After news that a woman was sent to the hospital for days because skinny jeans cut off her circulation and caused numbness and temporary paralysis, jean fit has morphed from a style issue to a health concern. Jeans, especially skinny styles, do have a snug feel because they’re designed to hug your body. If you want a skinny look, buy jeans that are slightly snug — they’ll stretch as you wear them. But there is a difference between snug and too tight.

If you wriggle into jeans and even manage to snap them , but end up with a roll — or muffin top — protruding over the waist band, it’s a sign to go up a size or two. In some fits, the waist gaps a little, but the fit is great in the legs and bum. Those are the jeans for you; they just need a little tailoring for a perfect waist fit.

If you feel the side seams of your skinnies dig into your flesh, they are likely too tight. A snug fit shows your curves — a too-tight fit carves the seams into your skin. If, when you peel off the jeans, there are indentations in your waist or on the sides of your legs, size up next time you go shopping. A jean leg feelong like a cinch around your calf or making your legs feel numb are other telltale signs of an inappropriately tight fit.

The woman who was sent to the hospital for too-tight jeans had spent much of her day squatting, which increased the negative effects of her pants on her nerves. When you try on a pair of skinny jeans, move in all the directions you would throughout the day. Squat, sit, climb stairs and bend over. If your movement is limited in any way or you find you have to hold your breath to function, your jeans are potentially dangerously tight. Another sign — if you sit on a dressing room bench and can’t even grasp a tiny pinch of fabric from around your thighs.

Jeans that are too tight are often unflattering; they can actually make you look larger than you are. Not all body types are enhanced by skinny or super-tight jeans. Pear-shaped physiques — small on top and larger on the bottom — for example, benefit from a more straight-leg jean to add balance. Jeans should hug you in the right places, not show the outline of your cell phone in your pocket. When all else fails, ask a friend or family member who will be brutally honest about the fit of your jeans — if an eyebrow raises, a lip curls or the answer is “yes,” it’s probably time to go shopping.