Possibly the most frustrating shopping experience for any woman is that of having a buy a pair of jeans. And when you're a hijabi, that frustration is likely to be ten times greater! With pretty much every clothing retailer selling their own line of denim, it takes wading through hundreds of pairs of jeans in various cuts and washes to find the perfect pair. Looser styles have been on the catwalks for several seasons, and are now easily found on the high street.
The cuts that are generally available tend to be skinny, straight-leg, bootcut, flare, boyfriend and wide leg, with some variations in between. If you are looking for jeans to wear with hijab, you need to make sure that the cut is loose enough to reasonably conceal the shape of the legs. This means ruling out anything labelled 'skinny'. The 3 styles that I have found to be appropriate, largely depending on body type and the length of top worn, are bootcut, boyfriend and wide leg.
Here are my tried-and-tested tips for finding your pair of hijab-friendly jeans:
1. This goes for most items of clothing, but always, always try the jeans on in store. Try to do this at a time when you're not too rushed; it's best to dedicate a shopping trip just for jeans. Make sure they are comfortable enough to walk, sit and kneel in.
2. Take heels/flats to determine whether the length of the jeans is appropriate for what shoes you will wear them with. The hem of the jeans should just about cover the whole of the shoe for the most flattering fit.
3. Avoid jeans with a very large flare, or those with embellishments and a faded colour wash. Darker washes are more slimming than lighter ones and are also great for dressing up.
4. A tailored pair of jeans are always more flattering than very baggy, slouchy styles, which tend to look messy when paired with long tops.
5. High-waisted styles are better for those with fuller figures as they comfortably 'pull' your stomach and hips in, rather than low-slung jeans which dig into hips to give that muffin-top look.
One of the best places to buy jeans on the high street, in my opinion, is Dorothy Perkins. This is because they stock plenty of loose, wide leg and boyfriend fit styles, which all come in short, regular and longer lengths. Their Denim Fit Guide also allows you to view the jeans on a model in 3D. I would advise shopping around to find the best fit for you - Debenhams and House of Fraser stock a range of brands which are worth trying out.
If you have any other tips for buying jeans, share them with us in the comments section!