Reasonably-priced jeans for VERY skinny guys?
October 16, 2007 9:44 PM   Subscribe

What stores (in the U.S.) carry reasonably-priced jeans for VERY skinny guys?

My son just turned 15 and is in the middle of a growth-spurt (but it's all height, not weight). He looks like a concentration camp survivor, but he's very healthy and energetic. All of his jeans are too short and we're having a very difficult time finding anything in his size. Two salesgirls at the mall helped him figure out his exact size: 29 waist and 34 length/inseam (which, alas, their store didn't carry). So far we've struck out at Sears, JC Penney, Old Navy, Walmart and Target. We found a few styles in that size at the higher-end stores, but they're really out of our price range for something he's likely to outgrow in another couple of months. Most stores carry plenty of styles for skinny girls, but not so much for skinny guys. He likes cargo-style jeans and khakis, and I'd like to find them for under $30 a pair (preferably not online, because he's very concerned about making sure things feel okay and wants to "try before we buy").
posted by amyms to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't suppose he'd be willing to try something vintage at a thrift store? Granted, it's not a sure thing, but it would be worth checking out.
posted by spec80 at 9:46 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Try Anchor Blue if you are in the So Cal area
posted by seawallrunner at 9:48 PM on October 16, 2007

posted by Eringatang at 9:51 PM on October 16, 2007

H & M
posted by mr. remy at 9:52 PM on October 16, 2007

Ooo...H&M is better.
posted by Eringatang at 9:59 PM on October 16, 2007

Speaking from personal experience with this exact problem: Go someplace that sells clothes both in stores and online. Find some 29/30s or so in the store and have him try them on. Then go home and order the right length online. The difference in length will make no difference in how they fit or feel.
posted by jjg at 10:12 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Urban Outfitters has plenty of jeans that should fit, ranging from cheap all the way to $200 a pair.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 10:16 PM on October 16, 2007

Thanks for the suggestions so far! A thrift store is worth a try (I've gotten a lot of my own clothes from thrift stores, but I don't know how great their selection will be for a picky teenage boy lol)...

I'm in central Kansas, and we have to drive 20 miles to the nearest mall, and another 40 miles to the next "big town," so national chain store suggestions would be best (I'm pretty sure we can find a GAP somewhere since we found an Old Navy)...

And, forgive my ignorance, but what's H&M?
posted by amyms at 10:16 PM on October 16, 2007

jjg, that's a great suggestion. Do most stores offer additional sizing options online (as opposed to the ones they offer in-store)? As long as he could try them on in the store, then, like you said, ordering a longer size wouldn't affect whether he liked the feel.
posted by amyms at 10:23 PM on October 16, 2007

amyms, H&M is a chic and inexpensive Swedish outfitter, known for slightly leaner cuts than most North American retailers. However, they don't have any stores in Kansas or, for that matter, any of the four adjacent states. They also don't sell online, so you can scratch them off your list.
posted by limon at 10:24 PM on October 16, 2007

His jeans size is very similar to mine...

I figured out that the most comfortable fit for me was Levi's 550 Relaxed Fit (and also Comfort Fit) Size 31 X 36; this size is very hard to find...

I know you mentioned you would prefer not to buy them online, but in case you decide to buy more jeans once you find the right size... Denim Express has jeans of every size and very cheap too...

JCPenney Online also has many sizes available and they are cheap when they have sales... you can always buy it online and return it to the store if they don't fit...
posted by MrBCID at 10:34 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Making clothes that don't fit right into clothes that DO fit right is what tailors are best at. Tailoring is so much cheaper than driving all over town trying to find the perfect pair and then paying a premium for the trendy style. I buy tons of ill-fitting clothes with promise from discount stores like Ross and Marshall's. Then I take it all to the tailor and he makes it look like I actually bought it in my size. So, I'll find a pair of $150 jeans at Marshalls for $20 that are too big and then let Mr. Tailor make them look right.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:10 PM on October 16, 2007

Do most stores offer additional sizing options online (as opposed to the ones they offer in-store)?

Store inventories are hit-or-miss. They might get one or two pair of an odd size, but once those are gone they're not likely to be restocked. Online stores often have a wider selection, and if you're buying from the manufacturer (like Gap or Old Navy or Levi's), you can typically get every size they make.
posted by jjg at 11:35 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Express also has a more European (skinny) cut to their clothes.
Land's End has some pants that they will hem to length. You might be able to try them on at Sears and then buy them on-line.
posted by metahawk at 11:47 PM on October 16, 2007

eddie bauer. tons of sizes, and ditto jjg & metahawk on going to the store to check the fit, then ordering online for correct length.
posted by killy willy at 12:51 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

also, EB has a good (but slow) return/exchange policy if you're not happy with what you buy.
posted by killy willy at 12:53 AM on October 17, 2007

I second jjg's recommendation--I've done just that with both Old Navy and Gap several times. They always have the size I need online and rarely at the store.
posted by jdl at 4:30 AM on October 17, 2007

I'm a 29/32, and there are no mainstream stores that sell anything that's going to fit well. Trust me.

The only place that sells jeans that fit are Lucky Brand Jeans and those are definitely more than $30 a pair
posted by doppleradar at 5:48 AM on October 17, 2007

I have a skinny guyfriend that wears women's jeans because they fit better than men's jeans. They look good on him!
posted by letahl at 6:05 AM on October 17, 2007

I'm seconding Doppleradar: As a 28/32, I know how hard it is to find jeans in smaller sizes. Like others have said, trying on a too-short pair in the store and then ordering the longer size online is a solid idea. Tailoring is an option, but it's difficult because you need a particularly good tailor to take in pants at the waist (especially since anything you find in a 34-inch length is likely to need a couple inches hacked out of it).

If you can find yourself a Club Monaco store, that'd be ideal. Their stuff can be a little more expensive, but their sale racks tend to be stocked with pretty nice stuff in the $20-30 range. Sale racks in general are going to be your friends; you'd be surprised at the deals you can find if you sort through the clearance section of a higher-end store. Here's the game plan: find a local mall with a bunch of fancy stores. Call these stores and ask if they carry 29/34 pants. Then spend a day sorting through the discounted items at every store that said yes.

I don't think Uni Qlo has made it out to Kansas yet, but they also sell pants down to a 29-inch waist. But not, sadly, 28...
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 6:41 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

If your son is a hipster, or wants to become one, he could start wearing girls jeans.

GAP sells size 28 jeans. I know because I have some. I'm in Canada, so it is possible that the US stores don't go that low. (Old Navy is the budget version of the GAP, and i'm pretty sure they have size 28 as well.) Bluenotes also has cheap jeans, as does American Eagle.
posted by chunking express at 7:01 AM on October 17, 2007

preferably not online, because he's very concerned about making sure things feel okay and wants to "try before we buy

most eBay sellers -- the good ones at least -- take actual measurements, it's no big deal. in your case, you'd better check some used pants, they're the cheapest usually. unless your son wants to try on girls' jeans (it's OK, you know, lots of skinny young men do) I'd go with online sellers/auctions, you can find -- thanks to people who have altered their pants -- awesome stuff with freakishly weird w/l ratios for cheap
posted by matteo at 8:00 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ebay is your friend. I just typed in "29x34 jeans" and a bunch popped up in several price ranges.
posted by rmless at 8:13 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'll second everyone who says that no main stream store is going to sell a 29x34. I'm a 28/29 x 29 and no one carries that size. You either have to be tall or fat to be considered worth some space on the rack at the GAP. And if you do find your size, it's not going to be for 30 dollars a pair.

Order online. Go to the gap, try on a pair, like the style and then order it online. If your son isn't happy with it, you can always return it. It's a pain but that's what you get for being at a "weird" size.
posted by Stynxno at 8:27 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

My boyfriend wears 29x36 - gets them from Levi's.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:17 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Urban Outfitters! A little more than $30/pair but they have the skinniest boy jeans I have ever seen.
posted by moxyberry at 11:00 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do you have UNIQLO over there? If so, that would be a good bet.
posted by mycapaciousbottega at 12:25 PM on October 17, 2007

I was the same way not too long ago, In my teens I went from a 29-32 to a 29-36.

I would also second Levi's. I like 550 for the exact size, and 505 for buying one size over (30, for a 29). U.S. Polo I know makes tall, slim sizes as well. I'd recommend looking for Levi's and U.S. Polo at Kohl's They run around $35-$45 a pair.

I've also had an time at places like Filene's Basement, they can carry Marithé et François Girbaud brand, which has tall, skinny sizes as well, but slightly more expensive as a brand.
posted by JustAGuy at 12:34 PM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

My boyfriend is tall and skinny, and the two brands that fit him best are Lip Service and Dogpile, which you can get at Angry, young and poor. Or look on ebay for any pants labeled "junkie fit" because that's technically what he is at this stage of the game. Don't be scared to look around the site; in addition to more punk-looking pants, they do make regular stovepipe-style skinny jeans and regular twill pants. Lip Service has a great exchange policy, and if you have a Hot Topic anywhere in driving distance, you can get a similar pair to the ones online for $30 ($26 on sale). Have him try those on if he can, and if he likes them, order more from the site. Or hell, order ONE pair from Lip Service, if they don't fit, mail 'em back.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:56 PM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

By the way, don't be put off by the term "junkie fit," even though it sounds kinda scary. That's lingo for really small rear and thin legs. There is another cut called the Ramones fit that is also similar, with a bit more room in the rear and skinny legs; you might try searching for those as well.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:57 PM on October 17, 2007

American Apparel has some terrific jeans that I just got for my son (5-11, 135 lbs. Eek). A little pricey at 68 bucks, but maybe I'm just cheap.
posted by nax at 1:52 PM on October 17, 2007

Thanks again for all the suggestions!
posted by amyms at 2:32 PM on October 17, 2007

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