Best Jeans For My Body Type
March 15, 2017 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Help me find jeans that will fit my odd body type Details inside

I am skinny guy with what I consider to be an odd build (probably just anxiety on my part)
I have an OK upper body. A little bit of a belly that looks bigger since I’m so skinny. I have chicken legs and big feet. What jeans will accentuate my height (5’11”) and leanness without making me look too skinny. I know that some jeans are thicker than others too.
Is it expensive to get jeans altered? IT seems like a big to do.
What brands or cuts should I look for? I usually buy boot cuts because I feel like it camouflages how skinny my calves/ankles are. Extra points for something affordable. I can’t spend a ridiculous amount (subjective I know). I would like to find something that is $50 or under. I am willing to go higher to make an investment, but can’t afford super expensive designer jeans. Extra points for something that I can try on and buy in a store and don’t have to order off the net and try on and then have to return if they don’t work.

Thank you in advance
posted by kbbbo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
Where do you live? Do you have a Nordstrom near you? How about a Levi's store?

Both of those places (Nordstrom especially if you call ahead) will be very patient with you if you go in asking for help looking for jeans. Talk with you about fit preferences, bring you endless pairs to try on until you find ones you like. But both those places are going to be outside (not terribly so, but still higher) your $50 max.

(Nordstrom also alters onsite--it's cheap. You can also take pants in to just about any drycleaning place to get altered. Altering men's pants is not a pricey endeavor.)

Macy's carries a line of lesser quality Levi's jeans than what Levi's has in store. (In addition to other jean brands.) They're perfectly fine and there's nothing wrong with them, but you also won't get the personal attention at a Macy's that you would in the other places.

For general body anxiety, go take a peek at Cockeyed's height & weight chart. So many different bodies and so many that have jeans on. You're fine. You'll find a pair of jeans you like no problem.
posted by phunniemee at 8:20 AM on March 15, 2017

I live 40 miles north of NYC
posted by kbbbo at 8:33 AM on March 15, 2017

Hi, you have my husband's build. He lives in Cheap Monday jeans.
posted by nerdfish at 8:37 AM on March 15, 2017

IT seems like a big to do.

This is not one of my own challenges, but every woman I know under 5'4" or 5'3" has to get jeans altered. It's an extra expense, sounds like a PITA, but it's a routine thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hey, lucky for you skinny guys get all the good denim! Sort of the entry point for fancy denim nerd jeans is Unbranded. For $80 you can get a pair of UB101 ('Skinny fit') jeans -- they are incredibly nice. I know you're 'just' looking for jeans, not necessarily trying to get all Japanese selvedge raw denim, but for a rather reasonable price you can get some excellent jeans that wear in until they fit like a glove. There should be a few places you can check them out in person.

It's also pretty painless to get simple alterations like hemming done to jeans, any local tailor can handle it.

(My UB121 (super heavyweight) jeans are as comfortable as sweat pants at this point, and about as thick as armor. I love them so.)
posted by so fucking future at 9:03 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I second going to Nordstrom. This is what my husband does and he is a tall skinny guy as well. Ask a sales person to help you and they will bring you like DOZENS of pairs to try on, and you'll probably find one that works. They will also do alterations in-house for not an insane amount of money (maybe $20? I'm not sure).
posted by joan_holloway at 9:26 AM on March 15, 2017

Nordstrom + alterations is the best option for fit, but it will be pricey: expect to spend at least $150 on one pair of jeans. That's 3x your stated budget.

If you want to trade off time for money, find a fit-savvy friend and drive 40mi to NYC for a shopping day (fashion-interested women friends are often happy to do this). Go to Banana Republic, Gap, Uniqlo, Levi's, Macy's, etc... any other brand in your price range that you want to try out. Find the best-fitting pair of jeans, note their style/brand for future online ordering, and budget $25 for alterations if needed.

FYI, I've successfully found jeans for my skinny, skinny-jean-hating 6'3" SO at BR, Gap, and Uniqlo. Check out "straight leg" cuts as a flattering midpoint between bootcut and skinny jeans. (Note that Uniqlo runs significantly smaller and slimmer than American brands. Their least skinny fit is still kind of a slim-cut straight.)
posted by serelliya at 9:40 AM on March 15, 2017

Yeah you probably aren't going to find decent jeans for under $50. Maybe if you luck into a good sale. Yeah, hop down to the city. Go to Soho, hit Broadway between Houston and Canal and you get basically all the stores everyone is suggesting (Banana, J Crew, Levi's, Uniqlo) in a few blocks, but expect to spend at least $70 if not upwards to $200. If you fail in the low-end stores and decide you're willing to spend more, then hit up Bloomingdales on Broadway for the designer jeans.
posted by greta simone at 9:48 AM on March 15, 2017

Also, if you do need to get them shortened, be sure to ask the tailor to replace the original hem. Otherwise they never look right.
posted by mmf at 9:54 AM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Bravestar Denim. They're amazing.
posted by Marinara at 2:04 PM on March 15, 2017

You sound like a very standard size and I would not think you'd need pants altered. Take a fashionable friend shopping with you for a second opinion. Secondhand stores can be a fantastic source of jeans- I get most of mine secondhand for under $20.
H&M jeans tend to fit kind of slim and be fashionable, plus they often contain spandex which makes them comfy. Expect to spend $20-60 depending on whether you can find some on sale.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:35 PM on March 15, 2017

Everybody looks weird in ill-fitting jeans. Echoing the general advice to go to Nordstrom or some other nicer department store. Try on different brands until you find the one that looks/fits the best. A lot of more expensive jeans are made from denim with a little elastic in them, like women's jeans. It feels weird at first, but is *so* much more comfortable in the long run. If you're lucky, you'll find a brand/cut that fits you fairly well, but might require hemming (some of these brands only come in Too Long, fulling intending for you to have them hemmed after purchase). You should wear the shoes that you normally want to wear the jeans with so that they can find the right length/break. At least where I live (San Francisco), Nordstrom has tailors on-site and hems jeans for free with purchase.
posted by strangecargo at 8:48 PM on March 15, 2017

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