The Lesson of the Perfect Jeans

If you’re looking for the Jeans Contest, you’ve come to the right place! Post your favorite brand of jeans in the comments and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a $75 Visa card. Contest ends June 20, 2011. For more contest details (and to learn how to get more chances in the drawing) see the contest blog post.


A few weeks ago I decided to get rid of all my crappy jeans. I have about a half dozen pair in various colors, cuts and levels of wear. I hate most of them, and the one pair that I love have holes in them.

Instead of having a large stack of crappy jeans, I decided that I was going to buy a couple pair of beautiful jeans that fit me well. I wanted jeans that I love to put on — jeans that I feel great wearing. That very week, my friend invited me to a boutique where she works that carries gorgeous Italian jeans. Talk about synchronicity!

So last Thursday was shopping day. I told my friend what size I wear and she brought me a nice pair of dark wash. I put them over my curvy hips and like most jeans, they gapped at the waist (you curvy girls know what I’m talking about). I grabbed my belt, thread it through the loops and cinched them up.

“These look pretty good,” I said as I came out of the dressing room.

My friend responded, “They don’t fit you in the front at all. I think we can do better.”

I looked down. Yes, there was a little extra material in the front, but it really wasn’t too bad. They were a lot better than the stack in my closet.

“Let me get you the next size down.”

My brain immediately shot me the message, “Yeah, like those will fit. I haven’t worn that size in a couple of years. I’m sure they won’t even make it past my thighs.

She slid the jeans in the side of the curtain. I put one leg in, then the other. I held my breath and pulled up – up – and over my hips. No problem!!! I sucked in my stomach, and buttoned up. I let out my breath waiting for the pinch of the waistband … but … there was no pinch!

These jeans fit me perfectly, and they looked great. I could bend and move comfortably and there wasn’t any gapping or muffin top. I wouldn’t even need to wear a belt. A denim miracle!

She brought me another pair, same brand, same size. The rise was a bit low on these, so they wouldn’t work on a curvy girl like me. She found some black skinny jeans on the sale rack. I didn’t think it was possible, but they fit even better than the first pair of indigo straight-leg. I came out of that boutique with two perfect pair of jeans that I love and that make me feel good about myself.

Driving home, I realized that I had set out to find the perfect jeans, but deep in my heart I didn’t believe that they existed. I was willing to make due with the pair that gapped in the back and bulged in the front, when just a few feet away were the jeans of my dreams. I had always experienced ill-fitting jeans in the past; I expected ill-fitting jeans; and I was willing to settle and make due with ill-fitting jeans.

This was great news! I had just busted one of those hidden beliefs that runs silently in the background, making me feel like garbage. I now had concrete evidence that jeans can fit my body and look good. Maybe I wasn’t such a mutant after all!

But now I’m left wondering where else I’m expecting less, settling for less and making due with less. As a life coach, I’ve already found a lot of limiting beliefs that have held me back, squelching my soul and stealing my greatness. Many were inherited from my family and reinforced by years and years of evidence. Others have been fed to me by movies and TV shows. I also have cultural and regional beliefs and a number of stifling beliefs that I’ve created all on my own; beliefs that have become such a habit that I’m completely blind to them.

It’s all part of biology and psychology of being human. There will always be more secret negative beliefs for me to uncover and break through. And part of becoming a better human is the willingness to delve deeper –to examine where I’ve lost hope and optimism and remember to explore and look for new possibilities.

Sometimes I’ll get lucky and a friend will hand me the perfect pair of jeans. Other times I’ll need to muster patience and do some extra work trying on another 20 pair. I might even have to go to another store. But now I know that I can find happiness and a great fit without losing a pound or growing an inch. I’m perfect the way I am and that perfect pair of jeans is out there waiting for me — a pair that won’t pinch or gap. I can focus on opportunity and exploration instead of dread and making due. And if I start to feel discouraged, because all my old evidence points to failure, I can reach out to a friend who will remind me, “I think we can do better.”

And she just may be right.


  1. Hello JJ!!! I loved reading this post. I am definately in need of some perfect jeans!! Perfect to me right now ia anything non-maternity. :) since I am on my quest to once and for all be done with having a.mommy body and a nice healthy fit body, I have been content with my maurices brand jeans and capris. To have a pair of jeans, or any pants for that matter, that stay true to the fit and not fit in the morning and be falling off in the afternoon would be a dream. Can’t wait to hear about you perfect -size smaller- jeans and where you went to find them.

  2. My favorite brand is Levi’s!!! I got this one pair which I wear almost all year round. Can’t live without my Levi’s

  3. JJ. What a GREAT post! I loved the idea that you came away with–what ELSE are you putting up with when perfection is within reach. So wise.

    Currently my favorite brand of jeans is Eddie Bauer because these ones I just got actually fit and look great and they were on sale, even though they’re not expensive at regular price.

    • Thanks so much for the compliment! Eddie Bauer’s are classic and a deal is perfect no matter what their original cost.

  4. when i hit fb share button, the copy in under your headline showed up as html, not as readable text. uh oh.

  5. My favorites are the Macy’s store brand called Style and Co. (I think). For some reason they just fit me!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..A Guaranteed Smile – Kindergarten Guitar Band

  6. “And if I start to feel discouraged, because all my old evidence points to failure, I can reach out to a friend who will remind me, ‘I think we can do better.'” – love that! To be honest, I don’t think I have any jeans right now that I think I look good in…trying to lose weight, so it’s hard to see myself as truly looking good the way I am..but I’m trying and it’s a process. I’d love to be able to try to find the perfect jeans for me though!! :)

    • I’m sure you’re gorgeous just the way you are!! But good luck on your process and weight loss journey. Glad you enjoyed my post.

  7. I’m wearing Lee jeans from Kohl’s right now. They aren’t necessarily my perfect jeans, but they work. I do Dressing Your Truth so I look for more details than just fit.
    You have encouraged me to look further, and get some nicer jeans and have a few rather than many cheaper jeans that are okay.

    • My perfect jeans are a great T2 charcoal color! They do have a contrast stitching, but it’s still pretty subtle.

  8. I really like a brand called ANA that they sell at Jc Penney. I need a petite jean.

  9. colleen o'connell

    so glad that you had a wonderful, validating experience! unfortunately, the kind that are my “favourite” are what ever is under$20 at walmart when my other walmart pair kicks it :(
    i am post-pardom now and my former pair are falling down about five minutes out of the dryer! thanks for the share and fun!

  10. I love this post. I’m so inspired! And I would love a picture!

    I’m due to have a baby any day now, but as soon as she is born I’m on the hunt for the perfect ‘type 2’ pair! I’ve been needing it.

    I love Gap jeans. They come in tall–I need that. And I love a trouser cut!

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. I love Seven for Mankind!

  12. I love when I find a perfect pair of jeans! I have a few I love. They are usually flared and have a stretch to fit around my curves. Some brands I have found are Angel (Gordman’s) and Maurices Hydrolics. My absolute favorite are a pair of Bongos my friend picked out! She knew they would be amazing! I’m a type 2 and am currently cleaning out my closet of items I don’t absolutely love. Thanks for the encouragement!

  13. My favorite pants are St. Johns Bay Jeans and they were gray/silver for T2 and I am in the plus sized which are hard to find

  14. Now my perfect jean is one that is not binding yet still makes my butt look decent….growing up it was alway Gloria Vanderbuilt. Oh that does date me, doesn’t it.
    lynette355´s last blog post ..One of Those Days

  15. Levi’s for the win!

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