Yes, I know I am fussy about fit, but why shouldn't I be? The problem is, finding jeans to fit hips that are 19" bigger than the waist is a pretty tough task. Most jeans are cut to fit a 'typical' woman, and I am a million miles away from fitting into that norm. I understand that.
In the past I have considered ordering custom-made jeans over the internet as I don't think even curve-friendly brands like PZI would work for me, but I never ended up going for it as I was sceptical they'd be worth the money (I would have had to order from abroad). I also don't have a desperate need for jeans - I have a wardrobe full of gorgeous frocks; why on earth would I need jeans?! I admit that I didn't want to feel that awful disappointment when you can't find anything that fits, so for my own pride I never searched too hard and so I eventually lost any desire to own denim. An additional put off was that the fashion for jeans and trousers over the past decade has been for them to be 'hipsters', or at best low rise. Such a terrible look for pears and hourglasses, in my opinion, and something that looked absolutely awful on me. However, over the past few years I have had a number of requests from readers who wanted me to review jeans, so it has always been in the back of my mind to get around to doing so one day.
Little did I know that UK plus size fashion retailer Evans held the key to my jeans dreams: the Evans Pear Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans (£30.00; UK sizes 14-32, in short (71cm/28"), regular (76cm/30"), and long (81cm/32")lengths):
Image courtesy of Evans
Now, please be aware that these jeans are currently unavailable online, but you may still be able to find them in a store. They come in a range of colours, including indigo (shown above), black, cobalt blue, and midwash.
I tried these jeans in a number of sizes, and eventually ended up finding the 18 was the best fit for me...but there are a few caveats, which I will go into later in this post. So, here I am in the Indigo Pear Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans in 18R:
For reference, I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Tęczowe Kfiaty bra 32KK/70KK in these photos, along with some heels from Internaçionale.
Oh my goodness, these jeans are nothing short of AMAZING! I have always longed for jeans (and trousers too, for that matter) that not only fit my waist but also my hips, and THESE DO! I have also wanted jeans with a high enough rise to reach up to my waist, and THESE DO! It's almost like they have been made to measure for me there; they really are exactly what I have been looking for.
Looking like typical jeans, these have two main pockets on the front, with a small pocket above the right hand one (what is that for? My friend used to joke that it was a condom pocket!), and on the rear there are two patch pockets - one on each butt cheek. They even have belt loops, studs, and contrasting stitching, so what exactly is it that makes them stand out from the crowd?
The Evans Pear Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans are made from a very soft and stretchy denim fabric. The amount of give they have is incredible; yet they feel fairly thick and very durable, so I suspect these jeans will last a long time. The fabric is made from 67% cotton, 31% polyester, and 2% elastane, and this magical mix of fibres produces a material that is comfortable to wear and looks great. There is no denying that the jeans cling to my body, but that is exactly what skinny jeans should do. Being rather thick of leg, I'd rather not have my legs made to look any bigger than they actually are, so skinny jeans are the perfect solution.
The jeans are cut in such a way that they have ample room on the hips - in fact, I think I could fit into a 16 without too much trouble - and yet the waist is pretty much perfect. As someone who grew up during a time when denim was all the rage (I was a child of the 80s and a teen of the 90s - so think Duran Duran and Wham, followed by Bros and New Kids On The Block...) I owned a number of pairs of jeans in my youth, but once my hips took shape and I had to wear a size to fit them I quickly became accustomed to wearing a belt to reduce the amount of gaping at the waist. The belts never stayed where they should despite the belt loops and would ride up into my flesh whilst the jeans slipped southwards. Not a very comfortable feeling, I can tell you. No wonder I didn't persevere with jeans! However, had these jeans been around when I was younger I would have bought every pair I could lay my hands on. The waist sits exactly where it should - on my waist - and there is no gaping. Engineering perfection courtesy of good old high street fatty store Evans.
Across the tummy I feel like I could have done with a size down as the jeans don't provide any support or compression. I'll explain why I didn't size down in the next paragraph, but before we skip on to that I wanted to clarify that I didn't buy these jeans looking for compression. However, regular jeans are usually made from a stiff-ish material that by its very nature provides a certain amount of support and compression, and so I felt it was a bit of a shame that I didn't get that from these jeans.
There are two key ways in which these jeans must be changed in order to make them completely perfect for me. First of all, the zip on the fly needs to be longer. As someone whose hips are A LOT larger than their waist, it is no fun shimmying jeans over my hips in order to get them on. It would also look a lot better if the zip was longer, as it would be more flattering. The short zip kind of emphasises the pubic area and almost makes it look like I have the jeans pulled up too high. And secondly, the lower calf and ankles need to be more roomy. Not by a lot, but maybe an inch or two. Why? Because I can barely get the ankles of these jeans over my feet and onto my legs, and once they're on they don't budge an inch so if I've twisted them as I put them on I have to take the jeans off and start all over again. They are so tight that I had to stick to the size 18, despite me feeling pretty confident I would be able to fit into the 16 if it weren't for the tiny ankles issue.
So now you have seen the jeans in their full glory, here they are teamed with a fab cowl neck top from plus size fast fashion brand, Pink Clove.
Indigo and black are such a classic combination. I feel like this look has a real 'rock chick' edge to it, thanks to the zip feature on the shoulder of the top. I've added an elasticated belt from Primark to cinch in my waist. The skinny jeans work really well with the black top and I think this is an outfit that could be worn to work if smart/casual was acceptable, or on a night out for drinks with the girls.
Lengthwise the 18R jeans were ok on me, but when I subsequently ordered more pairs I went for the 18L. Interestingly, I found the 18L were slightly looser in the lower calf and ankle and were therefore much more comfortable to wear. Here I am in the midwash jeans in 18L with this top from Polish curve friendly brand BiuBiu:
So much better! And the additional length in the leg is good because although I don't really need it as my legs are definitely not long, I quite like it when jeans are bunched a little at the ankles and slightly over the tops of the feet.
The midwash is a nice change from the indigo, but I think overall I prefer the solid colour of the indigo as I think it is more flattering, and definitely much more smart.
So, I have at last found some jeans that work. They don't ride down when I wear them, they are comfortable, and I can happily wear them all day. They do stretch as the day goes on but not significantly, and if the ankle issue could get sorted I'd size down to a 16 and be very happy indeed.
As a footnote I wanted to mention that I have tried the Evans pear straight leg jeans (available here) but the fit is nowhere near as good as these ones. The legs were too baggy, the rise wasn't high enough, and they were not very fitted. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed fit than those I am modelling in this post, the straight leg jeans might be just the ticket for you.
Have you ever tried jeans from Evans? Would you like to see these Pear Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans restocked? Let me know in the comments below!