How to Buy Jeans Online

I buy all my jeans online. Yep, you heard me. I buy ALL my jeans online. How? Why? Well, I buy my jeans online because:

  • Shopping online is less stressful (will get into that later)
  • I can usually get a better deal (with all the sales, and with free shipping)

For many people, buying jeans conjures up memories in the dressing room with a million pairs of jeans that don’t fit. So how do you know you have the right size when making purchases with jeans online? Well, I’m going to share with you my secret, and it’s not exactly rocket science.

Know your size

Look in your closet. What size fits you best? It may sound obvious, but it’s the simplest way. If you don’t have any jeans you love, try on jeans from several brands in a local department store or denim bar to get a size range. As you know, not all denim brands fit the same, but at the same time, you’re not going to be a 25 in one brand and a 31 in another. Most premium denim brands do fit true to size. For instance, in most brands I’m a 27, with some, like Paige Denim or Current/Elliott, I’m a 26, yet I love my Goldsign in a 28.

Get sized every now and then

They say in the lingerie industry, get sized for a bra every six months. I could say this is the same for a pair of jeans too, even if you don’t fluctuate in weight. It doesn’t have to be a big song and dance, just every now and then if you’re out shopping take a look at the denim department and try on a pair or two. Sometimes new styles will require you to wear a different size. I almost always go a size down wearing relaxed jeans, and a size up for anything with an extreme low rise or high waist. It’s a personal preference.

Keep in mind…

Sometimes it’s the style, not the brand

If you try on a bunch of boyfriend jeans in one brand, and a bunch of denim leggings in another brand, you can’t compare the sizes. It’s like comparing apples in oranges. If I compare my Current/Elliot Captain Trousers (relaxed fit) to my Charley 5.0 jeggings (tighter than tight)  which are both a size 27 it’s not going to give me an accurate reading on what my “size” is.  Doesn’t mean I should knock myself down two sizes if I get a pair of Current/Elliot denim leggings, because each style is meant to fit differently.

Find the right online shop

When shopping online in general, it’s always important to find the answers to these questions:

  1. What is their return policy?
  2. Do they offer free shipping on returns?
  3. Do they have user reviews available? (not all sites do this, but for me, it helps!)

Many online retailers do offer this service, but there are some that are final sale only, particularly the sample sale sites. In that case, it’s important to know your size in that particular brand. Else you’ll end up making a trip to the consignment shop!

When in doubt, order a few sizes of the same style

If you have never tried on a certain brand or have doubts which size will fit you best, then the best thing to do is buy multiple sizes. At a shop that offers free shipping and free returns, this is possible. That way you’re certain of getting the right fit.


I used to agonize over buying jeans. It was a nightmare. But now, buying jeans is one of my favorite things to purchase. It’s mostly because of the practice I’ve had buying jeans online that I know what to look for, what I’m getting. Nowadays, it’s much more of a hassle buying jeans in a real store. I like to monitor shops frequently for new styles and it’s not always easy to do in real stores.



  1. October 26, 2010 / 11:51 am

    Sometimes, if a website has a testimonial page, the customers might tell you whether the sizes run smaller or true to size. Also it helps to chat with their customer service rep to best identify the best fit.

  2. October 26, 2010 / 11:55 am

    I’ve always been so scared to buy jeans online. I’m comfortable buying everything else online, but jeans NEVER! LOL! However, after reading this post, I’ll definitely consider it.



  3. October 26, 2010 / 5:17 pm

    Great tips! So true about the practice one. Let’s see if all my practice has helped. My jeans from Rue La La just shipped 🙂

  4. October 26, 2010 / 7:31 pm

    Loving your latest updates! 🙂

    Wondering if you know of any reliable US to Australia size conversion chart online? So far, I’ve been doing it the ‘trial & error’ way, with varying degrees if success…

  5. October 26, 2010 / 7:50 pm

    You’re so cute 🙂
    And great post. I love online shopping!

  6. Jennine
    October 27, 2010 / 7:44 am

    Tami…ooh yes, reviews really help, I love reviews that’s why I always check zappos or amazon, they’re great with it. I wish more companies had live customer service. That would be sweet.
    Jessica… haha, yeah, it depends on how often you wear jeans, then you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. I’d just start with a shop that offers free returns. That way you can’t lose!
    Christina…You’re an online shopping whiz! I’m sure you’ll love them!
    Pink Ronnie.. I’m pretty sure premium denim has standardized sizing, all waist sizes in inches. At least that’s how it works in Europe, all the European brands (Acne, G-Star, Diesel, A.P.C. Cheap Monday) use that system. What premium denim brands are sold out of Australia?
    TheShoeGirl: Ahah I bet you do so well in online shopping!

  7. October 27, 2010 / 6:06 pm

    Jennine! This is great!

    I’ve always feared buying jeans online but I also despise going to the store and trying on what feels like thousands of pairs!

    I’ll definitely try again thanks to your fabulous tips!



  8. Denise
    October 27, 2010 / 11:47 pm

    Many thanks for the article! First I have to say I love the wide leg jeans you’re wearing and the handbag. Are you allowed to give retailer names on here? If so would you be willing to divulge some of your favorites? I agree on return privileges. The other thing is, are they authentic? And if authentic, are they store quality or are they a direct to discount quality? I’ve been burned buying Hanky Panky and 7s on line which were authentic but of lesser, direct to discount quality.

  9. Paula
    October 28, 2010 / 5:38 am

    Great article! I completely agree with everything you said. I went through a similar journey figuring out size. I do find that certain brands like 7FAM and LuckyBrand are hard to gauge and I stay away from online purchases. But thankfully, most high end denim seems to be consistent enough to find a formula for sizing. When I am in stores with high end denim, I always grab various cuts and sizes, try them on and makes notes as to fit in order to be ready to make purchases online. (ok, a bit obsessive, I know, but I really hate to return things!!)

  10. November 1, 2010 / 3:53 am

    i love this blog! do you ever shoot fat girls? it’s all so skinny and hipster.

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  12. November 10, 2010 / 8:34 am

    LOVE her outfit! Especially the lace blouse and the vintage tapestry handbag!

  13. February 25, 2011 / 6:12 pm

    Great post, and totally agree. There is little I won’t buy online. I hate going to the mall.

    I’m putting together a site that recommends where to buy jeans online, and soon I hope to have a review system up.

  14. Rick Rude
    March 21, 2011 / 4:06 pm

    I know my size and I know my style.

    The trouble I find with buying jeans online is the picture NEVER looks like what you pull out of the package.

    I find it’s always better to go in person to try them on. No matter how stressful it is.

  15. April 30, 2011 / 11:59 am

    I sell and buy jeans on line all the time, I love to have satisfied customers 🙂 all my jeans I sell are gently used in Great Condition, the pictures of items I sell on my website are the actual photo of the item. I usually ship priority mail so you get your purchase within days.

  16. October 18, 2011 / 3:34 am

    Hi, here is a good B2C website available for you to visit.

  17. March 1, 2013 / 1:11 am

    Great tips, I get much help from these tips. I love to purchase online but always have the fear of size whether I will get the perfect size or not. Thanks for getting me out from my confusions.

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  18. August 17, 2013 / 10:26 am

    I will immediately clutch your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me recognize in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

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