With so many women and girls choosing to wear jeans to play dress-up or to go out, it’s no surprise that some of them might have some serious concerns about their fit.
A new study out of the University of California, San Francisco, has found that women are actually sizing up their waistlines and looking for better fit, not just style.
The study found that those who were wearing jeans the majority of the time had an average waistline of 32 inches, while those who wore them the least had an overall waist circumference of 18.7 inches.
“Women are wearing jeans less, but they’re not wearing them well,” said study author Rachelle Bouchard, an associate professor of sociology.
And while the study doesn’t prove that women aren’t sizing up, it does suggest that sizing up is necessary.
Bouchard and her co-authors used a database of more than 5 million pairs of jeans, measuring the width of each waistband and calculating the average width.
They found that while most women are sizing up with their waistbands, some are also measuring their waistband width to get the perfect fit.
For example, women who are wearing a size 4-inch waistband had an estimated waist circumference at 29 inches.
That measurement was actually an improvement over previous studies of waist-sized women.
But if you’re a 5-inch-waistbark, you might have a higher chance of being undersized, Bouchar said.
You can still fit in jeans even if your waistband is larger, because you’re getting less slack in your waist, Bunchard said.
But for women with narrower waists, sizing up can make a big difference.
For example: Bouchart said a woman who was 5-foot-9 and measured 30 inches waist circumference and a 34-inch measurement waistband would have a waist circumference around 27 inches.
However, if she had a size 8-inch and a 30-inch circumference waistband, her waist circumference would be closer to 33 inches.
She also found that for women who were 5-feet-9-inches, a size 16-inch or 17-inch Waistband would fit her better.
Bouchbard noted that there’s a misconception among the public that waist sizes are proportional to a woman’s waist.
When sizing up for a new pair of jeans or a pair of shorts, you should keep in mind that waist size can be an important factor.
There’s also a tendency among some women to try on new styles of jeans too quickly and assume they’re going to be better.
That’s not always the case, Baugh said.
“It can be really helpful to have a little time to try out new styles, and then when you’re ready to go, wear them.”
Bouchd out of UC San Francisco said she’s excited about the results of the study, and is looking forward to further exploring the issues that come with jeans.
Read more: Women wearing jeans more often: Study