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The Perfect Pair

Feb14

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Dear Ms. Amalah,
Since having two beautiful babes in the last 3 years, lets just say I haven’t exactly deemed my wardrobe a priority. Now, while trying to lose the baby weight I’ve decided it’s time to get some good staples in my closet, starting with a pair of jeans. I have high standards or at least a longish list of criteria that must be met and I can’t seem to
do it by myself.
I’m curvy – typical hourglass (sz. 14-15) and what I want is a pair of jeans that:
– stays up even when I don’t wear a belt – no moons here.
– not low-rise or super low-rise or super (do some extra waxing) low-rise – I have a long torso.
– does not contain much stretch, most jeans with any stretch seem to be thin – I live in SD and it is damn cold so thin jeans are not practical.
– long enough, even after washing – I’m 5’10”
– not skinny – I don’t care how hip and trendy and rockin’ everyone else finds them – it’s straight leg, bootcut or bust for me.
– dark rinse without the faded butt, whiskering, frayed spots, etc.
– Are affordable, meaning I don’t have to pass them on to my grandchildren in order for me to get my $s worth.
Is this too much to ask? Please Amy help, get the Foxes on the prowl if need be. I would like to find my “perfect” jeans to wear into my 30s.
Thank-you and sincerely
Kelda

Okay, I was totally out of ideas by the time I got to item number three on your list. I don’t know! At all! I can be of absolutely no help here! I suck!
So while I don’t like to COMPLETELY punt questions to the AlphaFoxyMamas, I had to make an exception for this one. Because every woman needs the perfect pair of jeans. EVERY WOMAN. So I hope you will understand that I have to take a backseat on this one. Instead, I dusted off the old Bat Signal, sent your query to some fabulous ladies and I think I’ve compiled some hella good options for you here:
(Yes. I compiled them. It was very hard work! I have to go lie down now.)
Let’s start off with CallistaWolf, who totally stole the ONE thing I planned to contribute to the conversation:
OMG, my dear Kelda, you sound almost exactly like myself. I will join you in bemoaning the lack of decent jeans for us long-torsoed, curvy women out there. While I know you say you don’t want any sort of low rise, I don’t think you want the full “mom-jean” effect either. You want something that’s going to make your rear look cute (the way a low rise jean can) without threatening to fall off and expose your underwear if you dare bend over OR that expose “muffin top” which NOBODY wants.
And that, unfortunately, can be a tall, tall order (forgive the pun).
You probably want a jean with at least a little stretch, since those are the most forgiving on our curvy figures. Just be sure to look for a jean with a heavier gauge denim. I’ve seen some out there, I know they exist! I’m with you on being cheap, since I’ve read many articles in “In Style” and seen segments on “Oprah” and “The Today Show” telling me which jeans I should be wearing. But those jeans cost beaucoup bucks, which I’m not willing to spend. HOWEVER, I’ve heard wonderful things about the Gap’s “Curvy Bootcut” jeans. I haven’t tried one
myself because I tend to put off personal purchases for far longer than is wise but the next time I dare to purchase some jeans, that’s right where I’m headed.
Melissa, over at the Buzz Off (look at me pimpin’ other AlphaMom sites!) (look at you stealin’ the very link I was gonna post! Bah! — Amalah) has a post where she talks about some of the best places to get good jeans at good prices (did you know Target has *inexpensive* custom jeans??) as well as some good websites that will help you decide what KIND of jean might be best for your body. Score!
Next up, Tonya offers up her thoughts:
Well, as a 5’5”, short torso woman, I’ll do my best to help! However, I live in ND so I feel her pain on the thin jeans. I have a pair of these jeans and I think they fit most of the requirements she’s looking for. They are not stretch, they come in tall sizes, and they fit relatively high on my backend. They are $39.50, but right now they are buy one, get one half off. And although these only come in “Medium Sandblast” and are an extra $10, I have found the Venezia Supreme line to be a more comfortable, trendy fit. These are also currently buy one, get one half off. Plus if you sign up on the Lane Bryant website, you get coupons in your email and in the mail often. Whatever you feel about shopping at Lane Bryant, I will say that the clothes are quality, withstand a lot of washing. I would definitely say I get my money’s worth out of every pair of pants (including jeans) I have bought from there.
Melanie seconds that recommendation:
Two words..Lane Bryant!! I have had 6 kids and I need something for my looong legs…(I am almost 6 feet tall..) They have the perfect Venezia Brand, Dark wash, light wash.. and they fit like a glove … You can order them online..being in Montana I am somewhat limited to my shops so everything is online for me!
And Alice thirds it, and throws another option into the mix:
Talbot’s. They’re a little bit pricey (~$60 if you don’t catch a sale), but they don’t believe in the pre-fading weirdness, and they cover your goods. I was surprised at how flattering the cut is (expecting the super-high-grandma-rise), and they’re *way* comfortable. Plus, they have a great return policy. Here’s the woman’s size (curvier cut on the 14s, $8 more). And here’s the misses size (less curvy 14s).
Lane Bryant has some jeans in size 14, and they’re often on sale because 14 is the little size at LB (and therefore often the one least often purchased.) Their rigid bootcut jean is one I like, although there’s a bit of whiskering (not a lot! just a wee bit!) and they’re not as high-rise as the Talbot’s jean. The ‘Las Vegas Wash‘ looks interesting, but since it has a bit of stretch, it might suck on the warmth front.
Plus, k=29491>they have a coupon! (That one expires 2/19, but there’s always some kind of coupon available.)
Okay, now it’s Darcey’s turn:
Okay, I’m sure I won’t be the only person to suggest this, but zafu.com is by far the best of the best website for finding the perfect pair of jeans. (Side note: They’re also diving into finding the best bra soon enough, too! I’m on the inside track and whatnot!)
But I completely feel her pain, except for the 3 kids part. I’m 5’11” and curvy, and need some jeans that have some support (i.e., don’t sag out after one washing). Unfortunately, I’ll be completely honest in that I haven’t found the “perfect jean” that is considered a normal person’s “affordable.”
I own all kinds of jeans. From Old Navy to Lucky to Banana Republic to Gap to American Eagle to Paige. Which ones get the best treatment from me? My Paige jeans. Which ones have been the only pair that my boyfriend commented on about me having a hot [butt]? My Paige jeans.
There’s already a beautiful pair of Laurel Canyon in Dark Clean ones in my closet. I adore them and wear them *constantly,* meaning that I’m getting my $$ worth out of them. I’m about to buy the Hollywood Hills and Robertsons as soon as my size is back in stock. (Both of these are a slightly higher rise than the Laurel Canyon ones, which might be too low for your tastes.)
So yeah, not cheap, but I swear by these jeans. They have stretch without feeling too thin (especially the Dark Clean wash – you can feel that they’ve got a bit of “heft” to them without feeling like you’re wearing starched pants), good support around the butt, hips and waist area, and oh, so stylish.
Kozbi is also willing to pay a little more for the perfect pair:

As a ridiculously tall woman who is also plus-size, I’m just happy to find some that fit. I had a great idea until I got to her last demand. Apple Bottoms are made for women with a little more junk in the trunk, so they tend to stay up better. They’re also thicker and made longer. And they go well past what size she needs. They have boot cut and all different washes–mostly on the darker side. BUT they aren’t affordable by my standards. Maybe eBay?
One more tip… Has she checked Torrid? Likely they don’t have a brick-and-mortar store in SD, but they’re online. Could find some good options there.
And finally, our last AlphaFoxyMama, who swear to God, told me to sign her as “Chunky Photojournalist Barbie” and my God, I love her for that, has one last promising suggestion:
Actually, I DO have the perfect pair of jeans for her!
Lately, I’ve been buying everything I can from Forth and Towne, including my new favorite jeans. Forth and Towne is a new venture brought to us all by Gap, Inc., the parent company for the Gap, Gap Baby/Kids/Body and Old Navy, etc. This is is their decidedly high-end line for (quoting from the website) “women who have grown up, grown into themselves and want to look as fabulous as they feel.”
Their clothes run the gamut from the familiar Gap basics (also offered in larger sizes) to professional, ready-to-wear suits, skirts and dresses. I’m a curvy hourglass size 16, XL, DD-cup girl. My credit card
and I can’t seem to stay out of there, especially since I discovered my perfect pair of jeans. I’m a professional photographer; I wear one of my many pairs of Forth and Towne jeans for work a few days a week.
They come in a variety of very dark indigo colors, and there is absolutely no fraying or “pre-breaking in” to be seen. They cost $58. I have both the curvy and bootcut styles. I personally wear the “regular” waist fit, and I never wear belts. They sit right at the waist- not cut so high that they’re “mom jeans” (as seen on Saturday Night Live), but there is absolutely no creeping downwards either, even when I’m crouching courtside at a basketball game, which is my personal test. They do come in low-rise as well.
The curvy style does have a bit of stretch to them. In fact, the tag says “curvy stretch” on it. (I just took my pants off for you.) I know what you mean about stretch jeans usually being thinner than regular denim, but I think you’ll be fine. On Saturday, I spent four hours sitting by a frozen lake- while wearing my curvy stretch jeans- waiting
for a bald eagle to take flight so I could take a picture of it. I was cold, but I wasn’t wishing for long johns or anything.
The only drawback is that Forth and Towne has just ten stores, and none of them are in South Dakota. Still, there’s the website.
So there you have it, lots of ideas for the slightly-bigger-yet-still-totally-fabulous ladies out there. Feel free to include your own love-it-or-hate-it testimonial in the comments, since clearly you guys are in charge today. I’m going to go take a nap. You know, after all this back-breaking compiling I’ve done.

momjeans.jpg

(No, this photo will never get old. I may start including it every week, just because I love it that much.)

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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18 Responses to “The Perfect Pair”

  1. jeana Feb 14 at 11:19 am Reply Reply

    I’m pretty close to her size and build and I have a pair of Gloria Vanderbuilt jeans I picked up at Kohl’s. They’re stretch and not too thin. The best part? I picked them up last Spring for SEVEN DOLLARS. (Sorry, I brag on that one every chance I get.) For the most part, though, stretch corduroys have become my new jeans. Sonoma from Kohl’s are my favorite, I have them in several colors. They’re around twenty bucks; cheaper if you catch them on sale.

  2. Painterly Feb 14 at 11:29 am Reply Reply

    I’m tall, plus-sized with a long waist… I’m also in my mid 20s and still want to have jeans that flatter me! I’ve found that Reitmans has awesome jeans, straight leg, teensy bit of stretch, dark wash and enough of a rise that I don’t flash my underwear. I also found some fantastic jeans at Sears, but haven’t seen them in stores lately – oh well…

  3. CallistaWolf Feb 14 at 11:40 am Reply Reply

    LOL, sorry for stealing your link, Amy. :) Sounds like she got some GREAT replies there so hopefully that’ll cover her jean-less bases. :)

  4. dcfullest Feb 14 at 11:42 am Reply Reply

    Simple solution:
    Go to http://www.zafu.com and plug in your requirements/sizes and voila! lots of jeans that will fit in your size.

  5. historygirl Feb 14 at 12:01 pm Reply Reply

    The Zafu.com link may have just changed my life. I entered my info and it claims to have found 41 (41!!) pairs of jeans that will work for me. Unbelievable, this internet is.

  6. mdvelazquez Feb 14 at 12:21 pm Reply Reply

    Did someone say perfect bra?! I so need a good comfortable bra. I wear a 30DDD/F, but can get away with a 32 in a pinch. If a company would make a wireless, soft cup, single panel bra my size, I would spend lots of money. And I usually avoid paying full price for anything.
    My apologies for the rant. I’m still searching for the perfect jean, so I don’t have anything to contribute.

  7. Stephanie Feb 14 at 12:41 pm Reply Reply

    You might also check out Eddie Bauer jeans. They have added some new cuts and styles that might work for you.

  8. the_moira Feb 14 at 1:06 pm Reply Reply

    Ok, laugh at the Texas girl all you want, but have you considered Wranglers? I own a pair that I got so I’d have a pair of inexpensive jeans to trash a the stables. I have a long torso, a size 14, and am horribly picky about my jeans. LOVE.THEM. They fit, they are substantial, you can get them in different lengths and washes and fits, they are not mom jeans. I rode horses in these and I was comfortable. All that for $20.
    Oh, and in Wranglers, my size 14 butt fits in a 12. Hello ego boost!

  9. miacara Feb 14 at 1:22 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve been pregnant for 18 out of the past 27 months (due in 3 weeks!), so I’m of absolutely no help on the jeans front.
    But ya know what’s funny about that ‘Mom Jeans’ picture? My own mother would look at that picture and see absolutely nothing wrong with anything any of those ladies are wearing! God help her.

  10. brandi Feb 14 at 1:38 pm Reply Reply

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned Levi’s! I have tried and tried and tried jeans from everywhere, but the ones I always pull out of the closet are my 515s. I love them with my whole heart. They come in long length, too, and the darkest rinse they have is perfect for going out. LOVE THEM.

  11. serin Feb 14 at 4:53 pm Reply Reply

    I recently got these jeans at Gap. They fit without a belt, and don’t fall down when I sit. They are the perfect jean for a curvy girl…they do have some of the fading you don’t want, but it really isn’t that bad-otherwise I think they fit the look you want. And, they are on sale!
    http://www.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=15678

  12. Vida Feb 14 at 9:30 pm Reply Reply

    I have a similar problem (only I haven’t even had kids yet, so heaven help me after I do). I almost like the Gap Curvy jeans. Almost. I’m a student, so buying jeans for more than $30 is tremendously inconvenient. What’s more, I’m slender (not Kate Moss slender, but average-health-girl slender), but every molecule of fat in my body is on my butt and thighs. Actually, I kind of like the way I’m built (if they made pants for people like me), but it makes buying pants a nightmare.
    Even the Gap jeans don’t fit. I buy them as loose around the waist as I can without looking like a total freak, and then they’re just large enough in the butt and thighs to squeeze into. If I buy them so they’re a little roomier around the hips, I walk around giving everyone a good view of my, uh, scenic route (even with a belt, since they always gap in the back). Furthermore, all pants are cut so that they come to just below my love handles. My love handles are normal-sized, but that waistband acts like a push-up bra.
    When I do find pants that aren’t mom jeans and that do fit ok around both the waist and hips, they’ve always got this weird bulge around the abdomen area. Like, if I have curves, they must all be in the front of my body.
    I’m going to check out all these suggestions, but does anyone else have any ideas?

  13. julie Feb 15 at 1:11 pm Reply Reply

    GAP CURVY BOOT CUT JEANS ARE AWESOME! (And I’m not just saying that because I work there part time).
    They fit pretty much every body style/shape and come in cool washes as well. They also have a double button and a thicker waistband, which really helps with coverage issues that many curvy women face when wearing low rise jeans.
    I noticed in the above comments someone suggested the Straight Leg Boyfriend Jean as well. Those are a good option, however, they’re made to fit like boy jeans, which means 2 things for me:
    1- They look kind of “boxy” around the hips/thigh area on a lot of women that I have seen try them on.
    2-that they cannot be worn for “dress up” jean purposes.
    You may also want to try the Original Boot cut jean. It sits at the waist and is most comparable to like a Levis 501, but with an essence of stretch in them. They’re sometime marketed as a “post pregnancy” jean.
    Sorry this is so long.
    But hope it helps!

  14. julie Feb 15 at 1:15 pm Reply Reply

    Oh and because I didn’t say enough already-
    If you cannot seem to find the jeans you want in the store or online… it’s because GAP is reworking the style and fit of the curvy jean. Supposedly they are using customer feedback, etc.
    Ok.
    GO GAP :)

  15. jane said Feb 15 at 1:53 pm Reply Reply

    Thank-you girls! Amy and the Foxy Mamas truly are a force, a very helpful, wonderful force. I can already see many hours tick-tapped out on the Zafu site. Too fun. But, I’ll probably end up putting in crazy measurements just to see how far I can push their software because I’m a total nerd like that. Hmm High Wasted with flat butt and gappy waistband.
    I can’t wait to surf through all the comments over a glass (bottle) of wine this weekend. We all know what that perfect pair of jeans can do for a girl wether we’ve found them or are just starting our quest. It’s a daunting task and I can’t thank you all enough for the tips and suggestions!

  16. Tallsandi Feb 15 at 11:27 pm Reply Reply

    At 6′, I have a tendency to like jeans that are long also. I like the jeans I have gotten from luxuriouslytall.com. They usually are too long, but that means I can through them in the dryer.

  17. Diana Feb 16 at 2:56 pm Reply Reply

    Kelda, You may also want to try American Eagle’s “Boyfriend” jean. A bunch of my firends (all heights and sizes) have them and we all love them. They come with or without stretch, tall, average, and (I think) short, and at about $40, they’re a pretty good deal.

  18. Goingape Feb 17 at 11:50 pm Reply Reply

    I made my first ever venture to Forth and Towne tonight. Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL. I have to say, I have found the perfect jean. They have two cuts in their curvy stretch jeans…A and R. A is for us short legged women. R is for you gians with legs like giraffes. Talls is for mutant people.
    But, I love the jeans. I haven’t had a pair of jeans that I like that can do the office to the bar jump in nearly 3 years…and these do it. I LOVE THEM!!! They were worth every one of the 45 dollars (on sale) I paid for them. For a grad student to say that is a miracle, believe me.

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