For months now I’ve been on a desperate (and fruitless) search for loose-fitting jeans. I just want a comfortable pair of boyfriend jeans with a nice wash and a little leg room. Something I can dress up with a cute vest and heels on the weekend. Or dress down with Chucks and a t-shirt when I’m out with the kids.

I pulled this picture off of Pinterest. If anyone can let me know who this cutie is so I can tag her, I’d be much obliged.

But I keep coming up empty. And yes, this is my own fault for shopping for jeans online. But cut me some slack. I have three kids under five. Weekend shopping ain’t exactly a habit.

Every time I add a pair of boyfriend jeans to my online shopping cart I think, “This time… this time it will be different.” Every time it is not. I mutter prayers under my breath as I pull the jeans up my thighs. Every time, without fail, they get halfway up and are like, “Hahaha. Nah, brah.”

I’ve tried going up a few sizes and that generally helps with getting the pants up over my butt and thighs, but then they’re too big on my waist. And, even with a belt, I get the Mom Jeans/’I’m wearing a diaper under this’ look.

Still one of the funniest SNL skits of all time…

I was browsing Old Navy’s website last week (Old Navy’s fashions are on the come up! I ain’t ashamed…) when I came across a cute pair of jeans described as “boyfriend”, “straight leg” and “easy through hips and thigh.”

Sure the model was slender, and yeh I just had a baby and gained a few (okay more than a few…) pounds. But, I’m 5′ 4″ and a size 6/8 even with the baby weight. Finding things in-store shouldn’t be impossible.

After mulling it over I figured, ‘Well this might be a bit tight in the butt and upper thigh, but surely the leg will still be wide.’

Um, wow. How wrong I was.

This is how the jeans looked on the model.

And this is how they looked on me.

They went from ‘boyfriend’ to ‘skinny’, there are creases everywhere and my butt looks like a shank of ham. And before you say, ‘But Leila! That’s not your size!’ In my waist, it is. There was no muffin-topping. Waist-wise it was perfect.

And I know I’m not alone. I know many of my fellow black girls have dealt with the ‘petite in the waist but not particularly petite in the butt and thighs’ struggle. The ‘no matter what cut of pants I buy I look like stuffed sausage’ struggle. The ‘no Ginuwine, there really isn’t any room for you in these jeans they’re cutting off my circulation’ struggle. The ‘if it wasn’t for stretch denim I wouldn’t be wearing jeans at all!’ struggle.

We need to start a hashtag to document this. Maybe #howitlooksonthemodelvshowitlooksonme or #thesejeansaintforthickgirls

Cuz, like, wow.


Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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40 Comments on "Can We Start Documenting the Phenomenon of Thickness Changing Pants Fit? Cuz…"

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I love Old Navy’s Rockstar jeans….but I’m plus sized and they cater to us. I also have that same pair of jeans. Forever 21 has nice boyfriend jeans maybe you should try them.


Giirrlll !

Silver Jeans! Silver Jeans! Silver Jeans!

Can’t go wrong with Silver Jeans.

I had given up on women’s jeans a few years ago. Long legs, small waist, bubble butt, thunder thighs that touch themselves… I NEVER had a pair of jeans that fitted, and as a teenager, I was so bummed about that that I ended up wearing my dad’s jeans instead (true story!). I basically became avant-garde out of necessity 🙂 After many, MANY years spent in desolation in fitting rooms, here’s what I learned : – Women’s jeans’ fabric is ridiculous, way too thin, so they always end up torn at the crotch. Men’s jeans are significantly more resistant. –… Read more »

Girl! just go up a few sizes to get the boyfriend jeans look. If I brought jeans according to my waist size they would never fit. Try getting jeans according to your hip size. I wear a size 16 and even I’m able to find boyfriend jeans that fit like boyfriend jeans.


Buy jeans with stretch, don’t buy based on size, buy based on fit thru hips and tailor the waist. Dont like seeing a bigger size? cut off the label and keep it movin


I had the same issue for years & tried on jeans everywhere until I found St. Johns bay at J.C Penny. Those are the only pants I can go in grab my size & go & I to am 5’4 with hips & booty so I no that struggle all to well. Recently I found that I can also wear Lee jeans classic fit, definitely give St. Johns bay a try & good luck on your perfect pair search.


I buy my jeans almost exclusively from Target. They have a “curvy” fit for the store brand, plus the Merona and Denzien lines have a lot of give that stretches over time.


Whatever size Jean you wear in women’s ex. 30, add three sizes and get that in a Levi’s Men’s 501,504,505 and it will fit like a boyfriend Jean. 501 is going to bea button fly pant though so keep that in mind.


I used to think jeans weren’t meant for me. I didnt grow up wearing them and didn’t know the tricks to a good fit. A friend of mine who was short, with a bubble butt and small waist always had perfect fitting jeans. So I asked her how she did it. She told me to buy jeans on clearance two sizes too large and get them tailored to fit. Life changing advice. Perfect fit at a discount price.


The girl in the photo from Pinterest is Briana Shanee, designer & entrepreneur. Also, this is a great post, relatable.


No loss Laila…….those jeans were hella ugly with those raw hems..uggh…..Try levis…Makes your ass look great with the best prices with so many cuts and washes…Good luck.




I am not sure if your title about documenting this issue was more of a joke, but I think that this is such a good idea. So many women of color have this issue, and it is unfair and unacceptable that this is such a rampant issue. How do you think that people could go on about addressing brands/companies about this issue?

It\'s Me
I used to work at Old Navy as a teen, so here are the tips I can give you. 1) Old Navy runs small and the denim never has enough stretch for women with curves 2) If you want truly boyfriend jeans from Old Navy, measure your waistline and inseam, and shop the men’s or boys’ section (they’ll likely sit low on your waist, but the fit will be better than the pattern they cut for women) 3) If you need extra room in the hips, it’s better to shop Gap (better material, and more forgiving pattern) 4) The pants… Read more »

The struggle is real. Thankfully I have found Lee rider jeans fit comfortably with a no Gap waist and relaxed fit legs aren’t a gimmick. Check Walmart and kmart or Lee jeans website.


I wish I had some advice to give you, but I gave up on jeans a few years ago. I’m officially the quintessential yoga pant/leggings-wearing mom. I must have bought some in every color. Thankfully I know how to strategically dress them up and down accordingly.


all i can say is I thank God that leggings came back into fashion coz i dumped jeans and never looked back!!


Tights are great; if your 14. A grown woman should invest in a nice pair of
jeans with a good wash for a clean look to go out on the town for work. Most. Most employers don’t allow you to wear tights to the office.
Tight are not for everyone and for every occasion.


I wear tights and boots with a skirt or dress to the office all the time. My employer is fine with it. I’m 56 and work in local government. Tights are for anyone who chooses to wear them.


They best thing to do is invest in a sewing machine. Order a couple sizes up, then take in the waist and or calve area. It takes five minutes once u get the hang of it and it leaves you looking like everything is custom made.

For that style pants, go to a local Goodwill and you’ll find the perfect pair. I have several and that’s where I got them, I just had to make a few alterations. Hope this helps in the meantime until the fashion industry gets it together lol


Sorry to my previous posting, I meant “darts.” LOL


I know you said the waist fit fine, but guurl. Try one size larger and if you cant do it have the waist taken in. Thats what I do. I put a couple of dates in the waist and Im good to go. But I do get your point.

Tiffany Ima

*vintage jeans on

Tiffany Ima

Lmao i know the struggle.

That girl in probably pic probably got jeans on


I only have one boyfriend jeans and it’s actually my ex-boyfriend jeans lol! So maybe you can also try male jeans? I’m really not sure, because you have nice curves but I have a flat ass like that model lol.


You can use this site as a guide…if you like….the-perfect-pair-of-jeans-for-every-body-shape/


I feel your pain. My bottom half is 2 sizes bigger than my top half always, and then there’s THE GAP at the waist (oh I get that name now). Google brands for us curvey girls. They’re out there, but it takes a minute to find them. And each cut is different.


You will still have that problem with your child bearing hips ?…Plus the crotch will drop very low on you because of your height… I suggest going up a size or 2 then having it tailored to fit how you want….I feel your pain. I tried before the back pockets were at the back of my thighs *sigh*


Try the women’s Levi’s 501. They have a small waist and generous thighs and butt room.


My feelings were so hurt when Levi’s discontinued their bold curve jeans. Only pair that didn’t give plumber’s butt . . .


Why not just size up or buy another pair? I don’t get it.


Wow, I can the difference! What about a blue Jean skirt or dress…those are very forgiving. Or a nice pair of slacks dark blue or black? Btw: you look great!


Yeah, I think certain brands tend to cater moreso to a specific body type. Have you tried getting actual mens jeans? Maybe you can just alter/hem the bottom to your liking 🙂