Tell me about your skinny jeans that actually STAY skinny
October 19, 2013 8:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm tired of buying skinny jeans only to find that they bag out around the knees and shins after wearing them for a couple of hours. Are there skinny jeans out there that actually keep their shape?

There is a fine line between cool skinny jeans and mom jeans. I've tried numerous high and low end brand and have yet to find the perfect jean that has enough elasticity to keep its shape. I generally prefer a thicker denim, because it hides the wobbly bits better and my experience with jeggings is that the fabric is too thin and they thus tear quite quickly.

For reference, this is the look I'm trying to avoid (Sienna's jeans). I want them second-skin like all the way to the bottom, all day long.
posted by figaro to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend Paige jeans for this-- mine are a year and half old, they get worn ALL the time, and they're in great shape. Climbing redwood trunks? Check. 13 hour work days? Check. The only other skinny/tight pants that are more comfortable to me are my beloved, not work appropriate running tights.I have some AG jeans that have lovely, thicker fabrics, and while they have kept their shape really well, the zippers broke on both pairs after six months. Which is annoying enough given the price to prevent a full endorsement BUT they're great pants otherwise! They're both on sale pretty frequently at Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, especially if you sign up for the store emails/coupons.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:10 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

In my experience the main factor if you want skinny jeans to stay skinny is just buying them really small, and letting the waist/hips stretch out slightly throughout the day. I have J Brand, Paige (2nding) and Seven for All Mankind, and "rich and skinny" waxed skinnies that all tend to stay skinny. Gap, on the other hand, is just bad. I like the fit, but they definitely get baggy through the day - don't go with Gap.

If you're getting stiff jeans without any stretch or give then you'll have this problem more. Look for a thick BUT slightly stretchy or "giving" fabric. Look for some spandex content. It doesn't have to be a jegging but stiff jeans that fit when you put them on will quickly bag out and stay bagged out throughout the day; it's inevitable.
posted by celtalitha at 9:43 PM on October 19, 2013

I like AG jeans for this. I have a pair of the elastic-skinny variety and I never wash them, and they stay the same tightness. I don't know that I'd climb trees in them, as the fabric is fine. I have not had trouble with the zippers on either pair of my AG jeans, FWIW. I bought my second pair new on Ebay since I knew my size from the first, which I scored at Saks on sale.
posted by letahl at 9:45 PM on October 19, 2013

PS I wish you would've mentioned what level you are working with in terms of brands. My instinct from your description is that you just need to buy nicer jeans (AG or Ernest Sewn v. the mass-brand tier of Gap, Abercrombie, etc.).

In other words, it sounds like you are wearing cheap jeans.
posted by letahl at 9:48 PM on October 19, 2013

Additionally: seconding letahl. You did say "high and low end" but I'm also curious what higher-end brands you've tried. I pretty much only wear high-end brands of jeans, however, I never pay high-end prices; I either find them secondhand or go to discount stores like Nordstrom Rack (the clearance). In my experience there's definitely a quality difference.
posted by celtalitha at 10:31 PM on October 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the input so far.

Over the last few years I've tried Rag and Bone, J Brand, Seven for All Mankind, and then some cheaper brands like Articles of Society and Just USA. Ironically, the Rag and Bone jeans were the most expensive and yet were one of the worst pairs I've ever had (seriously, the back pockets got loose and baggy, let alone everywhere else) and the Articles of Society were very cheap ($50) and kept their shape the best. The only problem is that they started to lose their colour at the knees after just a few months, and I'm one of these people who rarely wash their jeans.

So far it's sounding like I should give Paige a whirl, but keep the suggestions coming!
posted by figaro at 10:32 PM on October 19, 2013

I've never had this problem with my Gap skinny jeans, which I wear nearly every day to a construction site.
posted by zagyzebra at 10:45 PM on October 19, 2013

I also like Paige denim. I have the Skyline Skinny fit in black; it stretched out a little but not in a horrid saggy way. Just enough to feel comfortable wearing them. I sized down to a 27" - usually wear 28" - and they are my wardrobe workhorse. Denim is thicker, for the black at least, than Gap denim.

I also accidentally purchased a pair of Surry Skinny from Raleigh Denim when I wasn't really looking for jeans. They are about 10 oz, and feel good. I've worn them once or twice a week since July and they haven't stretched much. $225 was a lot but the build and denim quality are significantly better than most jeans I've tried.
posted by mlo at 11:17 PM on October 19, 2013

I have a few pairs of Uniqlo skinny jeans that have held up beautifully, and are super comfy without bagging out. They aren't too expensive and they look and feel nice.
posted by sundaydriver at 11:47 PM on October 19, 2013

Try Nix jeans. My pair never, ever stretched out. The super helpful MeFites in this thread helped me on where to find a pair from outside Korea. Also, I don't know where you live, but Denim and Co (from Primark) are extremely cheap, but they never stretch out on me.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 1:28 AM on October 20, 2013

My favorite pair of jeans are actually jeggings. I know, gross. But they have pockets and a zipper which makes them seem like real jeans! I sit on the floor and chase kids all day and they haven't gotten bunchy. They are Lauren Conrad from khol's.
posted by missriss89 at 5:04 AM on October 20, 2013

I'm seconding Lauren Conrad's from Kohl's - embarrassed to say that I really love that line of jeans, regular OR jeggings.
posted by firei at 5:11 AM on October 20, 2013

I lovelovelove my Old Navy skinny jeans and have no problems with them sagging, even after a couple of wearings. They also have various fits within each style.

Before spending a ton of money I'd test the spandex + going down a size theory, if you haven't already. .
posted by Room 641-A at 5:26 AM on October 20, 2013

When you try them on at the store, how do they fit? If they fit well, you're buying a size (at least) too big. I've always been told when you buy jeans with spandex, they should be a size that feels much too tight when you first try them on.
posted by inertia at 5:52 AM on October 20, 2013

You want "yoga jeans". No wait, hear me out. It is a terrible name for jeans BUT they're so stretchy and comfy and (most importantly) don't stretch out in the knees or butt. I bought a pair three years ago that are still right even after wearing them for a whole week and in fact yesterday bought a second pair in wine color. Highly recommended. Try them out!

ETA - Yoga Jeans is the brand name, not a type of jeans (as far as I know)
posted by hepta at 7:21 AM on October 20, 2013

I was in your situation about a month ago. I tried all kinds of jeans, but eventually I picked up a pair of Gap's 1969 Legging Jean, and I love them. They're tight all the way down, come in more than one inseam length (a godsend for shorty me) and don't stretch out.

By the way: do you ever wash your jeans in hot water and/or put them in the dryer? I've found that doing this will end up stretching any jeans, no matter the price point.
posted by krakus at 8:13 AM on October 20, 2013

I also have an AG pair of skinny jeans (cigarette leg style) that keep their shape well throughout the day, I bought them at Bloomingdale's. I wonder if buying jeans that are too tight might contribute to the problem? I probably could have squeezed into a size down in my skinny jeans allowing for stretch, but I prefer to err on the side of buying my regular size - when I bought my AG jeans they were definitely very fitted but not to the point where I had a hard time getting them on. I don't want the spandex to be stretched to the max when I wear them. My Current/Elliott jeans have also held their shape well, though I only own the rolled looser fit in this brand.
posted by citron at 8:41 AM on October 20, 2013

when I bought my AG jeans they were definitely very fitted but not to the point where I had a hard time getting them on.

Yes, this is what I meant when I suggested going down a size! Still totally wearable as-is but maybe a snugger fit than you're used to if you're new to the spandex/skinny trend, like I am.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2013

I love my Paiges; I wear them all the time and they don't bag out. I got mine secondhand for pretty cheap and they still look new. Nordstrom Rack often has them, too.

I wear the Verdugo fit and don't size down; they're skinny but not skintight.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:02 AM on October 20, 2013

I've heard great things about Uniqlo jeans.

Also, I recently bought three pairs of high-waisted (three-button) stretch jeans from Charlotte Russe on sale, and miraculously they are some of the best jeans I've ever had in this respect. Especially the black ones. I wear between a size 6 and a size 8 in pants from Charlotte Russe, so I bought these in a 6 and they're tight but stretch in the right places (hips, waist). I've had really good look with high-waisted pants/shorts in general. They tend to have enough room in the hips without bagging in the leg (or ankle!!!! I love tight ankles).
posted by stoneandstar at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2013

Absolutely Henry & Belle Super Skinny jeans. The denim is thick and soft and wonderful. I've had my pair for ~2 years and they are still perfect.
posted by moons in june at 4:52 PM on October 20, 2013

Okay so, they are not really jeans, but pants from Outlier are amazing. You can wear them 6 days in a row without a change in the shape or fit, AND the pockets are actually useable. I have the Women's Daily Riding Pant, and the Slim Dungarees are very jean-like. The model is wearing them a bit loose; you can buy a smaller size for a tight, "second-skin" fit.
posted by audacity at 6:05 PM on October 20, 2013

I haven't tried the others but definitely not Uniqlo. They're the worst! I don't know about the knees but the waistband grows three sizes over the course of one day. I've owned five pairs and they're all the same.
posted by 4bulafia at 10:33 AM on October 21, 2013

Cheap Monday's Second Skin jeans are good in some washes but bad in others. Light blue is the best for some reason. Black is thin and attracts lint like crazy and grey is thick and doesn't stretch.
posted by 4bulafia at 10:42 AM on October 21, 2013

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