Monday, October 26, 2009

Jeans Shopping 101 + Free Jeans, Anyone?

To continue the proud Daddy Likey tradition of book excerpts and corresponding giveaways, I present to you a small section of Chapter 1: The Definitive Guide to Shopping for Jeans While Retaining At Least One-Third of Your Self-Esteem (and at least one-half of your paycheck), followed by a chance to win some gorgeous denim for yourself:

Jeans Shopping 101

Plan ahead. For example, don't schedule your shopping trip right after your dinner at the pasta buffet. Leave plenty of time to peruse the store. Pack a flask and rescue flares in case things get really bad.

Know exactly what kind of jeans you're shopping for and dress accordingly. If you're looking for relaxed everyday jeans, wear casual shoes, shirt, and undergarments. If you're searching for some trendier denim to wear with heels at night, then wear your stilettos and a clingy top to the store. Want a pair of skinny jeans to tuck into your boots? Wear your boots into the dressing room and tuck those suckers in.

Keep a ballpark price in mind. And no, $20 - $200 is not a ballpark. Is this going to be a sale rack kind of day, or is this going to be the day you spend some (or all) of your savings on a pair of designer jeans?

If you usually have a hard time finding jeans, steer clear of smaller stores and boutiques, and head straight for large stores withlargerselections. There's nothing worse than trying on every single pair of jeans in a store only to go home empty-handed, convinced you're some kind of mutant who can't wear normal clothes, when in fact, the store only offered three different styles.

If you have a little junk in the trunk or have been blessed with a Rubenesque figure, you should check out stores that specialize in larger sizes—they usually have more options, and the staff has a better knowledge of flattering cuts and colors.

Conversely, if you have a smaller frame, or are just looking for a bargain, don't be afraid to take a peek at the juniors’ section, especially for trendier styles. Prices usually stay below $50, but beware the super-low-rise fashions, which only tend to look good on svelte 13-year-olds.

As much as I adore thrift and vintage stores, they are not dependable sources for jeans. If you stumble across a fabulous pair of worn-in Levi's while browsing at the thrift store, good for you. But usually, the selection is too limited and unpredictable to count on finding a good fit.

No matter what store you go to, try on five hundred pairs of jeans . . . and then try on five more. Do you see why you should carve out some time for this?

If you hyperventilate at the thought of endless shelves of denim, familiarize yourself with the Denim Field Guide and Maslow's Hierarchy of Jeans (both featured in the book!) to help you make sense of it all. You could breathe into a paper bag too, if that helps.

And to help you with that "retaining one-half of your paycheck" thing, I'm so excited to offer you a free pair of fabulous jeans from a new premium denim company based out of NYC called Antique Rivet!

The winner will receive a pair of these embellished straight leg jeans in size 0-13 (I'm so sorry to my beautiful readers who fall outside that range, I swear I'll make it up to you!) which normally retail for $85. Recessionista, baby! (Oh my god, I'm so upset I just wrote that. I apologize.)

For a chance to win, please leave a comment describing your best jeans shopping strategy, or how you found your favorite pair of jeans. Thanks so much for entering, and I'll choose a winner at random a week from today (Monday, November 2nd!). As always, blogging or tweeting about this giveaway will earn you an extra entry! Best of luck!

Updated to add: International readers are welcome to enter! We can have your prize shipped to me and then I'll ship it out to you, wherever you may be!

Aaaaannnnnnd our lucky winner is BAM! Thank you all so much for entering and for all the amazing tips and tricks! I learned so much from reading your comments! And not to worry--another great giveaway is coming up soon! :)

146 comments:

Anna M. said...

1. Prepare the week ahead by buttering up your deity(s) of choice.
2. Before shopping, pop some Xanax.
3. Make your way into the store. Grab some jeans that look like they might fit; run into dressing room and try them on before you realize what's going on.
4. Afterwards, reward yourself with a tub of cookie dough ice cream.
5. Remember, there are some situations where it's okay to cry.

On the serious side: Go often to try on jeans but make it quick. It is is a pretty harrying experience if you aren't a model.

Anna

P.S. Totally tweeting about this! (@saxopwned)

Erin said...

i hate shopping for jeans! but i think that it's important that if you find a brand that fits your body, then you should try to stick with it. also, places like H&M and F21 are good plcaes to get trendier jeans, in colours, shredded, etc. so you don't have to worry about spending lots for something that will last a couple seasons.

Erin said...

First, this is the most witty fashion-related blog out there!

Second, my absolute favorite two pairs of jeans are by Duarte, found on Bluefly; they had the best butt-fit and great details like subtle abstract skull embroidering or fleur de lis buttons. Unfortunately, I don't think Duarte jeans exist anymore.

So in the absence of Duarte jeans, I like ordering the same jeans in a few sizes and then returning the wrong-sized jeans after trying them on (favorite online jeans stores: bluefly.com, nordstroms, urban outfitters). The benefit of this is that you can get tired and annoyed with trying on jeans in your own room, that 1/3 of the pairs should fit perfectly, AND (MOST IMPORTANTLY) you can wear them around a bit and see how comfortable & flattering the jeans are without magic slimming store mirrors.
ALSO, don't forget to check out http://www.retailmenot.com/ for discount codes for any online retailer!

abt arcade said...

your jeans guide has pretty much nailed it. when i shop for denim, i think about which wash i want, which cut i want and what i'm willing to spend. i usually hit nordstrom and usually come away happy.

one thing that totally shocked me tho, was jeans with any spandex in them (more commonly called stretch jeans) should not be dried in the dryer, but rather air dried. i learned this the hard way when after dropping $100+ on some citizens of humanity jeans they developed large crotch holes in just a few months. always ask the sales clerk for washing instructions even if it seems like a no-brainer.

J. Elle said...

HOW TO KEEP THAT PERFECT PAIR ALIVE ONCE YOU'VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO FIND THEM: Once upon a time, I slipped into an alternate universe and found the perfect pair of jeans. Fast forward to five years later when said pair of jeans (which I'd lovingly cared for and only washed inside out), died a tragic death in the Kohl's bathroom when I went to zip up after using the toilet and the zipper broke. My indignance knew no bounds. I hastily contacted the company of the jeans (they were designer) and expressed my outrage at the failure of their product. (I may have kept the fact that they were 5 years old to myself.) A few weeks later, after sending my beloved pair back to them, the company sent me the exact pair as a replacement for free. That pair is on my body as I type (and smile in satisfaction). I'll wager the $110 I spent on the first pair, was the best $110 I've ever spent.

Karen R. said...

Figure out what the hell size you are in European sizes before embarking on this mecca. Then go to the gym and find people that are larger than you,take a mental picture and when you are squeezing your tushie in that demin, feel good about yourself!

spacegeek said...

I ask my sister, who wears a different size, but has the same body type as me... she's younger and much more hip than me, so if I know what she's wearing, I know I'll have a shot at finding something that fits and might make me a little cool.

char said...

Awesome! Is this comp open to non-US DaddyLikey-ees?

tortuga said...

My rules for jeans shopping-

Try on everything in your size and the sizes on either size. Just grab everything and try it on. It takes a while but is well worth it.

Bring a patient boyfriend or girlfriend who will go out and get different sizes for you. There's nothing worse than being trapped in the fitting room waiting for a sales person to bring you something.

I like shopping for jeans at Nordstom or Saks or Bloomingdales because of their big selection.

Alpha Monkey said...

I take my husband. He worked in retail once upon a time and has a good eye and a great sense of humor. It helps remind me it is the cut of the pants, not my frame that looks odd in the mirror.

I do look around online a bit before I go. For trends, or new brands I am not aware of. You can type a fairly specific query into Google and find things: "Jeans for a short mother of three who wants to be a tall mother of three." Well, maybe not that specific!

Also, when I find a brand that qualifies as a "good booty" pant on me, I start there.

Jean said...

When flares and bootcut jeans were in, I basically stopped buying jeans for a while. I'm so short, the likelihood that a given pair of jeans will fit me, even in a short length, is verrry small. As small as my stumpy, stumpy legs. But now that straight and skinny-leg jeans are the norm, I can finally buy cute jeans for the fit or the details, rather than the length, and then just chop and hem when I get home.

Farihah K. said...

my word of advice? take a fashion savvy best friend (or in my case, older sister) along with you. just make sure that they'll tell you the truth. jeans look different from far away than they do when you're wearing them. it's always nice to have a second opinion. (:

Melissa said...

I'm a zero, short, and have a butt. Many times I'll have to have my jeans altered, so keeping that in mind....
Anne Taylor Loft!
I buy so that the jeans fit my butt, then get them taken in at the waist and at the legs.
This is why I usually stick to skirts, though.

lisa said...

I do the squat test in the dressing room to make sure the jeans won't expose any plumber's crack.

Muttersome said...

HOw I shop for jeans:

1) eat a meal
2) hit any rack that says extra 50%
3) try, try, try
4) walk out with the pair that doesn't give me indigestion

The meal is absolutely key. I've had jeans before that went from normal to uncomfortable within the space of two burgers and some fries.

Michelle said...

1. Go to store, pick out many many jeans.

2. Try them on. Get frustrated at how they're all either too long or too short. And also how they're too huge around the waistband but fit perfectly around my butt. (WTF, ass?!?!)

3. Try on more.

4. Cry about how hopelessly weird my waist-to-ass ratio is. Hope salesgirl doesn't hear.

5. Finally find something, head to the register and get the heck out of there!!!

Sarah said...

GAP 1969 JEANS. OMFG. I don't know if they're still in stores, but if they are get your BUTT to a Gap and start trying on some. They fit so well, my boyfriend told me they weren't fitting right. I told him my ass crack not hanging out, weirdly enough, indicated a good fit.

In general, however--I usually buy my jeans at American Eagle, generally when I'm feeling good about myself from the second I woke up. I've gotten skinnies everywhere from Gap to Trash and Vaudeville...and I have one pair of wide-legs from TopShop. I NEED to buy from stores with petite sizes..and even then, it's sometimes sad.

It's a battle, indeed.

Frugal Bon Vivant said...

My recent strategy is to try on every pair in my size -- as they're always a tiny bit different!

Lizzie (tezach@hotmail.com) said...

My secret is to go someplace where the staff is on commission. They'll spend as long as you need bringing you different jeans ("Wait, can you bring back the size 28 again? ...no, let's try something with a higher rise. ...Hmm, do you have something like this but more bootcut?") because they want you to buy SOMETHING, and they know their stock way better than even your most fashionable friend who shops all the time.

smiles1_9 said...

i lucked out finding my fave pair of jeans. i was trying on cute going out tops and needed to see how they looked with jeans, so i grabbed a random pair, turns out they fit perfectly, were strechy and shredded in ALL the right places, and they were on SALE.

i;m bummed cause they're going to need replacing soon, and i dread it. but thanks to your helpful tips, hopefully it won't be TOO TOO painful.

littlemissellie said...

I generally just take in a ton of jeans to try, and make sure there's a friendly shop assistant to help if I need a different size.

Claire said...

I have two new favorite pairs of jeans, and I found them in a most unexpected place: Target. I have never had luck with Target jeans, but I've been short on denim recently (that's what I get for working on my parents' new farm this summer). As a consolation, my dad offered to buy me some new jeans that weren't covered in animal excrement stains. I ended up finding the perfect pair of bootcut jeans (a fit that I used to hate), and I got them in two washes. So I guess my strategy is try on jeans wouldn't normally try on, and have your dad foot the bill! Although I can't really imagine your dad buying you jeans, Winona, unless they're like super cargo jeans that'll save your life.

Also, I think the CAPTCHA is trying to tell me I'm fat. It's "pudges." :(

melissa marie said...

my strategy consists of being really lucky that day and then everything fits. if it's not "that day," i just go home.

Menina said...

My jeans strategy;

Run around in circles
Grab a few pairs
Decide I don't like these pairs in my hands
Throw them at the nearest girl wearing perfect jeans
Get more jeans
Try them on
Hate them
Love them
Buy them
Return them
Buy some more


ad nauseum

:( I WANT PERFECT JEANS

Dee said...

When I was about 13, I had a bad experience with boot cut jeans (it probably wasn't that bad but I was a dramatic teen), so I refused to try them on for years and years. Then, I went jeans shopping with my mom and she suggested a boot cut pair. I was already tired and cranky so just agreed to try them on, and I realize that they are ones that look and fit the best with my huge bottom and thighs. I'm gonna have to go back and get another pair in a different wash.

Chin Chin Vintage said...

I sadly have yet to find that perfect pair of jeans. I am in a state of ill-fitting jean hatred at the moment, so I'm wearing anything & everything but jeans. this guide helps. my problem is that i often have buyer's remorse once i get the jeans home and have worn them in for a few hours to find that they have stretched out too much or i don't really like the fit after all :( here's to hoping that perfect pair comes my way someday.

ps. i'm a new follower & me likey :)

abbi said...

I usually have a hard time finding a good pair of jeans because a) I'm tall and thin and b) I'm not willing to pay a lot.

I've actually had significant success at thrifting jeans, mainly because I work at a thrift store and can keep tabs on everything that comes in.

My favorite pair of jeans, for instance, came from the thrift store and cost me about 4 dollars. They're long enough for me to wear with heels and the dark wash makes them dressy enough to pair with cute semi-formal tops.

Mar said...

I zero in on the petites. I have a normal torso but petite legs, which left me really confused about why all my pants were too long for about a billion years. Then my grandmother hauled me off to Macy's for my birthday and insisted on making me try every single pair of petite jeans in the place, I swear to god. Now I have two fabulous pairs of pants. My strategy: get your grandmother to take you shopping.

JessieB said...

I now circumvent the entire process by ordering the same size and style online. I found 2 styles of sevens that I like and that fit me, and now I just look for them on sale online when I need to stock up. Of course if I ever get tired of that style, I'm screwed, but so far so good! (and no panic attacks!)

Liz said...

I forage for jeans at discount stores like TJ Maxx. I guess oddly-made castaway/overstock products just work for my figure (or maybe the same jeans just look better when I won't be paying $100+ for them).

Bunny said...

1. Bring a buddy who will tell it to you straight. You really do need to know if the mirror is a liar or you need another size.

2. The darker the jean, the better. You'll get the best distressing and fading over time and they'll last longer.

3. Don't force a style on your body type. Go for what flatters you best.

I'll twitter this too! @andreajeanc

kristine said...

How I found my favorite pair of jeans? I'll tell you how I found what I THOUGHT was my favorite pair of jeans, which were these terribly, insanely, four-inches-too-long-for-me Abercrombie rejects that barely stayed on my hips but, for once in my life, my ankles were covered.

I found them by looking for the pair of jeans with the hem trailing on the floor.

Mistake learned, after wearing the shit out of them for three years straight (and oh, I'm NOT joking. They had enormous 12" holes where the knees used to be, and of course that amazing length had been worn off [and terribly, terribly patched BACK ON WITH SAFETY PINS.]).

Still looking for the right pair! Long enough for my 34" inseam and actually fitting my flat ass!

Claire said...

Me me me! My best pair of jeans is a pair of dark grey Seven for All Mankind's in Super flare. I put them on and my Mum was like "Those are the best pair of jeans I've ever seen you wear, you have to get them". And she's painfully honest when shopping. So I bought them. I wasn't planning on getting jeans. They were half price too!!

Now, for the same thing to happen with a pair of black skinnies...

Brooke said...

I've learned to grab 2 or 3 sizes of each style, expect that they won't fit and just try EVERYTHING! If things don't fit, I won't be let down. When they do, I get so happy. Plus, once I find a pair that I like, I always ask the staff what they think about the material and cut, and if they've worn them or know someone who has to find out about shrinkage/stretchage (that's not a word is it?).

mbbored said...

If I have to shop for new jeans, I do it by myself, and am brutally honest. Girlfriends tend to flatter and make me spend more than I planned on.

However, my best pair of jeans ever, I bought on EBay for $5 because I just lost a ton of weight and needed to replace large amounts of my wardrobe. Slightly faded, perfectly broken in straight legged Lucky's. Way too long in the leg, so I roll them up on the inside, and just lower it for when I wear heels etc.

Abby said...

My favorite pair of jeans was a random lucky find at a secondhand store (perfect place to go for soft-as-butter denim).

I wasn't planning on getting any, but there was a beautiful pair of silver jeans for only $10 - and nothing I have worn before or since ever made my butt look so good.

~Jolene'sMemoryKeeping said...

LOL I fall under the "bigger" catagory but wanted to thank for reckognizing that some of us can't fit in that range :) they are cute jeans though! wish i did fit lol

em²ile² said...

Sadly, my most perfect pair of jeans (ev-er) died years ago and I have yet to replace them. They were Gap Long and Lean with a 34 inseam. I absolutely cannot find them in the stores or online :(

Lucy in the Sky said...

yikes so many of the commenters are super detailed with their jeans shopping strategy... for me, a nice (and cheap) pair of jeans can turn up anywhere. I don't really plan ahead but you should always be prepared with your sizes (waist size, length of jeans, etc...is there anything else?). also, I shop at cheapy places (Target + flea markets) and finding nice jeans is always a pleasant surprise!

Rebecca said...

1. Vodka. In a flask. You will thank me for this after squeezing your tush into the 800th pair of denims.

2. Learn to take up your own hemlines. This is so frigging easy, unless you are some kind of rocket-scientist-plus-international-diplomat who does not have a minute to spare, there is no reason to take that shit to a tailors.

3. Work out what you want from your jeans. Do you want people to be staring, jaw-dropped at your ass all night? Do you want to draw attention to the awesome curve of your upper thigh while making you feel less insecure about the general proportions of your legs vs torso? (Somebody else has to feel like this!)

You should obviously be thinking about all the other stuff like length, cut and no-scratchy-seams-in-weird-places, but by shopping specifically for the feature you want to enhance always gets you a pair of jeans you feel better about wearing.

m-m-m said...

I used to rely on thrifting and bargain shopping (ross, tjmaxx, etc) for my jeans. That ended when, at a consignment store, I found a pait of size 5 levi's superlow-bootcut-518s. That became my signature jean and I bought them at Macy's ($40!!). They still fit 4 years later, and make great shorts when the holes in the knees are too big. I also discovered that I really like Express's Zelda jeans, so now I have 2 favorite jean styles/brands and never waste my time looking at any other brand. It's really nice to have a go-to for denim!

Courtney said...

My favorite pair of jeans in now about two sizes too big, with huge holes in the knees. Oh, and really big tear just below the left ass pocket. *sighs* My Zanadi's are no more. I love my Paris Blue Jeans, but I still need to lose some of the baby weight before I can wear those without feeling like slitting my wrists.

My new jean shopping how-to, no kids allowed:

1. Pop a couple ibuprofen for the headache to come, and demand my boyfriend buy me a carmellito from my favorite coffee joint. This coffee has saved lives!!!
2. Proceed to the mall across the street from said coffee joint, with boyfriend in tow, to drag from store to store.
3. Go to Target, Sears, JCPenney, and various mall clothing stores that have not closed down yet. Clearance racks are your friends, dears!
4. Try on various styles by various brands in various sizes thanks to the BS of a size 4 in one brand being closer to a size 0 in another brand.
5. Step out of changing room after each trial fit for boyfriend review.
6. Resist the urge to punch boyfriend in face, or kick between legs, with the reminder that he did buy me coffee.
7. Find several pairs I won't even dare step out of fitting room wearing for criticism.
8. Finally find a few pairs where the boyfriend has nothing bad to say about how they look on me.
9. Proceed to checkout.
10. Demand some serious emotional compensation in the form of deep fried, cheesy, buffalo smothered foods.

And VOILA! There you have it. How to buy jeans with minimal emotional abuse. Yes, that's minimal.

storiteller said...

I found my current favorite pair of jeans at a Plato's Closet thrift store. I love the store because they actually reject merchandise so you don't have to search through a million crummy things, and I love the jeans because they were pre-stretched (just a bit) yet still a nice dark blue.

Arlynn said...

Yay... what's not to love about a jeans giveaway!?!? Nothing. Simply nothing & my fingers are double crossed for more luck :-)

Believe it or not I found my all-time favorite pair of jeans at Marshalls. I know. It was a surprised to me too! I usually peruse those type of establishments with a lot of time on my hands and at last one cart.

I usually don't look for denim, but these happened upon me - I believe tucked away within the skirt section. I almost passed them up & then thought, "hey! They're in my size & pretty cute, why not?!?" Well, SO glad I did! They made my booty look amazing & were just THE right length for me.

Sadly, that was back in my sophomore year of college & I've - ahem - gained a bit of a more womanly figure & am now in need of a new favorite pair. Perhaps that's why I'm entering here :-)

Thanks!!!

XO

Kristen said...

One of my favourite pairs of jeans came out of necessity...I work at H&M, and our denim has been awful for a LONG time. Aka they all fit like potato sacks and the pockets would often fall off, exposing the naked ass cheek of the wearer. Seriously. So, when we got in a huge new selection of jeans that were supposed to actually fit, they dragged the employees into change rooms and made us try on 5 or 6 styles each, so we could tell the customers how they fit. Miraculously, a few pairs ended up being AMAZING, and they became my go-to jean.

That isn't to say we don't still carry a lot of potato sack jeans where the pockets fall off. But some of them are actually designed to fit properly on real bodies now!

Rebecca said...

The only time I have ever found jeans at Goodwill = the only pair of jeans that I own that I love! I don't know how that bit of serendipity happened, but they are super dark skinnies that tuck into jeans and look good on me despite my larger figure. The universe was smiling on me that day.

Mortician Rachel said...

Once upon a time (this summer), the Gap had a huge denim sale where all of their jeans were $20. I usually loathe shopping for jeans, but I needed a pair and decided to try some on. The first pair was PERFECT. Not only were they a size smaller than I usually wear (SCORE!), but they were the perfect rise, the perfect rinse, and made my hips look amazing. I bought them on the spot. I wore them normally, and got a gazzilion compliments. Those jeans brought out the best in the bodacious babe I never knew I was.

Then, two weeks ago, I was hopping up onto my grandmother's counter, caught the corner with my bum, and tore a gigantic gash in the butt of my jeans.

I won't deny it - I cried.

I can go back to the Gap and buy these jeans again, but now they are $70, and that is about two weeks worth of gas. I lament. I mourn.

Liz said...

I love to shop for jeans! I also help all of my friends and family pick great fitting jeans! The secret is to ignore the size on the label and be honest about your body type. You may want to wear Gap's Long and Lean, but maybe you are more suited for Curvy. Also dark washes are classic and straight leg or boot cut won't look dated next year. If you need a little something extra on the tush, then get jeans with flap pockets, etc, etc. I love the science behind it all, and the rush you get when you look in the mirror and say "Damn, I make these jeans look hot!"

the dali momma said...

jean philosophy (mine): the darker the better, not too trendy, boot cut generally but now "they" say skinny will be the new foundation jean, who knows. for me: look for brands that fit we girls with extra junk in our trunks. generally hard to find that dont leave a huge gap in the back. but some actaully live up to what we need most. my secret. dont tell anyone. old navy. dependable styles and sizes, even in short which is hard to find. dark colors and roomy rears. other people with the same problem have told me that they have also given up and just shop the oh so roomy backside of old navy. plus its very affordable. cant really go wrong. new jeans every season? why not.

tegan said...

my favourite pair of jeans were bought by my mother for me - she grabbed them in a sale, i didn't try them on until she got them home and they fit perfectly (much better than the ones i spend hours trying on and searching for...)

now i always take a (brutally honest) friend jeans shopping - often friends/family have a much better perspective about what looks good on you than you do.

loved your tips!

enc said...

What a great post, Winona!

My jeans strategy is to take my hubbo along, and anything that makes him grab my butt is purchase-able. Anything else isn't worth it.

Vanessa said...

I don't think I have a strategy. I always go to Old Navy, because they pretty reliably have something that will suit me. My strategy is mostly to go when I'm happy enough that I won't have a breakdown in the dressing room. I keep my standards pretty low.

I'll also tweet this (MirrorGoRound is my Twitter handle, yo).

Bethany said...

I always bring someone with me. That way they can console me when I lose the will to live, and I can send them for 14 more sizes/washes until they lose the will to live too. Then we go have ice cream! Seriously, I try on every pair I can find, and when I find a good pair I get them in every wash and length I can find and wear the heck out of them.

Lindsay said...

The first step in my jean shopping strategy is to be reeeally drunk.. Okay so I'm only a little serious. I try and eat a little something before I shop, not to mention while wearing adorable shoes. Other than that I just try not to hit anyone after I've tried on 8 pairs of jeans and have found nada.

Rachael said...

As you said before it is important to know what kind of jeans that you are looking for. I decide what style and specific wash that I am looking for before I leave the house. I also do a little shopping online to find what styles that I may like, and any decorations or embellishments that I want to look for. Once I find a good pair I make a mental note of the brand so I will have a place to start from on my next shopping trip.

Amy said...

This the first giveaway i've ever entered! Very exciting...

I actually found my favourite jeans thrifting! I found two favourite pairs this way, actually. Quite exceptional, i know, but i was happy for days after those finds!

My jeans-shopping strategy has always been very helter-skelter... i was plus-sized as a young teen and pants shopping was a day-long excursion with my mother who ended up getting so tired she would fork out however much $$ it cost for whatever would fit. I now have much less trouble shopping for jeans, as i fit into average sizes 10-13 depending on the store. I never pay more than $40 for a piece of clothing, so that's always my budget. I agree that you just have to try on 50 million pairs.

I think everyone has trouble finding jeans that fit, which i think is reason enough to scrap them as a wardrobe staple altogether, but apparently a few decades ago someone decided they were here to stay... psh.

Claire said...

My trick is pretty easy: remind self that I am NO LONGER THIRTEEN. Stay away from stores that target thirteen year olds, no matter how cheap or cute their jeans might be. Then I get what I think my size is, plus one smaller and one bigger. I start with the biggest size and try to forget I even brought the smaller one in with me. And I always do the butt check: turn my back to the mirror, squat, and look over my shoulder to see what's happening in the butt region. If I see some crack, these jeans are toast.

Amanda Paige said...

I'm only 5' and I have about a 28'' inseam. So the first thing I do when looking for jeans on a rack is look to see which pairs are shorter. This can be really good at Nordstrom Rack, where some of the stuff is alterations that were too short or etc.

I do try on stuff that's too long, but it's way better for me to snag a pair that is 2'' too long (I can wear them with heels!) than get a pair that's 6'' (or more!) too long and requires alteration.

meliasaurus said...

haha i'm horrible at jeans shopping. mymom buys all my jeans most of the time they fit well too :)

Clare said...

Love your tips (and I CAN'T WAIT to get your book!), and I love those jeans! I've found that Gap's new line of jeans, called 1969 for some unknowable reason, fit like a dream. AND they come in ankle length, which is perfect floor-length for a shorty like me.

Martina said...

Step 1: try on the hippest jeans in Express, Gap, Forever21, H&M, etc., without regard to the fact that you are not, in fact, a leggy 16-year old blond model from Slovenia and will therefore not look good in anything with the words "skinny," "hipster," or "low-rise" in the name.
Step 2: sit on the floor of the dressing room and hold back tears.
Step 3: get the hell out of there, get some damn therapy, and come to terms with the fact that the mainstream media rarely features curvaceous, natural, bulgy female bodies.
Step 4: decide you kind of like your curvaceous, natural, bulgy female body.
Step 5: go to adult women stores, like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc. Try on clothing made for women, not leggy 16-year old blond models from Slovenia. Try on hundreds of pairs. Convince yourself not to buy the first one that zips up over your hips out of pure, drunken joy and instead get used to evaluating if you actually like the fit. Don't fret -- this phenomenon will recur.
Step 6: memorize the cuts, style names, and other identifying details of the pairs you like best. Buy many of them. When shopping at other stores, try on pants with similar styles. Avoid the ones you know leave you a whimpering wreck.
Step 7: rejoice! And visit a tailor whenever necessary.

kathemc(at)gmail(dot)com said...

Admittedly, once you have a feel for what you want length/wash/cut-wise, the best thing you can do is try on enough brands til you know which ones cut for your body type. For example, Gap jeans fit me like a dream, and knowing that it's just a matter of finding the right cut/wash for me these days. I'm an 'Real Straight' in the 1969s, or a 'Perfect Boot' -- 'Real Straight' is skinny on me, whereas their 'Always Skinny' fits me weird.

roysie said...

My favorite pair are my Mango skinny jeans. My strategy is to keep my jeans nice by never drying them. I always try on everything in my size even if I think I might not like it. And I never buy anything larger... I'll go on a diet instead!

Natalie said...

My best jeans shopping advice has to be....FIND A TAILOR.
I have a bountiful butt and slim waist, no need to hate on me :) and never could find a pair of anything.
One day I discovered a fabulous tailor fairy and now I can buy any jeans I like (even cheap ones). They just need to fit through the hips and thighs, a quick trip to the sewing God and it's "vavavavoom, check out that bootie"

Audi said...

Usually my strategy is just to go to the Lucky Brand store and let the adorable, doe-eyed and likely stoned sales boy tell me which ones look good. Winning a pair is an approach I'd never considered!

la petite fashionista said...

My jeans shopping strategy:
1. Wear heels! Since i'm so tiny, almost every pair of pants I try on is obscenely long. I don't feel good about a pair unless i'm rocking heels!

lo said...

BRING A FRIEND!

Preferably one who is looking for jeans as well. You can commiserate over denim companies personally hating you if nothing is fitting, or cheer the other one on if they hit a good buy streak.

It also helps to really know your body. I know I need jeans with a long inseam and due to my big 'ol Latina booty, pants without SOME stretch are a no-go.

I also recommend wearing your favorite jeans TO the store so you can keep the hope alive even if you don't find anything.

LOVE the jeans you're giving away!

Sarah said...

I found my favourite pair of jeans at a vintage/used clothing store! After nearly giving up on finding a pair of jeans with a big hip size and a small waist size I ended up trying a pair that had been showed underneath a large purple pantsuit... and they fit beautifully! Now I have a pair of Tru Religion jeans that only cost me $12.

Antoinette said...

Ahem, yes, free jeans from a company that might might might have the right fit for me without further alteration is awesome.... I have lucked out getting a couple pairs of great-fitting jeans at the thrift store. It doesn't disappoint me that I may never get an identical pair -- I am just so happy to find one that I love. I have three that fit great: an Earl jean with straight leg that I had to hem due to my shortage of leg; a girls' Levi's 529 I think, which has a slight flare and is just the right proportion for a petite; and a new (to me) straight-leg jean in a stretch denim with the waist in a reasonable location, from a brand called Womyn. Which made me think I should have a NOW membership to really be worthy of wearing it. I would like to sew my own perfect jeans though. Maybe in 2010...

Ms Constantine said...

Yay for international competitions!

I find it so hard to find jeans that fit now. I'm bigger in the thighs than hips so if I can get a pair past my thighs they're usually a couple of inches too big in the waist. Add to that the fact I prefer wide and straight legs and grey over blue and you've got me never finding jeans I like.

I found the best pair ever a few years ago, but have sadly put on weight since then.

My strategy is to try on any grey straight or wide legged jeans I can lay my hands on. It means I get to try new pairs about once a year. :[

grace said...

my "strategy", if you can call it that, is stretch denim. i haven't had any trouble shopping for jeans since the emergence and popularization of stretch denim. they're designed to hug your body at all the right places, wherein you no longer need to worry about "fit". downside: stretch denim, being part spandex, is less resilient, and a pair may only last one season. upside: stretch denim jeans are cheaper; i haven't paid above $50 for a pair, so i can just replenish my supply as i go. goes great with my fickle nature.

in any case, i certainly wouldn't mind owning a pair of nicer, REAL jeans!

Claire said...

I got an awesome pair of jeans at Gap by describing, in atrocious detail, the proportion of my ass to my waistband. I basically had to demonstrate to the salesgirl that my ass/hip area is twice as large around as where my waistband sits, so I need pants to open wide enough to go over my ass, but then close up small enough to stay on. After this public discussion of the size of my ass, she told me to AVOID the Curvy styles (who knew? those were the ones I'd been aiming for) and go for the bootcut. I still have to wear a belt, but they're awesome and fit waaaaaaaay better than my last jeans.

fromsneakerstostilettos said...

Jean Shopping Strategy
1. Leave lots of time
2. Find the style you are looking for and grab 3 sizes to take with you. (Your size, 1 size up and 1 size down).
3. Start by trying on the biggest pair you brought back with you.
4. I go for quality - not designer but still quality
5. Find a brand that works well for you. My favs - Banana Republic and J Crew and try to find pairs when they are on sale.

Claire said...

Also, if anyone has recs for jeans that are NOT shredded/patched/acid-washed, just plain jeans (nonstretch would be a huuuuuge bonus) under $50, I would LOVE to hear.

pending said...

Everyone's so much classier than me. :P

My strategy is a Goodwill with a long rack of jeans (though any thrift store with no quality screening will have low enough prices for this technique) where I can pick up a bunch of different pairs for under $10. I work my way down the rack, getting everything that looks/is my size and has some label/color/style/misc appeal. Then, since really cheap thrift stores don't usually have decent dressing rooms, I take the jeans home for $1-$2 each. If I get lucky, yay! If I don't, the jeans go back next visit. I usually break even, which is very, very good considering my budget.

Stephanie said...

I hate shopping for jeans! luckily I found my favorite pair of jeans completely by accident.

iris said...

There's only a few stores I can shop at that carry tall-sizes in the right proportions for me: NY&Co, Express, and J. Crew (although recently Land's End custom inseams have been catching my eye lately).

So, yeah. Basically, cross your fingers and pick one of those stores, hoping they have a desirable style.

Beth said...

Sadly my favorite pair of jeans is about to give up the ghost right now (patches on top of patches...), & I have been avoiding buying new ones.

I actually mostly buy my jeans online, because I am tall & thin, & there aren't so many specialty stores around me [& when you need a 37" inseam... well.]. Mostly I stick to skirts & dresses as an answer.

love, wonderwall. said...

My favorite jeans come in two parts. I first found them in Lane Bryant and they were awesome straight leg dark denim, my favorite. So I wore them for forever, even bought another exact same pair and so wore both of them. Then I went through a weight loss period so they got to be huge which sucked because they were my favorite. So earlier that month, I stole my mom's sewing machine and began teaching myself how to sew on it. I ended up using my newfound mastery of the sewing machine to turn my straight leg jeans into skinny jeans which I still get compliments on to this day! And though a little wore out, they are still my favorite.

Erin said...

So glad that jeans have started coming in longer inseams, but it's still hard to find a jean with a higher (like, not showing my butt crack) rise that doesn't look like a "mom" jean. Found some good ones lately, though, esp. at Nordstrom's Rack.

zelavie said...

My winning strategy: Work in retail! Every time we get a new style of denim in my store, I'll try 'em on during my break. I've found several favorites that way. And the employee discount sure doesn't hurt!

Christina said...

I'm realistically always shopping for jeans. I've never spent more than 16 buckaroos on a pair of jeans, but they all fit well, because I'm always looking for jeans. I stopped recently because I basically had a great closet of jeans that I collected over time, but now I have to go jean shopping again since none of my pants fit anymore :(.

A good thing to keep in mind is that these are mass-marketed jeans and they're not going to fit you perfectly and it's okay if it doesn't. You discard it and move on to the next contender. A lot of sugar and coffee also helps. So does a honest but loving biffle.

chic said...

Great jean shopping tips! (Especially #1!) I really can't wait for your book, it's on my birthday wish list for November.

As for my own jean buying strategies, I like to pretend that I'm never actually shopping for jeans, that I'm just out on a casual stroll looking for whatever may come my way... I hope by tricking the Jean Powers That Be into thinking I'm just not that interested, that something will come my way the way things always do when you don't care. So by not shopping for jeans, I'm actually ALWAYS shopping for jeans, by always keeping an eye out for a good pair every time I hit a thrift store, and just pretending that I'm actually looking for jackets or tops.

Clever, right?

S.

haley said...

great post, and the comments are just as illuminating; I think that anything I could add to the jeans-buying strategies would just be redundant. However, I think one of the best tips was to wear the style of shoe that you expect to wear most often with the jeans you're looking for - should really be obvious, but I don't think I've ever consciously paid attention to it before.

Makini said...

I've tried tons of strategies. I've tried visualizing the jeans that I want before I go to the store. I try researching online beforehand. I've even tried making a pair of jeans of my own design (which of course was a total disaster). All these strategies have failed me however. The jeans that I hold nearest and dearest to me were all impulse buys. Even though it makes me sad that the closest I've been to love at first sight was with a pair of red pepe skinny jeans I've come to terms with the truth that I can't expect to find the jeans I want but instead let them find me.

Ciambella said...

I found my favorite pair of jeans while wandering through a random store in Bologna! I dug through the sales rack, and laid my eyes upon a glorious pair of skinny-leg, super sexy dark wash jeans with SWORDS IN SILVER STITCHING emblazoned over each rear pocket. I tried them on. Miraculously, they fit perfectly, and were only 20 Euro (about 30 USD at the time)! The best part is that there are these triangular studs strategically placed around the swords, so when I sit down I stab things for real. I love them. Also, they were my first and remain my only pair of skinnies. I'll never wear another pair of skinnies ever again.

Dorothy Cheng said...

I'm really really short so I always have to get my jeans tailored. So now I just find a pair I like that fits me in the hip/thigh/butt area and get the hems (and sometimes waist) fixed.

It's much better for my sanity.

kailee said...

go to a place that offers free alterations...most big department stores do. cause almost no jean will fit perfect without a little tailoring done. plus a tailored jean looks 10x more expensive!!!

Kitty said...

I have never owned a pair of designer jeans in my life. Not because I don't want to, but because I can get myself to drop $100 or more on jeans when there are so many beautiful dresses, boots and coats to be had. It's not that I don't love jeans. I do. But the cheaper variety works decently. Cheap boots do not. See my problem? I really need an upgrade. Please pick me! Pick me!

N.J. said...

My jeans shopping strategy consists of 3 things.

1) I go in knowing what type of jeans I want -- cropped, straight-legged, skinny, bootcut, etc. If I can narrow it down to one or two things It's less overwhelming

2) Bringing in two sizes of the same jeans. I mean, just because it says an 8, doesn't mean it's an 8 in a different brand. By bringing in two pairs I know exactly what the difference would be between the two sizes -- there's no "what if."

3) I try on jeans that might look ridiculous on me. Why? Because then I know how bad they look and I can see what exactly about them is unflattering for me. When I go to looking for denim after, I know exactly what to avoid, but I also know what is flattering on my body type.

Side Note -- I love your blog! I discovered it not too long ago from CollegeFashion.net and I've been hooked ever since!

Erin W. said...

First, love your post. Second, those are gorgeous. Finally, I found my favorite pair of jeans at the Irish version of TJ Maxx 3 years ago. I generally always follow the sale-rack strategy, although I have been taking small steps into deeper waters (designer).

Reyna said...

I found my favorite pair of jeans in a roommate's closet. We shared clothes and both came to love the other's jeans. So we swapped. It is was amazing. We dubbed the perfect pair jeans "chicken fried" after the Zac Brown Band song. My jeans are chicken fried!

SHOEGAL said...

I found my favourite jeans by trying on every pair of dark wash non skinny jeans in River Island, a store where I would not have shopped before. I ended up with 2 pairs that day as I couldn't decide between them.

If I win, I'll need a size translation to UK sizes.

I'll tweet this contest for an extra entry!
xx

ekw5289 said...

My plan for buying jeans: hunt for a style that actually fits me properly & then buy the exact same pair in every possible wash, just to be safe.

Erin said...

I have tried on a lot of jeans in my day and what I've found, in the end, is that the only brand that fits are from Target! They don't mind my hip-to-waist ratio (which is nowhere close to ideal, I'm sure!) and are comfortable to boot. I have a pair of black straight leg jeans that I love; and some skinnies (Stella McCartney for Target) that look great on. Nothing like a gorgeous pair of jeans to raise one's confidence!!

p.s. Thanks for opening this to international readers!! x

Katrina said...

I'm so boring. But when I bought my first pair real pair of jeans (that weren't from the kids sections where they're all cute and adorable for kids lol) when I was 12, my mom and I went shopping for THREE whole days trying to find a pair of jeans that fit well. We finally found them at Dillards: Arizona Jean Co. size 9 long flair jeans in light wash or dark denim. I don't even look anywhere else. Don't mess with a good thing! They make my long and luscious legs look even longer and more luscious, and my flat and flabby butt look tight and perky. In short, these are damn good jeans.

L said...

my favorite pair of jeans are Cruel Girl's Georgia relaxed.

I lucked into them because I was wearing a skirt, and my friend and I were going to a cookout, so she let me borrow a pair of jeans. I was skeptical at first since she looks so much skinnier than me, but the jeans fit better than anything I had worn in my life.

Then a couple weeks ago, I realized I couldn't be running around in skirts and shorts as winter was quick approaching, and went to Kohls. let's just say that me, spandex, and jeans, is a terrrrible combination -- more than one little old lady heard me shout from the changing room "I LOOK LIKE A FLIPPIN PROSTITUTE!". luckily, i remembered the awesomeness of my friend's jeans and went straight to a western clothes store, and bought my perfect jeans. it's still true love :)

Elise said...

I have to admit I fail...I always tend to be wearing the wrong underwear, wrong shoes, and wrong tops when trying on jeans.

However, my strategy is find styles that I typically wear, and then a few that I'd like to try and grab them in the size I think I might be and the size bigger so I can compare and contrast fits in the dressing room.

You definitely have to do the little knee high, squat down, shake what yo'mamma gave you dance while inside each pair...and also sit down and see how the tummy is restricted in that position...that's key when testing fit and flexibility.

BAM said...

After spending 4+ hours in the mall, scouring high end department stores (and willing to pay thier prices) ... I stopped at target for detergent and found my dream jeans. Under $30.

Go figure...sometimes you find your dream jeans where you least expect them.

Like for free, from a blog :)

Amanda M. said...

Oh my god. Maslow's Hierarchy of Jeans?? You. Are. My. Favorite. Person. Ever.

I don't have an entry. Not only do I currently not have a favorite pair of jeans, but I also fall outside that size range, and I'm not a fan of gold or pocket embellishments. So I'll sit this one out. I just wanted to tell you how AWESOME you are.

Erin said...

My best strategy is to ignore the numbers and get what feels right. If I grab one style of jeans, I'll grab it in three different sizes: the one I think I am, then the size above and below it. Every brand, every style is different.

Kylie said...

My jean shopping strategy:
Bring chocolate and a friend who tells the truth.

Catherine said...

My favorite (= only) pair of jeans were found in a store called, like, "Denim Heaven." I was visiting my brother in Hamburg, Germany, and we had 45 minutes to kill. I needed some jeans and I felt like passing up a place called "Denim Heaven" would be snubbing the jean gods. So I went in and spent 45 minutes trying on various jeans with the assistance of a very nice German woman whom I did not understand at all mainly because I do not speak German. So I'd come out in a pair, I'd tell my brother, "I think they're too loose in the butt!" or "I want them darker," or, "I CANT BEND OVER!" and he would translate to the German woman, who would scurry away and return with another pair. Repeat for 45 minutes. Finally found some perfect Levis. Can't bring myself to go shopping in America now.

Jeanne said...

I found my favorite pair of jeans through magic and luck and people not knowing what they had (including me).

I got them at a Eugene resale boutique that was having a 50% off all jeans sale, so of course I had to go in. I saw them hanging as sort of a display, with cute cuffs, tagged for $18, and I thought "hey, 50% off, $9 for cute cuffed jeans, totes worth it".

They were pretty much brand-new, could barely tell they were worn, and fit me like a dream. They also had this cute little leather JJ logo on the back right pocket...

Yeah, that's right. Joe's Jeans for $9. In Eugene!

Kelsi said...

My strategy is to wait until all of my existing pairs of jeans have been shredded beyond wear (I even patched the crotch hole to extend their life at one point!) or no longer fit me because of that damn Nutella. Then I panic when I have no pants and set aside a day to shop stores for at least one pair of jeans that fits me right now. I have an hourglass figure, which sounds more charming than it actually is. It's difficult to find a pair of jeans that fits my hips without being too loose in the waist area. My tactic then is patience... because if I don't keep searching, I will be pants-less until my next endeavor. Nothing like threatening yourself to keep you motivated!

Nikki said...

I found the BEST pair of jeans ever by literally trying on over 30 pairs one day with my most honest friend. Granted, the second pair I tried on were the ones that made the tush look best, but I loved them even more after knowing how much BETTER they made it look than the other 29 pairs. :)

Sara H said...

Definitely eat your normal amount before trying on. You're not going to be all skinny all the time before you wear these -- make sure they have a bit of wiggle room to fit you even on your bloaty days.

Emcee Morgan said...

I usually go with two or three friends who will tell me if my ass looks big. My favorite pair of jeans were really soft and faded and had a hole in the knee from a fence jumping incident. Unfortunately, they (along with my favorite tee shirt), were cut off of me after I was in a car accident, even though I was perfectly fine. And I was going commando that day. Damn those overzealous EMTs and their scissors!

rit said...

found my fave pair on a random shopping trip to tjmaxx! bought them cuz they were a) dark wash and b)not skinnies and c) made by some fluffy eco-green company. classic dark-wash trouser jeans with cute buttons! love them

Zoe said...

1. don't try on jeggings. don't be tempted by the stretch the comfort...JUST DO NOT GO THERE. they are not jeans.

2. if you do try on jeggings then take a good long look at yourself. wearing black leggings with a teeshirt is bad enough. pale blue fake denimn offers even less bum coverage, and vpl is inevitable. the risk of camel toe is high.

3. now we are hopefully past the jegging issue onto comfort. do not be afraid of large sizes, who cares. go for a bit of stretch. make sure you can sit down in them. check for muffin top, put on your shoes and dance around.

4. skinny jeans may look good but always remember the bliss of a baggy pair you can put leggings under (or pj bottoms if that's your thing) in the winter. tell yourself you are channelling a new grunge marc jacobs for perry ellis 1992 vibe. it doesn't matter how lazily you are dressed, if you carry yourself with a certain attitude and think you look cool, you will.

Claire said...

The story behind my favorite pair of jeans isn't too interesting. The blogosphere had been preaching the holiness of Cheap Monday jeans for the past two years at least. I, at the height of my teenage conformity, was determined to lay my hands on a black pair. Two summers ago, when I was browsing an Urban Outfitters in Vermont and found exactly what I was looking for on a sale rack. I tried them on, they were perfect, and I became a Cheap Monday sheep.

The giveaway jeans are fabulous too.

Sarah said...

Get to know what brands look good on you. I have found that there are specific brands that tend to be flattering for me in multiple styles, and other brands which just always look awful no matter how much I want them to work. I know American Eagle works for me and is affordable, so when I went down a size and needed to restock, after a long and mostly unsuccessful day at Marshall's, it was such a relief to get into American Eagle and immediately find a ton of pairs that looked good.

Juliet said...

I go to stores that are known for their jeans -> it's their main product. And ask help. Nothing else eases the pain. The staff know what they're talking about and can ease the pain by not giving the too small sizes to you. And no, friends don't count!

juliet xxx

Rebecca said...

I actually just try on some jeans anytime I'm anywhere shopping. That way when I run across great ones, especially if they're on sale, I end up with some that can carry me til I wear them out. My perfect pair got the huge holes in the crotch thing happening, even though designer, but thanks to one of the comments I now know why! How foolish of me!

Lately it's been more about being honest with myself about what size I am now and not even trying my old size because when you know they would've fit a year ago, nothing is more frustrating!

Thanks for the great tips!

Aubrey Mayne said...

Hey everyone, you should check out Jeans.com and find some great denim. They have all of the best brands!

www.jeans.com

http://aubreysjeans.blogspot.com/

nico said...

oh jean shopping. i have composed a haiku, in honour of the fashion haikus so often posted here!

always go alone,
so your girlfriend doesn't see:
the dreaded 'jean tears'

inspired by my own jean shopping, which always reduces me to a small wreck, and my girlfriend, who slumps in the chairs in the dressing room, wanting to kill herself after being asked 'do i look fat in these?' for the one millionth time.

abbeydoo13 said...

when i buy jeans, i make sure i have an idea of what i''m looking for, but dont shuy away from any deals or specials finds. and i usually grab about 3 sizes for the style i want. my regular, one bigger, and one smaller. i don't really have trouble finding jeans, but i always remember to check the crotch of them, because sometimes they just look really funny.

Emily Hale said...

I prefer accidentally finding jeans when I'm shopping for something else.

Ania said...

Hm... I'm surprisingly laid back when it comes to jeans. I don't own a single pair more expensive than $50 and I ended up buying all of them at a cheaper price thanks to an awesome employee discount. Still, I'd love some crazy awesome jeans.

Joanna said...

I start by picking out some styles I like, and then I always always try on three different sizes of each style. If none of them fits, I know it wasn't meant to be.

Rachael said...

The best jeans experience I had was finding EDUN organic jeans on eBay, all under $30, either lightly worn or new without tags. Helllllllooooo $200+ I don't have to shell out!

Cecilia said...

Awesome! Read about your denim post on Denimology!

My denim shopping strategy: Look for jeans while doing ANY kind of shopping. Always check out Nordstrom Rack ... and don't be afraid to wear trouser/wide leg jeans because they ALWAYS go on sale first! :)

Anonymous said...

my best denim related find was in filene's basement where i scored a pair of seven for all mankind jeans at $40. as a southeast asian, i'm a lot smaller than most americans, so i was thrilled to find that the discounted section had a lot of jeans in my size!

-kay.

Jessie said...

My method is actually to check out all the cheap/free resources first, and then ask a friend to go with you. Jeans shopping is better with a friend, because if you go for a long time, you lose the ability to recognize what will actually look good or not.

Zanarchy said...

I kinda like jean shopping! I can usually find a super flattering pair if I try on a bunch as you suggested. I think the key is to have a sense of humor about the pairs that look horrible. As in: It's not that your body is deformed---they just aren't right for you.

Abby said...

I found a great pair of paper jeans at Goodwill for $6. I was running late and just about to leave and they were shoved inbetween some sweaters. And now they're mine!

Pushca said...

1) 30 days before, start a regimen of powerful SSRIs.
2) Establish emergency contacts and notify them.
3) Call a taxi. Now is not the time to drive.
4) Wander into American Eagle.
5) Run out screaming.
6) Lather, rinse, repeat.

Michelle said...

Second "Yoga" Jeans - THE BEST JEANS EVER. No really. EVER. Burn all of your old denim. Our local shop calls all its regulars when a shipment comes in and we swoop down like locusts and scoop every size, every cut. So soft, lightweight, nice stretch (but you never get diaper butt), they feel like you are wearing yoga pants, they make you look a size smaller (!) and are stylish and young. Can anyone ask for more? Yes - designed AND MADE in Canada, not China or India or any other centre of cheap labour. Get thee across the border!

ShotgunDuchess said...

Buy your jeans on sale from designer stores at the end of the season when they're trying to get rid of all their old products to make room for new stuff. Some stores have amazing sales around Christmas (think: sale price + additional 40 - 70% off), so you get awesome jeans for an acceptably cheap price. Better yet, if you have the patience, look for designer labels at places like Winners and TJ Maxx - and if you find a cut and a fit that is awesome buy more than one pair. Otherwise, what will you wear while your most awesome pair of jeans are in the laundry?

Anny said...

My favourite pair of jeans are actually hand-me-downs from my brother when he was going through an Ecko phase, which was about 6 years ago? They're extremely comfy, and they are baggy to a point, but not baggy enough that there are wrinkles everywhere. :D

Dear Baby said...

I love the GAP. They are priced well, last long, and the variety of cuts and lenths are unmatched.

Littlekobaby said...

I usually buy jeans at the begining of fall. This way I can take advantage of back to school sales and the new crisp weather. No one likes trying on jeans when it's sweltering hot or when they have to lug around a puffy winter jacket. I wear slip on shoes and bring a belt in my purse just in case.

Ilse said...

My best jeans so far were the result of fortuitous circumstances. My sister bought these really nice Jimmyz jeans and wore them once, before she lost a enough weight to make them fall off her. Since we wore kinda the same size before, and to calm my silent but intense envy she gave them to me. Fit like a glove and have made me happy for a long time.

To buy jeans, the only things i really do are the slip on shoes, aaand stretching, always stretch beforee....

Happy Lisa said...

Gosh, I haven't bought a pair of jeans in about 3 years. I don't even remember how to shop for them! Usually I just look around for a pair that's not ugly and take 2 sizes with me into the dressing room. DEFINITELY buy them on sale! Jeans can be so pricey.

Mijo said...

my strategy: try on 500 pairs of jeans but never buy them at the store. 1) cuz you'll end up buying them just because you're so frustrated about having tried on 500 pairs. 2) cuz you should never pay full price. now that you know the brand, style, and size you want, stalk it on ebay.

in this manner i acquired my go-to jeans: applebottoms ingrid trousers. (accentuates the big booty, hides the muffin top)

Rachel said...

Bring a girlfriend that will sit in the dressing room, watch you get naked, crack you up again and again, and tell you when you have mad muffin top.

I've had luck at American Eagle and Lucky Brand. Not so much Express. Just try and try and stick with a brand that seems right. But don't get discouraged when you buy some jeans from them and then a month later the same jeans have completely changed sizing. Why do they do this? Why is a 2, 6, 8, or 10 not always a 2, 6, 8, or 10? I feel like sizes should be a constant, not a variable!

Mel said...

Once every two years I buy a new pair of Levi's from their local outlet store. Other than that I stick to thrift stores. Requires scores of patience, but very little money.

Gabi said...

I usually don't go above the $20-40 range for jeans, and I do it by shopping at stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. They usually have good name brand jeans that are just a little bit out of season, they have a HUGE selection, and they're so cheap that I can afford 3 or 4 pairs for the price of 1 at their original stores. Of course, this also means that I have to try on HUNDREDS of types, brands, and sizes until I find just the right one (and I go from store to store to find them), but when I get it right, it feels AMAZING and the sexiness I feel is so worth it!

Rachel said...

I peruse the racks at T.J. Maxx. My best denim purchase was a pair of skinny jeans I bought there. It was a totally random purchase, but they are my favorite pair.

Tara said...

Set aside a day for jean shopping [I used to think it'd take me only an hour and would go between classes- then couple hours fly by and I'm late!]

Wear a pair of comfortable shoes that you wear often with jeans

Bring an honest friend with similar tastes to you

Keep a little notepad to mark down your sizes in which brands, as well as the price

Find a happy medium between size and price [mine is Streetwear Society- if you're curvy in the hips and have a small waist, these fit perfectly. Not too tight, not too loose, and the jeans are really soft]

Elena said...

Some things I consider when jean-shopping:

1) When I peruse the jeans racks, it's all about the butt pockets, to start off! Look for ones with eye-catching/classic patterns!

2) If you're unsure whether or not the waist will fit, button and zip up the jeans, then take the ends of the waistband and see if you can wrap it around your neck. If not, go up a size!

3) Sit down in the jeans, bend over, and make sure your butt isn't falling out.

Meaghan (nvarieur.student@manhattan.edu) said...

I just found this blog. consider me obsessed with it.
my favorite pair of jeans—and I will not admit this to most people—is a pair of Tilt skinny jeans that I bought from PacSun in the tenth grade. Six years later, I have never found anything that fit or felt better.

Anonymous said...

Definitely set aside some time for jeans shopping- it doesn't usually work with a quick trip to the mall. And don't be discouraged if you don't find the perfect pair after a day of shopping, the one pair at the one store that you haven't tried on yet is probably going to be the one that fits perfectly.

-Melissa

Dottie said...

The best place to find designer jeans for super cheap (like $18) are thrift stores like Crossroads Trading Company.

Luxury ties said...

I like this post!!im really picky when im out jean shopping

Anonymous said...

I am a grown up, very grown up.... and just found this great site. My best pair of jeans fit only until I washed them in cold water and then PUT THEM IN THE DRYER. guess I learned the hard way what someone said way early in this post. The spandex and denim stuff means NO DRYERS! will have to wait a long time to find another pair but am sticking with the same brand, just in case. I have also now figured out why some jeans seem to fit but after a while are too short..... they shrunk in the dryer.

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