"Contrary to popular belief you can be plus-size and not be curvy. "
Fall is on it’s way y’all, you know what that means, denim on denim on denim! And since it seems like we’ve all come to the collective agreement that we are ready to give “hard” pants another shot, it’s time we make sense of some of these plus-size denim dilemmas that never seem to be solved. Are plus-size jeans and curvy jeans the same? What body shapes do curvy jeans work for? I did some digging and I’ve got some answers.
Let’s start with what we know, ‘plus-size’ is a standard fashion term used by most fashion retailers to make it clear that they carry sizes 12/14 to 22/24, with some brands going up to 32 or 40. Plus-size clothes are typically cut more generously than ‘straight’ or ‘standard’ size clothing. What does “generous” mean? Well, when it comes to jeans specifically, it means more room in the rise, back, and crotch area for the belly, hips, butt, and thighs. But size is only 50% of the picture when it comes to finding jeans that fit, body shape is equally important. Cue the plus-size vs. curvy jeans debate.
"The moral of the story: no, curvy does not equal plus size. "
Contrary to popular belief you can be plus-size and not be curvy. It’s all about body dimensions and how you identify. Bodies that do not have much difference between the bust, waist and hip measurements are not considered curvy whether they fit a size 2 or a size 22. While bodies who have a 10”+ difference between their waist and hip are more typically what we think of as curvy at a size 32 or a size 14. We won’t get into body politics here, that’s another story for another day, but that’s basically how it works.
It’s not uncommon to see brands who carry both straight sizes and plus sizes in ‘regular’ cuts and ‘curvy’ cuts. Many brands have evolved their catalogue to have curvy jeans for standard sizes and plus sizes. Their curvy fit is engineered for an hourglass figure with a narrower contoured waistband to avoid gapping, a longer rise for a rounder booty and extra room in the hips and thighs. For those of us whose waist measurements are equal to or larger than our hip measurement, these jeans will not only fit poorly, they will likely be very uncomfortable. Likewise, someone with a curvy figure who buys regular cut plus-size denim might experience gapping in the waist and a lack of room in the but and the thighs.
The moral of the story: no, curvy does not equal plus size. When it comes to jeans especially, think of it as a waist to hip ratio kind of thing. If your waist to hip difference is large (10”+) with the larger number being for the hips, then consider a curvy cut for a more comfortable fit. If your waist and hip measurements are relatively the same within (1” to 3” of each other) or if the larger measurement is the waist, consider a regular cut plus-size jean for a better fit. If you are not sure, always check the size guide and don’t be afraid of a little trial and error. Thank goodness for Try Before You Buy!
Let us know what you think about this and other denim dilemmas @diaandco on IG.