Nicole Adolphe is a styling pro. Here are the 6 questions she says to ask when buying jeans.

There is no piece of clothing we have more of a love-hate relationship with than jeans

Once you own a pair you love, its happy days - you'll wear them to death and recommend them to anyone who'll listen.

But to find that pair - hunting down the right shape, length and colour? Well that might be one of the hardest missions of all. Cue stressful shopping trips, returned packages and changeroom meltdowns. We've all been there.

Watch: Iconic denim outfits. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Nicole Adolphe is a content creator, former fashion editor of Cosmopolitan and the Head of Style at The Iconic. Her job is to literally tell us what clothes to buy now and how to style them (yep, it's a pretty cool gig.) And we've gotta say, the woman wears denim very well.

We asked Nicole to share her top tips for shopping jeans to make the process stress-free and actually successful. Here's what she told us.

The questions to ask yourself before buying jeans.


Before you buy denim online or in-store, there a few questions Nicole recommends you ask yourself.


1. Do you prefer high waisted cuts or a lower waist? 

2. What cut do you usually buy? Do you want to stick with the same style or try something new?

3. What denim wash do you prefer and what will suit your wardrobe?

"A mid blue to light wash is the ideal canvas to work back into a casual wardrobe," Nicole explained. 

"Darker indigo or classic vintage blue provide a dressier look, while black and white denim are perfect alternatives to wearing [other styles of] pants."

4. Do you like your denim to be distressed or have any rips or detailing? 

5. Do you prefer a stretch or raw denim? 

"If you’re after a bit more room, opt for stretch," Nicole said.

6. What shoes do you plan to wear your denim with? 

"That can determine what cut will work for you," Nicole said. "Chunky boots look great with cuffed up 'mom' jeans and flares. Alternatively, you might want a more slender shoe or ankle boot for a skinny or straight jean."

"Sneakers and loafers are perfect teamed up with the relaxed or slouchy jean and heels work with any jean to dress them up."

Listen to What Are You Wearing? Mamamia's weekly fashion podcast, where co-hosts Tamara and Deni share fashion tips and styling suggestions that work for everybody. Post continues below.

Your guide to jean styles.

Unsure which cut of jeans to buy? Here's Nicole's cheat sheet.


Straight: Straight leg all the way down and the waist height may vary.

Skinny: Fits tightly on your legs with fabric that's often stretchy.

Wide: A slouchy type of jean that is loose around the hips and thighs and has a wide leg.

Flare: Often high-waisted, tighter on the waist, hips and thighs, then tapers out at the knee, flaring out at the hem. This style is sometimes also called boot-cut.

Relaxed: This could also be called the boyfriend jean. It features a mid-rise waist, is loose-fitting through the leg and may feature distressed or ripped denim.

Slim: Slim fitting all over but not necessarily tapered to the ankle like a skinny jean is.

Mom: High waisted, baggier around the hips, tapering down to the ankle and maybe rolled up at the hem.

Cropped: The jean length rests above the ankle if you are average height but if you are shorter, these may end up being the perfect length.

As for which ones are on-trend in 2022? 

"Wide leg, relaxed and straight leg," Nicole said.

"The flare is also very popular, while the mom jean is still a favourite. I recommend buying a few styles and seeing what suits your body shape best," she added.

And although skinny jeans will always be in, they're taking a backseat this season. So Nicole suggests trying something new like a straight leg or more relaxed style.


How to style jeans.

Although there are no rules for how you wear your denim, Nicole's given us four up-to-the-minute styling suggestions for whatever jeans you choose.

1. A t-shirt tucked into jeans, worn with an oversized blazer and boots, loafers or a point toe heel. 

Chosen by Tuchuzy Bella Blazer, $299.

Image: Tuchuzy.


Cotton On The 91 Classic Organic Tee, $24.99.

Image: Cotton On. 

MOOD.DNM Lily 90s Loose Fit Mid Rise, $119.

Image: The Iconic. 


Jo Mercer Ignis Loafers Black Leather, $199.95.

Image: Jo Mercer. 


2. An oversized coloured or striped cotton shirt with a half tuck into your jeans, paired with boots or sneakers. 

Blanca Benny Shirt, $229. 

Image: The Iconic. 


H&M Straight High Ankle Jeans, $49.99.

Image: H&M. 

SPURR Pippa Sneakers, $49.99.

Image: The Iconic. 


3. A corset top with loose baggy jeans.

Lioness Tanis Corset, $69.

Image: The Iconic. 


NEUW Sade Baggy, $80.

Image: General Pants. 


4. A cropped cardigan or knit with high-waisted flares or straight leg jeans. 

Savel Scarlett Cardigan, $99.95. 

Image: The Iconic. 


Rolla's Eastcoast Flare, $169.95.

Image: Rolla's. 

Now it's over to you to find your forever denim. Happy shopping!

Which jeans will you be buying for spring? Tell us in the comments below.

Feature image: Instagram/@nicoleadolphe

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