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Byline: Laura Coventry

JEANS are a wardrobe staple for most women but with numerous different styles, lengths, cuts and washes, finding the perfect pair can be a bit of an ordeal.

Too tight around the tummy, too long in the leg, or too gaping at the back are the most common complaints on a jeans shopping trip. For older women, looking too young is another concern.

If this sounds like you, you're not alone. Millions of ladies get panicked about buying a new pair of jeans.

And some get so worked up about the experience, they believe it is more stressful than moving house.

Two-thirds of the 1000 women who responded to a survey by online retailer claimed that deciding on denim is the most stressful of all their clothes buying experiences - overtaking searching for a new swimsuit or wedding outfit.

The poll also found that almost half (43 per cent) said it left them more anxious than packing up to switch homes.

Mature women find it particularly traumatic as most brands tend to cater for slimmer and younger wearers.

Personal shoppers Therese Kearins and Jackie McGeachie, of Debenhams in Silverburn, Glasgow, claim 50 per cent of their customers need their help in finding the perfect pair of jeans.

Therese said: "It's one of their biggest concerns. Women worry about their thighs, bottom, small waist and big hips, so it doesn't surprise me that some find it as stressful as moving. My advice would be if you find the perfect pair, buy two pairs.

"Jeans are as classic as a pencil skirt that can be worn every day and glammed up at night. They should be a key item in every woman's wardrobe."

Therese and Jackie have created a jeans check-list to ensure staff find the perfect pair to suit shoppers and believe most women should only be spending pounds 40-45 on a great pair of jeans.

We called them in to help shoppers Nisha Purewal and Caroline Marshall in their quest for denims.

NISHA PUREWAL FOR businesswoman Nisha, wearing a perfect pair of jeans is crucial.

She works in the promotions industry, where appearance is key.

Occasionally Nisha, managing director of Red Carpet Promotions, will attend board meetings in a smart suit but more often she meets clients in coffee shops and restaurants so dresses more casually.

A classic pair of black or dark boot cut jeans is her usual attire. But finding them was a long process. Nisha, 22, said: "I only own two pairs of jeans because I am not a keen shopper for them.

"I've got so many petite friends, I feel like a giant when I go shopping, as I am much taller.

"My favourite style is straight leg boot-cut jeans and I like to wear dark denim because it is slimming.

"I have got my two pairs and they fit me and look okay, so I don't want to stress out and buy another pair of jeans."

With her classic pear-shaped figure, Nisha is right to opt for a boot-cut style.

Jackie helped Nisha choose a dark navy pair that fitted neatly around the bottom and hips and were the perfect length.

Armed with Jackie's personal shopping advice, Nisha is now ready to go jeans shopping to boost her wardrobe.

Nisha added: "My friend Lisa and I are actually going to go shopping tomorrow to get more jeans.

"I have learned to be more confident to try things on and ask for a bit of advice about what suits your body shape.

"My advice would be keep looking for your perfect pair and don't worry about it - there are jeans for everybody."

CAROLINE MARSHALL WITH her curvaceous figure, part-time model Caroline Marshall is the envy of many women. But the business advisor's hourglass frame leaves her struggling when it comes to jeans.

Caroline said: "I've moved house this year AND bought jeans, so I know how stressful it can be.

"Jeans shopping is not stressful if you are paying pounds 200 but if you buy two for pounds 10, they won't be the best.

"When I am buying clothes, I don't usually try things on, I've always taken off the peg. But jeans are deceiving, they are not true sizing."

Caroline, 48, often experiences problems finding jeans that fit her small waist and curves.

Her favourites are a pair of pearltopped denims she purchased from a boutique in Spain.

Caroline, from Glasgow's south side, explained: "They are so comfortable and I don't feel as if I have any jeans on. I can't wear skinny jeans as I find them very short between the crotch and the waist - I find boot cut or flares more flattering."

Debenhams' Therese says Caroline can wear skinny jeans from designers like Julien Macdonald.

His collection includes jeans with higher waistbands. The length of the zip between the waist and the crotch is short but the two-to-three buttons on the waistband make it ideal for women in their 40s and 50s.

Caroline added: "The experience was lovely with the help of Therese and Jackie.

"Throughout all my experience of buying clothes and knowing my own shape, I would still use a personal shopper. There's a lot more out there once you start looking, as far as styles, shapes, colours, and fabric are concerned."

Some women get so worked up about the experience jeans, of buying they believe it is more stressful than moving house Therese's tips ? A lot of women have hollow backs and wear jeans that fit on the hip but not at the back. A V-shaped yoke is better as it fits into your back ? Women are most concerned about their bottoms in jeans. By opting for low down pointed pockets at the back, your bottom will appear reduced in size ? If you are a bigger girl don't go for skinny jeans, go for straight leg ? For small girls (about 5ft 2ins), cropped jeans will elongate the leg ? If you need jeans altered, make sure it is done by a professional seamstress ? When going jeans shopping, make sure you wear the correct underwear, like seamless invisible pants ? Older women don't like the low slung waists, so opt for a higher/broader waist band with two or three buttons ? Opt for jeans with two per cent Lycra and always buy them a little bit longer than you would normally as they will shrink in the wash


JEANS GENIUS n Therese helps Nisha. Right, shoppers Nisha and Caroline agonise in store BLUE Z HEAVENPersonal shopper Jackie fits out Caroline
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 27, 2011
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