The Quest for the Perfect Jean

Aaaaahhh denim. How I love thee. Since the days of Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt. Brands I worshipped though never actually owned because we couldn’t afford them. I got stuck with cheap boys jeans named Tough Skins. Wasn’t that fitting, in more ways than one?

A good pair of jeans can make all right in the world. Well fitting jeans can morph me into a fashion goddess ready to take on anything and anyone. Jeans are a wardrobe staple. Versatile and functional. Sexy and chic. My jeans can be the center of an outfit or just a component of the background.

But finding the perfect pair. Now that can be an epic “Lord of the Rings” worthy quest. Full of adventure, hope, drama and maybe even a few tears.

When I first became fashion aware I went for the teen marketed Guess or Bongo. As I dove deep into grunge wear I wore gnarly thrift store jeans. I stole my Dad’s jeans and then Mr. Reinvention’s because on my body they were the original version of the low waist. Landing perfectly below my belly button so I could show off my freshly pierced navel.

Coming into early adulthood I began to buy jeans from Express, American Eagle or Levi’s. Then when I began making actual money I went nuts for Lucky Brand jeans.

I have refreshed my jean palette several times over since. The jeans giveth and taketh away.

When they fit right they feel oh so good but when they fit wrong. Ugh!

Recently I have been denim obsessed, again. Oh what a internet wormhole journey it has been! I need a refresh because my jeans have gotten too big. Not that I am complaining. But I exhausted the yanking them up or putting on a belt only to eventually resemble someone with a load in their pants or worse even- a saggy ass. So I am searching away. Literally looking for exactly what I have in my current rotation in a smaller size. Of course that no longer exists. Instead I am grappling with similarities or trying to find exactly what I want. What I want is:

  1. A great flare jean in dark denim.
  2. A great skinny jean also in dark denim.
  3. Both need to have a bit of stretch but not get baggy at the important parts like the knees or booty.

I don’t go for the low rise waist anymore. Pregnancy and parenthood took care of that. It’s not really cool to show your ass crack to your mom friends and the entire playground while bending over to tie your kid’s shoe. So mid-rise and high rise have become near and dear to my wardrobe. Especially with the recent trend toward shorter or cropped tops.

Thus far I have 2, possibly 3 keepers and about 7 returns. Annndddd I am still waiting on the lovely delivery of 2 more. I also have a pile to go to my wonderfully talented seamstress to possibly take in a few pairs. The options are many! While I am grateful to be in a position to afford new jeans when I need them I am bummed to relinquish jeans I loved that are in perfectly good shape- for someone- maybe just not me. I briefly considered keeping them for if and when my body size fluctuates. But I am leaning toward just consigning them.

It’s funny how an article of clothing can invoke so much emotion and attachment. Fond memories, positive vibes. Those are what my jeans are to me. I can look at them and travel back in time to fun outings, feelings of confidence, yummy dinners, silly stories where maybe a stain or hole was earned.

This shopping adventure I tried some new brands:

These are not your go-to grocery and errand jeans unless you are aiming to have men drooling and following you in droves. These jeans are HOT! They fit like a glove but are stretchy comfortable. The seam details on the back and the lace up is sexy as hell. These are fun and sexy jeans to play up hippy-chick boho or disco chic looks. I bought and kept the Sunlit and Worn Dark washes. I returned the Zale Blue because I preferred the Worn Dark color. They are true to size.

I realize this is perhaps laughable. I am obsessed with the Real Housewives series. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I investigated whether these jeans were legit and the reviews were all glowing. I opted for the Skinny jeans- Bryant, Christina Marie- Mid Rise Moto jeans with a chain (thank you very much!), Mid Rise Studded Skinny Ankle Jean in Dante Black Rinse and the High-rise Dorset. OM-FREAKING- G these jeans are nice! The fabric is soft and flexible. I feel like I could do yoga in these babies! I tested them out while trying on and they stay put.  The blue hues are deep and rich. Now my dilemma is in which ones to keep!

This brand popped up on my newsfeed because we all know Big Brother knows and anticipates our wants before we do. I really loved their Midnight Indigo wash and decided to give them a try after reading the reviews. But, alas I wasn’t sold on this brand. My hopes were dashed. They were a little too stiff and too short for me and I didn’t love the fit. They bagged at the knees and were a little too loose at the ankle for my preference of a skinny jean fit. Back they went.

Honorable mention to my old steadies. Any jeans made by American Eagle Outfitters. Except for their recent recreation of “Mom jeans”. Just no. And Express usually does me right too.

I have a couple of my tribe swearing by Democracy jeans for both their look and comfort. If all these most recent purchases don’t pan out I may give them a try. Also, because again with Big Brother interventions, I was perusing the website of Mott & Bow and I really like the look of their Dark Blue was with the old school stitching. We shall see…….

For now, my jean odyssey endures.

What are your favorite jeans?



4 thoughts on “The Quest for the Perfect Jean

  1. Oh way back, I loved my Calvin Kleins and Jordache! Never got into the whole “whale tail’ exposure thing. But now, Target… I’m on the cheap side, what can I say?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason Target pants rise are wayyyy too long for my rise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of late, the pants most in my rotation are velvet joggers. I have grey and black. I tend to avoid jeans if I have body ickiness. Got-to brands: Levis, of course. I had a pair I loved until I walked through the knees. 578. No longer in production, of course. I’m still a fan of the low-rise, favourite brands are Mavi and Brody and Silver. I keep a pair of Guess jeans I bought for six dollars new at a thrift store. I don’t love them, but six-dollar Guess! I tend to like aged indigo, boot cut, with a lowish rise, although not low enough to give away the farm. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yum to velvet anything! Isn’t it funny, jean preferences can be as unique as us! I have a small window of months where wearing jeans out of doors without immediately sweating is doable so I am all about them right now. By March the jeans will be reserved for indoor only activities!

      Liked by 1 person

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