The high street isn't anywhere near standardisation in sizes, so unfortunately it's about trial and error in each store.
H If you're worried about your love handles, avoid low rises all round. Medium to high waists are your friends. Yet some brands like 5 Units are quite high-waisted and still unforgiving of hips and calves so it's not a foolproof tactic.
H It pays to spend money on good quality jeans. It sounds obvious, but these are specialist trousers, so don't skimp too much. However, if you find a bargain brand that fits your body well - go in peace.
H Speaking of fit, remember that every body is completely unique. The cut that look amazing on your narrow-hipped mate may not go anywhere near you so don't be too disheartened.
J Brand were my favourites, and I won't lie - the fact that they were a 29 made me happy, especially because I couldn't close Victoria Beckham's 30s. Perhaps vanity sizing does work, but it definitely works in the opposite direction too - I'm not going up a size just to wear VB.
H You just have to suck it up (and in) and try them on. Yes you might want to weep in the changing room, but you also might find the perfect pair.
H I will choose Topshop as my runner up and put River Island in the "would buy" category also. They have persuaded me to ditch the jeggings.