Help a non-curvy lady with big thighs find cheap jeans that fit! (NYC)
February 28, 2014 8:41 AM   Subscribe

I'll be visiting New York next week and I'd like to buy some jeans, but I have no idea where to look! It'll be my first trip to the U.S. and I'm not familiar with American retailers at all. My particular taste and even more particular body type will probably eliminate a lot of options, but I hope you can point out the ones that are left.

I have huge muscular thighs, but comparatively narrow hips, an average sized but perky butt, a bit of a lower belly pooch and not much of a waist. Jeans that fit my thighs and waist usually leave some superfluous fabric around the hips that either creates a diaperbutt or weird folds on the front. Googling revealed that my body type is called a "brick" (lovely). I even found some brand recommendations, but unfortunately they all were designer jeans and waaay out of my budget

So, I'm looking for:

- Jeans that are generous in the thigh but snug in the hip area
- roughly a size 16 - my thighs and waist are a 16, whereas my hips are closer to a small 14 from what I've seen
- bootcut, straight and wideleg styles, no skinnies, ever!
- mid to low rise
- some stretch
- black, dark grey and dark blues colors
- no frills

My budget is pretty tight, finding something for 20$ would be awesome, but I'm willing to spend 50$ for a good looking pair of reasonable quality

I'm mainly looking for brands/styles recommendations here, but if you like a certain store, please let me know, too. We'll be spending most of the time in Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn. We'll skip the Woodberry Outlet, but might visit the Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth.

posted by akrasia to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total)
In order to maximize your chance of success, I'd recommend a different tactic: hit up a large Goodwill or other generously-sized thrift store. There, you'll be able to try on DOZENS of brands/cuts of jeans to find the one that fits your particular body. Any retailer you visit will only stock THEIR particular brand, and in only the cuts for THIS particular season. A thrift store, on the other hand, is a magical wonderland of variety. Plus, jeans hold up pretty damned well over time, so they're a good bet to buy secondhand.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Have you ever tried men's jeans? They are much narrower in the hip. I used to wear them and I liked the fit (they just don't fit me anymore after having kids).

Try Old Navy for lots of different styles and colours. It's within your price range.
posted by yawper at 8:47 AM on February 28, 2014

You're going to have to try on about 7000 pairs.

Cheap jeans are to be had at Wal-Mart, Target, Marshalls, Old Navy, etc.

I also have good luck at Macy's.

You might try men's sizes, as dudes are built along your lines.

16/14 is a weird size and you may have problems with regular sizes, you might find that Plus Sizes will give you more room in the thighs.

I have your problem, I have VERY thick, muscular thighs (horse legs) and a very small waist. At the end of the day, I buy to fit my lower body and have my jeans taken in.

Sometimes that's just how you have to do it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:47 AM on February 28, 2014

I would go to Old Navy and try on each one of their jeans in a size 16. They offer six very different cuts: Diva, Flirt, Sweetheart, Rockstar, Dreamer and Boyfriend. Find a style and size that fits the way you want and you can sort out what wash you want from there.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:49 AM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might want to consider something like—a little more than your budget and you'll have to wait a little bit, but I'm tough to fit, too, and I've had really good luck with them. Quality stuff, made to your dimensions.
posted by feistycakes at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2014

I have this body shape but I'm a very different size, anyway though Levi 515 bootcut may work for you and it's fairly inexpensive although I'm not sure where you'd get it in Manhattan, maybe Macy's? I would go to Macy's anyway because they will have a wide variety and usually have decent sales and of course there is a huge one near Times Sq so that will be an experience in itself. Old Navy is also a good suggestion!
posted by hejrat at 8:57 AM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are you a US 14 / 16 or a UK 14 /16? That will make a big difference. US 14 / 16 means you may have better luck in plus size stores, whereas UK 14 / 16 is actually US 10 / 12 which means you can stick to straight size-stores.

Either way, I don't have any experience with is but I have heard good things about Forever 21's jeans for people with bigger thighs.
posted by AmandaA at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

There are a few plus-size lines that have 14/16 on their bottom end and, more importantly, have different cuts in a single line of jeans (meant to accommodate different body shapes). Lane Bryant and Macy's ("Woman" department) may be worth a try.
posted by wintersweet at 9:03 AM on February 28, 2014

For jeans in NYC, you have to go to Uniqlo; they offer in-store hemming (same day, I think? or maybe not anymore, someone who's been recently will have to chime in) which can be really helpful if you have problems finding jeans in the right length.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:05 AM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think for $20/pair, you might have good luck at a decent second hand shop in NYC, as opposed to buying new. You'll be able to try on lots of different brands and cuts while staying within your price range.

Another thing to keep in mind sizes 14 and 16 are on the edge of plus size in US sizes. A "regular" size 14 and a "plus" 14 are going to be cut differently. I wear anywhere from a US 12 to a 16, and like a lot of women, am slightly wider in the thighs than in my actual hips. I've found that often many plus size pants were way too roomy in the thighs for me, so that might work for you.

Finding low rise jeans might be a problem, since higher waisted styles are pretty popular now. Not Your Daughter's Jeans fit me really well (not having a waist made lower rise jeans not fit me right). They're really pricey, but I have scored a couple pairs for $30 at Nordstrom Rack.

Forever 21 is not a bad idea, but make sure you pick a location that carries their plus line, since they run small. I've had a couple pairs of their jeans, but for the most part they make skinny jeans that are very cheap and wear out in less than a year. So be warned!
posted by inertia at 9:08 AM on February 28, 2014

Old Navy Sweetheart boot cut would probably work for you.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:18 AM on February 28, 2014

I have a thicker waist and narrow hips, too. The Old Navy Sweetheart and Flirt styles work decently on me; the Rockstar is muffin-top misery. You may need to try on several pairs in the same style and size, since Old Navy is notoriously inconsistent. They also have a tendency to stretch out insanely after an hour of wearing - but only some of them! (You can probably tell I've been burned by Old Navy jeans too many times.)

Men's jeans sometimes work on me too.

Lately, though, I've preferred getting nicer jeans secondhand rather than brand-new cheapass jeans - they last longer and don't lose their shape - so I nth the idea of thrifting if you have the time for it; you could get a lot more for your buck. Nordstrom Rack will also have a good selection at affordable prices; many of the high-end brands will still be around $70, but further markdowns do happen.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:48 AM on February 28, 2014

For good quality used stuff in Williamsburg (North Brooklyn), hi thee to Beacon's Closet, Crossroads Trading Co., and Buffalo Exchange. They're all in close proximity. However, it's totally luck of the draw when it comes to what you'll find.

OH! And Urban Outfitter's BDG brand goes for around $50 bucks, don't know about how they would fit for you. There's probably going to be a lot of skinnies, but I'm starting to hear and see more straight and wide legs.

(For $20 - $50 bucks in SoHo/Lower 5th Ave, I think you're just going to walk a lot, cry, and pull your hair out. Most jeans I see retail for at least $80 - $100, and can go as high as $220 easily... unfortunately.)

This is making an assumption that you're looking for "beyond Levi's, Old Navy, and Uniqlo."
posted by ulfberht at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2014

I'm not in NY but I would definitely go to Buffallo Exchange for this. I've gotten most of my (designer) jeans from there, and they filter pretty well at least where I live so everything is still in good shape.
posted by celtalitha at 10:26 AM on February 28, 2014

Just a data point on BC - I've found that Beacon's Closet (at least the one in Park Slope) is pretty snobby about larger sizes - I've not had a lot of luck finding jeans there when I was a 14/16. Even as a size 10, I've never had any luck. I guess it depends on the buyers at any given time. I have had luck at Goodwill through.

You may want to try the Denizen line at Target which would fit your price point.
posted by carmenghia at 2:53 PM on February 28, 2014

This would be easier if you posted measurements instead of sizes, which vary greatly by manufacturer, but looking at this size chart I think you're saying you've got a 37-39" waist and 43-44" hips, which is almost exactly the dimensions for the men's 38x32 trousers I'm wearing right now. I couldn't find any chart that says what thigh circumference a size 16 would be, but mine are 26" and they fit just fine in these pants. So, seconding the suggestion for you to wear men's pants.

Interestingly, this size chart says I am almost exactly a women's size 14. Maybe that's why I can never find pants that fit.
posted by d. z. wang at 7:11 PM on February 28, 2014

The only jeans that work for my tiny waist and huge hips and thighs are Levis Curve ID jeans in Demi or Bold curve--they are amazing!
posted by Edna Million at 10:39 PM on February 28, 2014

If you're willing to go the thrift shop route, try what I call "thrift shop row" on E 23rd St in Manhattan. There's Housing Works, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Cauz for Pawz (thrift shop benefiting animals) and City Opera (thrift shop benefiting costume design for NYC City Opera) all within about a block - I think that's a pretty good bet for the $20-50 price range for (potentially) quality denim. Lots of people get rid of perfectly good stuff, and I personally LOVE thrift shopping in other countries. It's so fun.

For new, you could also try JCPenney to see variety in your price range. Macy's would probably be on the higher end of your budget. You could also do TJ Maxx/Marshalls too.

If you want to have a fun treat trying on jeans, go to Brooklyn Denim Co in Williamsburg to see how $200 jeans look and feel.
posted by paradeofblimps at 12:16 PM on March 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

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