I hate buying clothes.
March 9, 2006 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Jeansfilter: I am short and curvy (and a girl, obviously), therefore finding great jeans is super difficult. I need help!

Dear internets, I'm 5'2" and a size 10 or 12 (this varies on brand and how much I ate for lunch, I'm one of those people who can gain or lose 5 lbs in a day). I could stand to lose about 15-20 lbs, I know this, so please don't lecture me about it. I have a little waist and big ol' butt. The gap's curvy fit and long and lean jeans fit me pretty well, but I'm looking for a pair of jeans that I can wear out to fancy bars or restaurants (like 7's or luckys or citizens or whatever the cool kids wear these days). The problem is I don't know which of these brands I can find in my size/length and how much they cost (I'm willing to pay a lot, but not like $300). Also, b/c of my shape, I can't wear super low rise pants. I'm against Old Navy, Land's End, Eddie Bauer type places (not that I'm a label whore, but like I said, I want fancy jeans). Any suggestions?
posted by echo0720 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: oh, which reminds me that i forgot to mention that generally i do well with a 31 or 31.5" inseam, so i am always caught somewhere in between the short and normal heighted pants they make.
posted by echo0720 at 12:46 PM on March 9, 2006

Have you tried Mavi jeans? They work pretty well for curvy girls, and they are a comparable brand to se7ens, probably a bit less expensive.
posted by discokitty at 12:47 PM on March 9, 2006

I'm 5'4" and about a 12 (on a good day) so I understand where you're coming from. Is there any reason why you don't just get your jeans turned up at the tailors? That's what I do, and they're always perfect. They can even bring the waist in, if you're like me and jeans that fit your butt are a bit big around the waist.
posted by nprigoda at 12:52 PM on March 9, 2006

Response by poster: You know, I never even THOUGHT about getting the waist of jeans fixed at the tailors, so thanks for that suggestion. I guess I always figured if I was going to spend that much money on a pair of jeans, they'd better fit perfectly (which is unrealistic, I know). As for the cuffs -- getting them tailored would ruin the finish at the bottom, wouldn't it?
posted by echo0720 at 12:54 PM on March 9, 2006

Get the waist size you want, then take the suckers to be hemmed. I take my jeans to my dry cleaner for hemming and it takes about five days to get them back (sigh... delayed gratification). I'm 5'2" as well and find that getting pants hemmed to 28.5 are perfect, breaking just at the top of my arch.
Or if you have more time, why not go custom? This is just one of the many sites that popped up when I googled "Custom jeans"
posted by Sara Anne at 12:55 PM on March 9, 2006

Grechen is the same approximate size as you (I think she actually claims a 12/14, but I could be wrong) and has some reviews about jeans for curvy girls. AG (Adriano Goldschmeid) is well known for designing for curvy girls, particularly the Legend and Angel styles. Look for jeans with stretch in them and try on as many pairs as you can stand. The golden rule for jeans is to fit everywhere but your waist and have the waist taken in if necessary. That's easy and fairly cheap. And if you really want the low down on designer jeans, head over to MakeupAlley's fashion boards.
posted by hindmost at 12:56 PM on March 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

On preview, hemming does not necessarily ruin the cuff. Ask for original hem at the tailor or follow the instructions listed here.
posted by hindmost at 12:58 PM on March 9, 2006

I've had really good luck with Worn Jeans. You can get them at Nordstrom - stretch, a little fancy, looks good on girls with bums.
posted by fionab at 12:58 PM on March 9, 2006

I guess I always figured if I was going to spend that much money on a pair of jeans, they'd better fit perfectly (which is unrealistic, I know).

That's how I feel; it's an idea I have a hard time parting with. I try on 7 jeans and they are miles too long. GAP jeans fit close to perfect, so I wear them. ::shrug::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:58 PM on March 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Go custom. I got a pair that I loved from Target's service, but there are some high-end brands that do it too. Tommy Hilfiger is the best I can find at the moment, but do some looking and see what you can find.
posted by MsMolly at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2006

I second Mavi jeans. I apparently have a Turkish butt (as diagnosed by the lady behind me at line for coffee once), and I find that only Mavi has worked for me. They usually don't fit perfectly the first time I try them on. They change shape to fit well after a few washes.
posted by copperbleu at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2006

Also here's a Tomato Nation advice column where a reader asked the same question.
posted by MsMolly at 1:04 PM on March 9, 2006

Response by poster: thanks y'all, you've been super helpful. Where, by the way, can I buy mavi jeans? Nordstroms maybe?
posted by echo0720 at 1:22 PM on March 9, 2006

nordstrom's has mavi jeans. i'm 5'2" and range anywhere from a size 27-31, and sevens fit great. i have to take them to the tailor though, but the hems never get messed up.
posted by booknerd at 1:39 PM on March 9, 2006

Marshall Field's and Nordstrom have Mavi jeans. Go crazy.
posted by copperbleu at 1:52 PM on March 9, 2006

I'm 5'4", 135# with 38" hips, 26" waist and I'm a bike racer (monster quads). women's jeans do not fit me. At. All. a 7 or 8 just fits my legs but has about 5-6" of loose baggy crap in the waist. since when did they stop making jeans shaped to fit women and start making jeans shaped for the michelin man?

now this is really weird: Gap men's 30/31s fit PERFECTLY and are what I have on right now. not too long, not too short, nothing binds, everything sleek, ahhh just exactly right. so why do men's jeans fit my definitely-not-masculine shape?

and in a pinch sometimes I can find things in the juniors dept. that aren't too baggy in the gut. but not often and not usually something I'd wear in public (I'm 35)

this is silly. when are they going to start making women's pants to fit women-shaped bodies again?
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:58 PM on March 9, 2006

Related threads here and here.
posted by initapplette at 3:08 PM on March 9, 2006

Best answer: Don't even worry about the leg measurement, you can get them shortened (using the original hem) at any good dry-cleaner/tailors. That's how I get mine done. The stitching where they re-hem using the old hems is essentially invisible.

If you are interested in some good high-end jeans like Sevens or Citizens, go to a good department store like Bloomingdales. Grab a whole bunch of different brands in approximately your size and go try them on. Again, forget the inside leg measurement, they will likely all be too long. Find the brand and cut that suits you the best. I personally like the selection at Bloomingdales, they have a good variety, inc some brands I hadn't heard of before, like Joe's Jeans, which are beautifully soft and comfy, as well as looking great.
posted by Joh at 3:36 PM on March 9, 2006

Thirding the mavi recommendation. I know Urban Outfitter's carries them -- no idea about Nordstrom's. I had to have mine hemmed -- but that's true of everything that's not a petite, and most petite clothing sucks through a hose. (Why? Why?! I'm short, not blind.)

Veering off beyond the question -- Any dry-cleaner's will do a fine job on hems. But you're gonna be short-and-curvy your whole life, so it's worth finding a good tailor at some point. Taking in the waist, shortening the sleeves, letting out the bust -- tiny changes will make all the difference in how your clothes fit, and wearing clothes that really, truly fit you is a transformative experience. You've never felt so kick-ass in all your life.

Tailoring doesn't have to be super-spendy. When I was just out of school, I checked the FIT bulletin board (a primitive precursor to the website) and found a brilliant woman I've stuck with ever since (I'm her only alterations client). Try theater schools or companies for costume designers. Check the web for nearby re-enactors -- Renaissance, Civil War, whatever. They're obsessive about fabric and techniques. And next time you see someone who looks especially put-together, ask her for a recommendation. (And don't worry about being pushy or offensive; even if she's wearing off-the-rack, she'll be thrilled you asked.)

But definitely do it. And, no, I'm not on commission from the National Academy of Clothes-Taker-Uppers. Just looking out for a sister in shortness.
posted by vetiver at 4:44 PM on March 9, 2006

My girlfriend recommends Editor pants from Express.
posted by subtle-t at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2006

There's a new cut of Joe's jeans for short girls... provocateur I believe. I tried a pair on (5'3") and they were pretty cute. If you want to spend the $$ on jeans, that is. I'm about 27 in the waist and 36 in the hips, if that means anything.
I don't know if they make them any more, but man, 7 Havanas are worth getting shortened if you can find a pair in your (waist) size. Sooo hot.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:49 PM on March 9, 2006

I wear the Gap curvy, and keep one pair only for going out (don't put it in the dryer either).
posted by radioamy at 11:15 PM on March 9, 2006

Filene's (if you can find them in the clearance) has Mavi's as well. I am in Boston right now and tried on like a dozen pair of Mavi's on Tuesday.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:51 AM on March 10, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you all SO much -- your recommendations have been SO helpful (there will be MUCH shopping done this weekend). Plus, it's so nice to hear about other women out there with the same body type as me - I always feel so out of place!
posted by echo0720 at 6:44 AM on March 10, 2006

I know I'm a bit late on this, but I'm compelled to add my two cents. I have a similar build, and I swear by Taverniti So -- fancy, beautiful, italian, and made for both curvy and non-curvy girls. I have a pair without the fancy pocket detailing -- some styles are very rock n' roll, if you're into that kind of thing. the quality of the denim is really important to me, now that there is so much choice out there. i love earnest sewn jeans because of the denim but they are made for skinny girls. i now live in my taverniti so's. but you need to try things on. go to a good denim boutique, like www.hemjeans.com, and ask away. best of luck!
posted by kiita at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2006

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