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Denim disasters a thing of the past...

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 May 2011

Chrissie Rix at the Jean Genie Pod in Chapelfield shopping centre.

Chrissie Rix at the Jean Genie Pod in Chapelfield shopping centre.

Archant © 2011

If you hate shopping for jeans then you're not alone. But help is at hand because the Jean Genies have arrived at Chapelfield on a mission to make denim disasters a thing of the past. Will they make EMMA LEE'S wish to find the perfect fit come true?

They might be a wardrobe essential, but finding the perfect pair of jeans is easier said than done

There’s such a massive array of styles out there – boot-cut, flared, skinny, cropped – it makes shopping for denim a daunting prospect.

According to a survey by Opinion Matters, across the UK, two out of 10 women admit they feel trepidation when shopping for jeans – and the average time spent in the changing rooms is one-and-a-half-hours to find that perfect fit. By contrast, men spend less than an hour finding their perfect pair of jeans – just 50 minutes.

In East Anglia, when it comes to jeans perfection, almost one in four women (24.2pc) try on four or more pairs until they find the right style, fit and cut.

When it comes to surplus denim in our wardrobes, more than half (62.5pc) said that they own at least two pairs of jeans that do not fit properly.

Whether this is due to hasty purchases or a fluctuating waistline, who knows, but 10pc of those taking part in the survey confessed to having five or more pairs that never see the light of day.

So it’s official – finding the perfect pair of jeans is one of fashion’s most taxing challenges. And that’s where the Jean Genies come in.

During May stylists Suzie Love and Chrissi Rix are helping shoppers at Chapelfield make denim disasters a thing of the past.

They’ve set up a pop in pad on the ground floor near House of Fraser. And they’ve scoured the rails – there are more than 20 stores that sell jeans at Chapelfield – so that shoppers don’t have to.

This weekend they’ll be offering free 30 minute style consultations offering personalised practical advice and tips on how to find jeans to suit your style and your body shape.

If anyone knows how to shop it’s Suzie and Chrissi.

Suzie trained as a make-up artist and stylist at the London College of Fashion and has worked in the fashion industry for more than 15 years as far afield as Japan.

Chrissi also trained at the London College of Fashion. She has worked as a personal shopper for more than a decade, and has also styled magazine and editorial photoshoots and advertising campaigns.

Emma Lee hates, loathes and despises shopping for jeans. So how did she get on when she met the Jean Genies?

“I get flustered at just the thought of having to go shopping for jeans. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve set out full of optimism that I’m going to purchase the perfect pair only to return home empty handed and completely demoralised a couple of hours later.

I’m convinced I’m just the wrong shape for jeans.

Either the legs are too narrow for me to actually get them on or I can get them on and then they’re too big on the waist.

I’m the Jean Genies’ first client – and I’m absolutely certain they’ll have met their match in me.

But Chrissi and Suzie don’t seem at all fazed when I tell them my woes. After our initial chat, where they find out what size jeans I usually wear and whether I’m a heels or flat kind of girl, they get rifling through the rails.

The key to successful jeans buying is to shop for your shape, not what’s in fashion. So that means no more skinny jeans for me. Chrissi recommends that a jean with a straight leg or a slight boot cut would be much more flattering as it should balance out my proportions. To avoid the dreaded ‘muffin top’ effect I should go for jeans with a mid rise waist rather than low rise. And I should go for dark rather than pale washes.

When I’m handed the first pair – from Esprit – I don’t hold out any hope of being able to get them on.

But not only do I manage to get in to them – with no tears – but they’re practically perfect.

I try on several more pairs during my session and it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself in just a few minutes. It turns out that I’m smaller than I think I am (result!) – I’ve just been buying the wrong style jeans. Of all the jeans I tried on, my favourites were from Oasis – and at £45 they won’t break the bank (another result).

Chrissi and Suzie aren’t Jean Genies, they’re Jean Geniuses”.

The Jean Genies will be at Chapelfield this Saturday from 10am-6pm and on Sunday from 11am-5pm. To book an appointment visit www.chapelfield.co.uk

Find out what jean shape suits you by taking a look at the Life Matters jean guide. Click on the link at the top of the column on the right.

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