Shopping for jeans is a tricky task no matter what your body type. (Seriously, when have you ever heard a woman say she has no trouble with it at all?) But it's also true that no matter what you're working with—a big butt and a small waist, short legs, or allover curves—there are, in fact, jeans out there that you'll love. Same goes for big thighs—choose the right style, and denim doesn't have to be a (sometimes literal) pain.
For advice on how to find the best jeans for curvy or muscular thighs, we asked Jill Guenza, Levi's head of women's design, for her tips. And since she spends just about every day thinking about denim, you can be sure she knows what she's talking about.
First, let's talk fit: We have good news for any of you who want to get in on the vintage denim trend. "The classic '80s/'90s Levi's look is well suited for women with big thighs and hourglass shapes because of the pitched waist and particular way we cut the jeans through the back," says Guenza. "Our Wedgie Straight jean is a modern-day version of this fit and looks amazing on women with curvier figures. Look for the Wedgies that have stretch for extra comfort and that molded-to-your-body fit."
Now, as for inseam, opt for cropped. "Ankle lengths are also great options for women with fuller thighs," she says. "The shorter length gives polish by preventing stacking at the ankle, which can cause a domino effect of bunching at the knee and thigh."
Shopping for denim online? Check out the fabrication for a better idea of how much stretch you'll get in the jeans. "Look for stretch denims with a small amount of polyester in addition to Lycra or elastane," she continues. "The Lycra and elastane are the true 'stretch' fibers, while the polyesters help with stretch retention, meaning your thighs will feel nicely held in and smoothed, and the jeans won't lose their shape after a few hours."
What about if you also have a tiny waist? No worries—Guenza has a trick for avoiding the dreaded waistband gap: "A good rule of thumb for women with fuller thighs and small waists is to look for stretch jeans that have contoured waistbands with 'pitch': When you lay a pair of jeans flat on a table, the front waist of the jeans sits lower than the back waist. The stretch accommodates thighs of all sizes, while the contoured, pitched waist fits small waists and fuller hips by wrapping around curves, preventing gaping and dipping in the back waist."
Ready to put her tips to the test? Shop 16 styles below that will make you (and your thighs) look great.