Finding the Perfect Jeans (and Why They Might Be In Your Closet) [Style and the SAHM]

I recently have come closer to my goal of having four pairs of jeans to wear for my everyday “Mom Uniform.”  I haven’t yet reached denim Nirvana, but I’m closer than where I was a few months ago.    Below are some things I’ve learned along the way.

#1: Alterations are your friend.  I have read in many places, including Audrey’s blog, Christina’s blog and Trena’s comments on my post, that one should buy jeans to fit in the thighs and seat and have them altered to fit at the waist.  I nodded my head and thought, “Yeah, that makes sense.  I’ll totally do that next time I buy jeans.”  Then it occurred to me:

Why not do that with the jeans I already own?

And it worked!  Exhibit A:  Levi’s trouser/bootcut jeans, purchased at a thrift store for $12 (can’t tell which style number).  I like the way they look, and they are comfy, but they stretched out too much and would be falling off by the end of the day.

IMG_1254[1]

For the low low price of $15, a seamstress took them in a bit in the back waistband and seat.  (She also sewed down the pocket flaps.)  Voila!  Like new jeans.

So these pictures aren't the clearest.  I don't like taking close-ups of my bottom half.  You'll have to take my word for it: they fit better.

So these pictures aren’t the clearest. I don’t like taking close-ups of my bottom half. You’ll have to take my word for it: they fit better.

Similarly, Exhibit B: LOFT Modern cut “Marisa” crops (from last summer, no longer available that I know of).

Before:

Snug in the legs but saggy in the waist.

Snug in the legs but saggy in the waist.

After:

IMG_1731

Why oh why did I buy the “Modern” cut instead of the “Curvy” one?  This brings me to my next point:

#2: Curvy cut jeans are your friend:  (This might not be of much use to ladies with Banana or Apple shaped figures.  But for those, like me, with Hourglass or Pear-shaped physiques, who find themselves with some junk in the-general-area-of-if-not-exactly-in-the trunk, some tummy, but still, somewhere waaaaaay up there, a discernible waistline, read on.)

Until now I avoided “curvy” cut jeans because I’ve never been exactly bootylicious.  Also, the descriptions of most “Curvy” cut jeans say something about a small waist.  I do not think of myself as having a small waist.  I’ve got plenty of Mummy Tummy, and I hate hate hate the feeling of a tight waistband.

Somehow, though, the curvy cut really is better.  It sits above the poochiest part of the tummy but not too too high.   The waistband sits higher in the back, which keeps it above your hip bones, which in turn keep it from falling down.  If the waistband is too wide and low, physics demand that it slide down to the narrowest point (i.e., your ankles).

#3: Bootcut jeans are not so bad . . . perhaps.  I’ve avoided them because all the stylish people (like Megan and Shana) say they are best worn with heels.  Heels most definitely are not part of my Mom Uniform.  But then I happened upon these babies:

Levi’s 529 Curvy Mid-rise bootcut

IMG_1323 IMG_1712 IMG_1722

These are not perfect: the fabric is not the softest, and  the dye rubbed off on my Top-Siders, even after washing the jeans a couple of times (grr).  And the tag is scratchy in the back.

Man, though, they’re comfortable and, I think, decent looking.  They stretch out a little with wear, but not too much.  I went around exclaiming at random intervals, “It is so great to have a comfortable pair of jeans.”  Pat thinks I’m crazy for ever wearing anything but comfortable jeans, but there you have it.

(I would have bought straight-leg instead but they were cut differently.  By the way, the cut seems to differ depending on the wash.   I think the back pockets are best in this particular dark wash.)

They’re not so stylish with flats or sneaks, but seriously, who cares?  Everyone I hang out with wears bootcut jeans with everything, so who do I think I am?  Also, they’re snug enough at the knees that I can tuck them in my boots if I fold them just right.  (See this tip.)  Maybe eventually I’ll see if my seamstress can pull a Dwija, but for now, they’re okay.

#4: If jeans barely touch the floor when you’re in socks in the dressing room, they’re too short.  *Sigh*  At 5′ 7.5″, I really need to get in the habit of buying Longs and having them hemmed up.  I never want to bother taking them to the seamstress, so I talk myself into regular length, but they’re just not quite right, even with flats.  And forget about heels.

Lose the shoes already, Laura!  I've tried getting rid of them so many times, but they're like ugly, patent leather boomerangs.

Lose the shoes already, Laura! I’ve tried getting rid of them so many times, but they keep coming back like ugly, patent leather boomerangs.

#5: Perfect jeans are hard to come by.  Duh.  All of the above three pairs sag occasionally, and I have to hike them up every hour or so.  But that’s improvement from every five minutes, so, you know: progress.

Perhaps my perfect pair of jeans is out there somewhere with all those really high-end, $100+ models.  I haven’t gone there yet.  For now, a little bit of sagging is just the way it’s gonna be until (unless?) truly high-waisted jeans become fashionable again.  Poor Jessica Simpson tried valiantly but failed miserably.

Thanks for taking one for the team, Jess!

I now have three pairs of pretty good jeans, plus my least-bad pair from my before-Girl 2 days.  They’re all comfortable enough that, on most days, I can talk myself out of my pajama pants.  Like Bono, I still haven’t found (exactly) what I’m looking for.  But I’m calling it good enough, as spring is upon us.  I’m working on my warm weather uniform for now, and I’ll return to the perfect jean quest in the fall.

Have you found a great-fitting pair of jeans?  Do tell!

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9 thoughts on “Finding the Perfect Jeans (and Why They Might Be In Your Closet) [Style and the SAHM]

  1. You know, they make these long, narrow strips of leather that you can buy that are supposed to help with saggy jeans. Apparently you just thread then through your belt loops and fasten, and they supposedly help keep your pants at whatever height you want but YMMV

    I’ll follow up with a link if I can find them again…

  2. Haha!! You guys are so funny! But Laura’s right Pat. I wear a belt every single day with every pair of pants I own and it helps a little, but I’m still pulling my pants up every time I move.
    But I do think that high rise jeans are coming back. Not because I know anything about fashion whatsoever (I am currently sitting in jeans that I have to pull up every 5 minutes and a free unisex tshirt I got from JMU with my hair in a ponytail), but a bunch of my fashion-forward friends at JMU have started wearing them again. Also I was in Urban Outfitters and they are selling them. Actually they sell high AND mid-rise. http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?id=W_APP_JEANS Also, let me just say before you click that link that I have no idea what is going on with the first few rows. Actually make that 60% of the stuff on there.

  3. Pingback: On Summer Garb | Joie de Vivre

  4. I am a similar build to you, 5′ 6″, 140 lbs (on a good day), usually wear a size 8ish in pants… Anyway, I find that Levis and Gap\Old navy have never fitted that well. (I think I’ve tried ALL the styles) but American Eagle jeans fit perfectly. You might want to check them out next time you go jean shopping.

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