It’s crazy that the most basic clothing staple is the hardest to shop for. Between making your butt look good, being the perfect length in heels and in flats + not showing your undies when you bend over, there’s a lot of jobs that jeans need to do. With fall just around the corner, we’ll soon be trading in our maxis and sundresses for denim and sweaters. Before you go out searching for that “perfect pair,” read these tips from Madewell‘s head of design, Somsack Sikhounmuong on how to buy the perfect pair!

What to keep in mind

“When you head out shopping, make sure you are in a pair of pants and shoes that are easy to take on and off, because the key to finding the perfect pair of jeans is trying a lot on,” Sikhounmuong advises. “Try them on, look around in the mirror and make sure you like what you see. But mostly, be open minded. Just recently I had my die-hard lower-rise-skinny-jean friend, who was a little anxious about any other fit, try on a pair of our high-rise straight jeans. She left the store with two pairs!”

How to make sure the length works

“We’ve done our research and a lot of our customers tell us our 28 1/2″ inseam is pretty perfect,” Sikhounmuong says. Use that as your guide. If you are taller than all of your friends, add an inch. Shorter? Subtract.

On making your butt look freaking awesome

Sikhounmuong says Madewell designers spend a lot of time thinking about this. “It’s the eternal question! Look for a denim that hugs you in all the right places and is sturdy enough to hold you up and recover at the end of the day.” This is going to be different for every woman, so try on various brands and then stick with one you love. The fit will be consistent across their various cuts and washes.

Trend alert! The New Fall Pair You Have to Have

Sure, you can never have enough perfectly-fitting jeans to dress up and down, but what if you can only budget one new pair for your fall rotation?! Sikhounmuong says all the Madewell designers are loving their high-riser-skinny style in black. “It feels especially fresh and new.”

What’s your favorite denim brand? What new denim trend are you trying on this year? Tell us in the comments!