Jeans are hard :-(
February 16, 2012 8:44 PM   Subscribe

I am a man trying to find some new jeans and I'm having difficulty. My go to brands have recently changed their cuts and I don't like their fit anymore. I've been researching online for additional brands to try, but haven't had a lot of luck. I have no interest in Raw and my preference is for designer jeans.

I typically wear a 40x30, relaxed fit with a straight or boot leg, preferably in a medium rise for I am overweight and not likely to slim back down anytime soon. I used to wear Levi 559s and 569s, but those changed and I switched to Lucky's. Love my Lucky's, but it's time to start replacing them and their cuts have changed as well. (I have also heard rumors of diminished quality, but have no personal experience on that.)

So, I've been searching for a new brand. I'm partial to the look of the designer brands and am willing to spend up to ~$150/per pair.

The most frustrating aspect thus far is that many of the boutique brands do not have variable inseams. For example, I love the look of these jeans but they are only available in a 33" inseam. That's obviously not going to work for me and I can't imagine the difficulty in detaching and reattaching the hem. I've pored over many different brands and encountered the same thing. (I've also looked at most of the brands here).

Ultimately, my question is - What is a good denim brand for an overweight guy with apparently shorter than average legs that is still stylish and going to last awhile? Can I find something like the 7 For All Mankind link above? Or should I go back to Levis and see if a different fit will work for me (or if their cut has gone back in the past 5+ years)?
posted by Jacob G to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I believe if you go to a tailor, getting the legs on a pair of jeans shortened isn't much money (my friends tell me about $10), so if the inseem is the thing holding you back, but you otherwise like the jeans, I would go ahead and get them and have them tailored (obviously you should call someone local ahead of time and just confirm the price). The length is one of the only things on a pair of jeans which is easy to adjust, it's the other parts which you need to make sure fit exactly right.
posted by markblasco at 8:52 PM on February 16, 2012

I get my jeans hemmed all the time because I am a woman and women's jeans don't have much variety in inseams. My tailor charges $10 to do jeans, and the hemming is done so that the bottom of the jean looks the same afterwards (contrasting stitch and everything). She actually makes the hem right above the contrasting stitch, where you can't tell it's been done. It looks good and is totally worth it.
posted by aabbbiee at 9:00 PM on February 16, 2012

I can't imagine the difficulty in detaching and reattaching the hem

You don't need to do that. A jeans hem is just a simple double rolled visible hem. Any tailor (and many dry cleaners) can do it for you for $10 a pair. Less, even, depending on where you live. (I actually hem my own jeans. Takes me maybe 20 minutes, tops).
Try on a few styles and brands you're interested in, and don't worry about the inseam. If you like the fit of the jeans otherwise, buy them. Jeans are super easy to hem.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 9:02 PM on February 16, 2012

Don't fret over inseams. Re-hemming is trivial for any tailor to do. I take mine to my neighborhood dry cleaners, and they have a tailor who comes in twice a week to do these sorts of things. She will either shorten them and re-hem, or if I want to keep the original hem, then she does that too. The seam is invisible for the ones where she re-attaches the original hem. I think guys are used to have a variety of inseam lengths available, but for ladies (esp designer jeans) its totally normal to have to get them altered.
posted by Joh at 9:23 PM on February 16, 2012

A short guy I know's grandma reattaches the hem on all of the jeans he owns after shortening them- I can attest that you can't tell. A tailor might not do as good a job as a grandma, but it's worth a shot.
posted by MadamM at 9:49 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

How about made to measure.
posted by essexjan at 1:39 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Adding to the chorus of "It's easy to get one's jeans hemmed:" I am a petite woman and as such almost every jeans purchase ends with me at the talior's getting them hemmed. It's cheap (US $15 at my tailor's and I live in an expensive area) and easy and makes no difference to the look of the jeans as long as you're not taking too much off the leg and they fit everywhere else but the length.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:56 AM on February 17, 2012

Totally always have jeans hemmed, it's no big deal.

The only caveat to this is that you need to be explicit with the tailor on what you want. You need to be clear you want denim-style hems. These are narrower (much narrower) than traditional tailoring hems, and tend to have visible stitching - Levi's, for example, have distinctive yellow stitching. 7 uses a lighter thread than the jean dye. As long as they know what you want, any tailor can do this for $10 like everyone says.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:42 AM on February 17, 2012

Sounds like it's time to find a tailor to do alterations. Thanks for the clarity everyone!

(I'm also going to checkout that Made To Measure site... Might be a nice alternative)
posted by Jacob G at 6:48 AM on February 17, 2012

About a decade ago I started not really fitting so well into my standard off-the-rack jeans. I spent about a year in discomfort with jeans that were either too tight in one place (oof) or too tight in another (eyow), or bunching up with a belt.

I followed my girlfriend's advice and simply bought jeans that were big enough everywhere (even if too big in some places) and took them to a tailor and had them "bring in" the loose spots. In my case it's the back of the waist.

Been perfectly happy ever since. In fact just last month my favorite style of jeans disappeared and I had to make the traumatic jump to a new style. They look a little different but the alteration shop made them fit just fine.

About $10 is right. I also had her pull the swirly detail stitching off the back pockets, and gave her a tip, so it was more like $20. Considering how much I will wear these, it's worth it.
posted by intermod at 11:32 AM on February 17, 2012

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