Blue jeans

No one's tethered to gender-based clothing shopping, no matter what the labels tell you -- if you can't find what you're looking for in the women's section, look for your size on the men's side instead.

Maybe women's jeans have never fit you right, or you're taller than average, or you have a low waist-to-hip definition. Maybe you're tired of the fact that many women's brands increase length measurements automatically along with larger waist measurements, as though shorter people can only be slender and taller people can only be curvaceous.

Or maybe you're ready to go totally gung-ho on the boyfriend jeans look without literally raiding your boyfriend's wardrobe. There's no more authentic option than the real deal, after all.

Women's jeans also tend to roll with the latest styles, so if you hate the look of the season, you're seriously limited in new-jeans choices. Men's denim lines may open up more classic styles for you -- and they've got roomier pockets too.

Because women's brands vary so widely in sizing, you'll need to figure out your actual measurements before you venture into the menswear department.

  1. Button your best-fitting pair of jeans and lay them out on a flat surface, with the pockets facing up. Measure the waistband, and then double it to get your waist measurement.
  2. Flip your jeans onto their side and fold back the top leg so you can see the inseam. Measure along the inseam, from crotch to hem, to get your inseam measurement.

If you're slender in the hips and rear, you can select a pair of men's jeans by waist and inseam measurement. If not, you need to fit the waist to the widest part of you -- which, in women, is often the hips. Select a pair of jeans that instead matches your hip measurement and your inseam measurement. To get your hip measurement, use a tape measure.

Remember that men's jeans aren't labeled numerically like women's are. Your size in women's may be indicated by the numbers 8, 10, 12 or 14, but in men's jeans, the sizes are the actual waist and inseam measurement numbers.


If you only know the numerical size you wear in women's jeans, as a general rule of thumb, you can add 22 or 23 to your size to get reasonably close to your waist measurement. However, this will be highly brand-dependent.