I'm looking for some durable dark blue jeans.
June 4, 2009 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend durable jeans that would fit a 6' 2" male that weighs around 190 pounds with most of the junk being in the trunk.

I've been wearing three pairs of Gap jeans in size 34" x 34" in the relaxed fit cut for a little under a year now, but they're all wearing out. I'd be willing to spend more money if they would last longer. I keep a wallet in one back pocket and a small notebook and leatherman skeletool in the other back pocket. I'm seeing small holes in the back and the knees are starting to get pretty thin. I live in my jeans, I wear them 16+ hours a day, 7 days a week.

I went to H&M last night at the advice of the GF who thinks just buying everything online in terms of clothes is a bad idea, though this is what I've done most of my life. Turns out that while their shirts fit me nicely, their pants, even in a 38" waist, do not. I have far too much junk in my trunk to wear their pants. OK, so maybe the GF was right and I should try things on if sizes run so differently.

I'm looking for pants that aren't baggy, but can still easily fit the section of my body between my hips and my knees which seems to be a little thicker than the rest of me. (I love how H&M's shirt's look nice on me instead of like a big sail like most of my shirts do.)

Bonus points for ethically made, environmentally sound companies that can do this without breaking the bank (say, $100 a pair, if that's not completely unreasonable). I'm not against ordering online if the sizes run similar to every other pair of pants I've owned, unlike H&M. A few pairs of dress pants in black, gray, etc. would be nice, too.
posted by Brian Puccio to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go for Loomstate, which full price are about $150 per pair. If you're ever in NYC, try on a few pairs at the Rogan store. You can occasionally get them cheaper through sites like Gilt Group as well.

Incidentally, have you considered getting reinforced jeans at all (assuming the holes you're seeing are near the back pockets)?
posted by anarchivist at 5:02 PM on June 4, 2009

Yeah, I too am 6'2" 190 lbs. Lucky Brand Jeans have been pretty durable, with each pair lasting 1-2 years of continuous use. There was one pair I bought which wore out in a month, but it was apparently just a bad batch; Lucky took them back without a question. Unlike the American brands, H&M runs true to size, and their 38s don't really fit me either, though I wear a 34-36 in any other brand.
posted by The Michael The at 5:08 PM on June 4, 2009

Sorry that this is not so much an answer as a strategy: If you comfortably fit into the Gap jeans and you like their price point, why not get more pairs and rotate frequently through them so they take much longer to wear out? Instead of 3 pairs, get 7--one for each day of the week.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 6:00 PM on June 4, 2009

I can't say I have an answer for your question, but I'm glad you asked because I'm in the exact same situation (well, I dont have the "junk in the trunk"problem,.. but I definitely cannot seem to find a pair of jeans worth buying (read = is durable))

I've been a big fan of Lucky Brand Jeans for quite a few years, but even those have gone downhill in quality. Lucky used to make a "double-weight" (thicker) denim style of relaxed fit jeans that was perfect... but I can't seem to find them anymore. I probably wont be buying anymore because I cant bring myself to pay roughly $100 for something that doesnt completely satisfy me.

I had my mind set against Carhartt... mostly because I didnt like the style, but I just checked their website and was surprised to see they make a wide variety of denim jeans in styles I might actually wear. Going to go to the local camp/outdoor store tomorrow and see if I can find some worth buying. (Bonus - they seem to be cheaper than Lucky, and I bet they last longer. )
posted by jmnugent at 7:07 PM on June 4, 2009

I see you're in Long Island... do you ever make it in to Manhattan? If so, get thee to Uniqlo; their jeans are bar none the best made, best cut jeans at their price point (around $50, or $80 if you want special Japanese selvedge denim).
posted by saladin at 7:18 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I am friends with a bunch of body builders. Levi works remarkably well on them and their giant legs and bubble butts. They are durable and relatively cheap compared to some of the other suggestions.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:21 PM on June 4, 2009

I love my relaxed fit Carhartts. They last a good long time and they're pretty cheap as far as jeans go (~$30 a pair).
posted by MegoSteve at 7:35 PM on June 4, 2009

How about Levi's? They are very cheap and a design classic. All jeans will wear out and that is part of the appeal. Your jeans will develop a beautiful patina with creases and folds showing your character. A $30 pair of Levi's will last just as long as a $250 pair of jeans, so price is by no means an indication of quality.
posted by avex at 11:26 PM on June 4, 2009

My six-four brother has a big butt, and now his beer belly is racing to catch up. He swears by his Levi's 501s that he has been wearing since high school. They last long enough, come in his size, don't cost a fortune and best of all (for him) are so reliable that he can order them online or send someone else to buy them without fear of a change in sizing or cut. That's over 10 years of consistency, which is pretty much unmatched by any modern manufacturer of clothing, Gap included.
posted by nursegracer at 1:51 AM on June 5, 2009

6'2" and 190 here, and I've been wearing my APC Rescues for nine months and they still look new. They're made of heavyweight selvage denim, and the Rescue cut is much looser than the New Standard.

There are a lot of places to get them online, but sizing is a little wonky (you'd probably need a 31 or 32 waist), so I'd contact the guys at Context Clothing in Madison, WI, who were awesome when I bought mine.
posted by brozek at 4:46 AM on June 5, 2009

I can get a couple of years out of the $14.99 Wranglers I buy at Target, and for the price of that $150 pair mentioned above, I could buy 10.
posted by genefinder at 5:43 AM on June 5, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your input, I greatly apprecaite it. Yes, I'm on LI and I'm in the city about once every other month for work, so it is pretty easy to swing by clothes stores there. I think I've got all the answers I need. I will now spend the rest of the day debating if it's appropriate to make you all "best answer" while trying to avoid work.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:25 AM on June 5, 2009

Don't spend 100$ on a pair of jeans, especially jeans that are not 100% cotton (though I think the whole "stretch denim" is more of a woman's jeans thing).
Go to Kohls with a 30% coupon from their flyer and get a pair of Levi's, Lee's, or Wranglers. I've had my favorite pair of Levi's for 10 years now.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:37 AM on June 5, 2009

If you're considering higher-end jeans (which I generally support), I would strongly consider shrink to fit Levi's 501s. They recently re-jiggered the cut, and the result was excellent. If anyone has a concern about it, it's usually that there's too much trunk room, which sounds ideal for you.

Buy them STF, soak them and hang them to get out most of the shrink, put them on when still very slightly wet, and then wash them every couple months.
posted by YoungAmerican at 7:09 PM on June 5, 2009

I had the same problem with Gap jeans: belt loops blowing out and holes in the pocket where I kept my keys. Started wearing Express jeans when I could get them on sale (sometimes for around $30) and they've held up much better. Consider the Blake cut - they're roomier and easier to find styles that aren't full of holes, tears or obnoxious bleach stains from the factory.
posted by rigby51 at 6:39 PM on June 6, 2009

I like the Kirkland brand jeans they sell at Costco. They're like 17 bucks or something.

- AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 11:29 PM on June 6, 2009

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