Readers Ask: Dear Lucky About Finding Flattering Jeans

Q: I have thick calves and have a hard time finding jeans that are flattering. Boot-cut jeans look good, but sometimes I really want to wear a straight or skinny leg. Can you recommend any brands?

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

A: The trick is to find jeans with little or no stretch. Stretch can make jeans cling to calves/knees like sausage casings. (Stretch causes at least as many problems as it solves with jeans. My least favorite thing is how it makes your jeans work themselves slowly down off your hips unless you wear a belt. Wasn’t the whole reason to wear stretch about comfort? And so now you’re just forcing a belt to do the uncomfortable dirty work, stretch-jeans manufacturers? How about comfortable that doesn’t squeeze you out of your own pants? But I digress.) The Gap 1969 label “Real Straight,” Ann Taylor’s “Modern Denim Straight” and James Jeans’ “Hunter” are all straight/skinny-leg jeans that don’t cling to your calves.

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