The Problem: Low, Low Riders
Ruby Cambell, 33, used to wear hipsters that dipped so far down in back, her thong, or "whale tail," was on public view.
The Solution: Under Cover
These bootcut jeans (Shape fX) are like a push-up bra for your butt. Cut high in back for coverage, they also feature built-in mesh shapewear that flattens the tummy, prevents muffin top, and reapportions the bottom into a round, compact shape. "I love how they firm you yet feel so light," says Ruby, an event coordinator. A feminine blouse is long enough to tuck in.
Jeanious Idea: Thighs look leaner in darker denim with minimal distressing.
Jacket, Funktional. Bracelets, Sisco Family Jewels. Ring, Gara Danielle Fine Jewelry. Shoes, Tory Burch.
The Problem: Disappearing Behind
For Birgit Chasin, 49, even classic straight-legs were baggy on her boyish figure.
The Solution: Pocket Science
Birgit knows how priceless great denim is. When she's off duty, the flight attendant says people try to buy the jeans off her backside: "No country has the variety of brands we do." At a size 4, she needed a pair with prominent pockets (People's Liberation for Charlotte Russe) to build on the behind you'd never know she has. "At 49, I'm concerned with gravity, so I love how this flap pocket gives me lift," she says. Like gray flannel, the new gray denim is a neutral that can easily be dressed up or down. Tucking in a draped silk blouse (Ports 1961 by Tia Cibani) emphasizes her waist; monochromatic ankle boots (Modern Vintage) lengthen the line of the leg.
Jeanious Idea: If you don't have much in back, you can get away with tight. Look for details that pad what you've got.
Earrings, Julie Sandlau. Ring, Sylas by Nashelle. Bracelets, Marco Bicego and Yossi Harari.
The Problem: Too-Skinny Jeans
The slender-cut denim that Wendy Evans, 50, wore showed off her legs—but exaggerated her hips and thighs.
The Solution: Balancing Act
Wendy, a hairstylist, jokes that she's "got enough to sit down on. And then some." The bootcut style of these slim black pants (Not Your Daughter's Jeans) offsets saddlebags while still showcasing her thin legs. They also pass Wendy's "trendy" test: "I'm in the beauty business; I can't dress in a time warp." A graphic blouse (Jones New York Signature) whose polka-dot pattern runs lighter toward the center goes a long way toward elongating the torso.
Jeanious Idea: To downplay hips, try a black wash, a higher waist, and smallish pockets that sit up on the cheeks.
Earrings, Julie Sandlau. Cuff, Kara by Kara Ross. Belt, W.Kleinberg. Suede pumps, Kenneth Cole New York.
The Problem: Smushed Tush
Larissa Makow, 27, wore too-tight low-riders that gave her backside the pancake treatment.
The Solution: Wiggle Room
The body-grazing boyfriend jean (Loft) flatters without flattening Larissa's fuller shape, while a tailored striped shirt (Lauren by Ralph Lauren) over a sweater (Mai) balances her top half. Says the 510 sales executive, "I always felt comfortable in something stretchy, but the loose fit leaves something to the imagination." She's also a convert to cuffs, which, paired with ballet flats (French Sole), show off her long legs.
Jeanious Idea: A low yoke and centered, plain pockets in proportion to your size keep everything in check.
Earrings, Stella & Dot. Belt, Linea Pelle Collection.
The Problem: Mom Jeans
Julie Dines, 42, has a petite figure that was getting lost in a high-waisted style.
The Solution: Dream Seams
This power-walking office manager has a lower half so toned that she can fit into her teenage son's pants. But stereotypically baggy "mom jeans" were hiding the curve of her butt: "There's a little rise to it, but never enough to fill out pants properly." The seams of this intricately stitched pair (Riders by Lee) draw the eye up and around the hips, giving her the appearance of a rounder shape.
Jeanious Idea: Contrasting stitching and a shorter rise help create curves.
Blouse, Hanii Y. Bracelets, AromaWear and Sisco Family Jewels.
The Problem: Wash-Out
Buying the wrong wash resulted in an unflattering pair.
The Solution: Dark Victory
"I'm not interested in minimizing my curves, just in finding jeans that are age appropriate," says Michele, a research and policy analyst. These indigo bootcuts (Basic Editions) are sophisticated, shape-supporting and fantastically simple: "I don't need a rhinestone dragon on my fanny, she says.
Cardigan and tank, Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Earrings, Julie Sandlau. Shoes, Tory Burch, Brass bangles, Nugaard Designs. Link bracelet, Polytima.
Meet the woman behind Oprah's favorite jeans
, then get O
creative director Adam Glassman's picks for the best affordable jeans for curvy women!