are cropped jeans flattering for you, or is a bootcut with a bit of length the only way to go?)

This is why we think it’s important that we all learn how to make jean shopping a little more fun (at least a little less miserable). You might not ever learn to love shopping for denim. But you can make the task a little less rage-inducing with some simple changes to your usual jean-shopping routine. Ahead, check out our denim shopping tips and learn to be a little more zen the next time you have to hit the mall.

1. Find inspiration

Street Style in Barcelona

Look at style blogs and magazines for inspiration. | Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Some people wear jeans all the time. Others only pull on a pair of denim when it starts to get cold outside. Either way, it never hurts to look for some inspiration. Peruse a few style blogs to see how your favorite bloggers are styling their jeans. Take a look at the latest street style snaps for some new ideas. And pay attention to the looks you like (and dislike) on TV or on the streets of your city. Figure out what you like, and you’ll have a much easier time finding it when you head to the store.

2. Do some online shopping

Woman wearing a jacket and jeans

Research in advance. | Timur Emek/Getty Images

Jeans might not be an obvious candidate for online shopping, but you can always window shop. Once you have a cut, fit, or style in mind, take a look at your favorite retailers. Assess what they have available, and which ones are most likely to stock the styles you want. Familiarize yourself with the sometimes bizarre terminology of the fashion world. And start to think about what washes and colors look the most like something you’d want to wear.

3. Take it slow

Woman wearing a coat, blouse and hat

Don’t rush your shopping excursion. | Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

So you’ve assembled a short list of promising stores. There’s no reason to try to hit them all before lunchtime on your first free Saturday. Try to take the urgency out of finding the right pair of jeans, and the task will immediately get a lot easier. Look at the brands you already like, and figure out whether there are some new labels that may work for you. Similarly, try on some pairs in the styles you already know will work for you, but you’ll also want to venture outside your comfort zone. You may just find a novel style that becomes your new signature.

4. Ignore sizing as much as possible

a glamorous model wearing designer clothes and a purse

It’s fit, not size, that matters. | Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

Sure, you can’t ignore sizes completely. (After all, you’re going to need it to choose some pairs of jeans to try on.) But after you make your picks, do your best to ignore the numbers on the tags. Sizes are inconsistent between stores and even within brands. This means it’s 100% true that size is just a number. You can probably wear a different size at every store. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, sure, but don’t let the size determine whether or not you like a pair of jeans.

5. Be kind to yourself

above the ankle, cropped pants

Know that you’ll look great no matter what. | Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

Whether you’re shopping for jeans or a bikini, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Almost everyone wishes they could change a few things about their body. But no good comes from trash talking your body in the fitting room. Even when you can’t find a cut that’s comfortable or a fit that’s flattering, try to focus on the things you like about your body. Keep in mind there’s nothing wrong with your body, and feel free to pass along all fault to the jeans that don’t work for you. Keep calm and keep looking, and you’ll be that much closer to finding your perfect pair of jeans.