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9 Denim Jeans Mistakes You Make That Ruin Your Outfit

How to finally get this closet staple right.

1 / 9

You make sloppy cuffs

The laid-back look of cuffed denim can add instant style to any ensemble. Get it right with these simple tips from WhoWhatWear: For loose-fitting, wide-leg jeans: Try a thick cuff. Fold up to create a one-inch cuff, then fold again to make a two inch cuff. For skinny jeans: Try a mini cuff. Fold up to a half-inch cuff, then fold again to add an extra half inch. The bottom of the cuff should hit at or just above the ankle. For slouchy boyfriend jeans: Create a no-fuss half cuff. This one is less of a science; simply fold up to make a four-inch cuff, scrunch the bottom of the cuff to create texture, and roll the top of the hem downward.

2 / 9

You shop the wrong size pockets

The size and shape of your pockets can seriously change the way your jeans look from behind. In general, pockets that sit high and tilt slightly outward will make your tush appear fit and lifted. Avoid pockets that sit lower than the bottom curve of your butt (the spot where your butt cheeks meet your legs), says Jeans with no pockets are also a no-no. These little fashion tricks can make you look 10 pounds thinner.

3 / 9

You choose the wrong size when you’re in-between sizes

The feeling of being smack in the middle two sizes is no fun. But consider this: “Most denim fabric stretches out naturally over time,” write Lauren Freidman in her book 50 Ways to Wear Denim. “If you’re between two sizes and you’re going for a fitted look, select the small pair, as it will stretch to your natural curves with wear. The lighter and thinner the weight of the denim, the more it will stretch.”

4 / 9

You have the wrong hemline

Nothing pulls a look together better than a crisp hem or a fitted fold. Decide how you’ll be wearing a certain pair of jeans the most, and take them to your tailor to have them hemmed. Skinny jeans should be cropped to the top of the ankle, straight-leg jeans to the mid-point of the ankle, and boot-cut jeans to a half-inch off the ground. Did you know a tailor could make these surprising improvements to your wardrobe?

5 / 9

You wash your jeans like this

A harsh wash cycle could be what stands between you and long-lasting denim. To keep jeans from fading, wash them infrequently (most pairs can go until they’re visibly stained or begin to smell) and even then, wash them only with other jeans. Flip each pair inside out and run them through a delicate cycle using cold water. To minimize shrinking and fading, hang to dry. To get stretched-out jeans back in shape, tumble dry low. You can also try putting jeans in the freezer to get rid of unpleasant smells.

6 / 9

You wear baggy fits with boots

Skinny jeans are by far the easiest fit to tuck into a boot. But while other fits might take a few extra steps, nothing’s impossible. For boot cut jeans, fold the hem up to make a two-inch cuff and tuck the cuff into a high sock. The boot should slip right on with minimal bagging at the top. For ankle boots, try a skinny jean with a cuff. You’ll want a sliver of skin to show between the hem of your pants and the top of the boot.

7 / 9

You don’t experiment with denim on denim

Don’t leave this trend to only the fashionistas! Simply layer a light wash on top of a dark wash or colored denim. Here’s a classic denim-on-denim look anyone can pull of: Deep blue jeans with a white T-shirt and light-wash denim jacket (here’s some of our picks for best jean jackets for women to get you started!). These outfit mistakes can make you look messy.

8 / 9

You wear the wrong pair of jeans to work

In many offices, it’s perfectly acceptable to break out a crisp pair of jeans on a casual Friday. If yours is one of them, try a deep blue or black wash in a slim and sleek cut. To dress it up, add a blazer or tuck in your blouse. Add polish with an ankle boot or classic pump.

9 / 9

You don’t check the tag

Find a pair of jeans you’ll find both comfortable and long-lasting by looking at the tag. Pairs that are one-hundred percent cotton might feel stiff, but will likely hold up well. Jeans that are around two percent spandex or Lycra will feel more comfortable but could stretch out.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest