One of these things is not like the other...
March 9, 2008 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone else ever encountered jeans with one "misaligned" leg (i.e., the seams seem to twist around)? What's this all about?

I regularly try on (and occasionally unwittingly buy) jeans that have one leg with seams that don't match up to those on the other leg. The entire leg seems to be misaligned somehow so that the inside seam is either twisted towards the front or the back of my leg. It generally starts about the knee and gets really pronounced by the time it gets to the hem.

A) Please tell me I'm not alone in noticing this! (And being extremely irritated by it!)

B) What causes this to happen? I've encountered jeans like this at Uniqlo, H&M, Urban Outfitters - even Seven jeans!

C) Is there any way to either fix or reverse it?
posted by anonymous78 to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think this is happening because the fabric is cut in stacks, so the pieces at the bottom of the pile get kind of wonky. This also causes annoying discrepancies in a single size run of khakis and the like.
posted by astruc at 4:20 PM on March 9, 2008

You're not alone- I own a pair of jeans like that, and it drives me crazy that I paid for a pair of pants that looks that way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:21 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yep, it's happened to me too.
posted by Evangeline at 4:25 PM on March 9, 2008

It's almost definitely a problem with bad cut of the fabric. I've made pants that do that, and I could easily trace the issues back to misshaped cutting (in my case because the fabric was under tension when I cut it). There doesn't seem to be a way to fix it, short of taking the pants apart and regrading the front and back seams to match each other properly -- and even that won't necessarily work because they may be too far off grain.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:33 PM on March 9, 2008

C) Is there any way to either fix or reverse it?

Return it. Even if the tags are off and you've worn the pants, you should still return them. It is a manufacturing defect that is not apparent until the item is in use.
posted by 26.2 at 4:38 PM on March 9, 2008

Check to see if the seams ARE twisted! (Depending on how severe the wonkiness is??)

Turn them inside-out, start from the crotch - whichever side it sits down flat onto - it should stay there until you hit the ankle, continuously! (Same with the outer seam).

It could be a simple matter of just taking an iron to them because they were carelessly pressed. Or... You may need to unpick a tiny bit of the hem - so you can press the seams down to one side correctly.

ALWAYS take them back if you notice that shit!! They pay people to check for all that stuff... and you sure got billed for it!

To see if it's the cut (less common in pants but found in about 1/3 of tshirts!) Grab them by the ankle, thumbs inside with one on each seam. (This is easier to see from the front panel). Give them a shake and a wriggle, let them hang naturally. You should be able to feel and/or see if they're kinda listing to one side or whatever is going on with the wretched things.

See if you can pick the difference between the two legs??

Or... take pics?? :)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2008

I've had jeans like that. I even had a pair with both legs twisted. But there's often no way you can see it till the pants have been washed. There's not much you can do, other than return them.
posted by wryly at 5:36 PM on March 9, 2008

Are you sure its not a 'feature'. I remember Levis doing twisted seam jeans (on purpose) a while back, I don't know if they still do them.
posted by missmagenta at 6:05 PM on March 9, 2008

I have had numerous pairs of jeans with this problem- always on the left leg. I assumed my leg was somehow defective, good to know that it's not me.
posted by fshgrl at 6:06 PM on March 9, 2008

Return them. The are seconds, sold to you as first quality.
posted by 6:1 at 6:44 PM on March 9, 2008

I've noticed this too, most recently with a pair of Levis, but they weren't supposed to have the "twisted leg" feature missmagenta mentioned. I returned them because twisted seams drive me crazy.
posted by Coyote at the Dog Show at 6:52 PM on March 9, 2008

Nope. Never happened to me. I wonder if it's a quality control thing with certain brands? I've never bought Uniqlo, H&M, Urban Outfitters - even Seven jeans; I pretty much just buy normal blue jeans (not designer jeans). maybe that's part of it?
posted by Doohickie at 8:16 PM on March 9, 2008

I'm surprised there aren't any denim enthusiasts here. From what I understand, it's a problem inherent to the weave of the jeans, that when washed (prior to it ending up at the store) the shrinkage causes the leg to twist. Supposedly they solved it by making the jeans twist into position after washing.

One of my jeans, a Levi's 501 Shrink-to-Fit, suffers from this tremendously because unlike most other jeans, they are not washed or treated in any way.

Evisu (one of the first high-end jean designers) mentions it on their Denim Glossary page - search for "leg twist".

I'm not sure why you're seeing this "feature" on presumably washed, non-enthusiast jeans though. It's possible that the manufacturers are touting this as a cool thing, but that wouldn't explain why they weren't advertising this to you. Maybe the new jean factories don't know about this old fix?
posted by meowzilla at 9:45 PM on March 9, 2008

Huh. This happens to me so often that I had concluded I'm misshapen. Seriously. It always happens with my right leg so I've decided there's something up with that leg. Now I don't know what to think!
posted by Enroute at 11:12 PM on March 9, 2008

I guess I'm alone in this, but I have never noticed this problem.
posted by srrh at 11:12 PM on March 9, 2008

I've never had this problem with jeans, but I have seen it with other types of pants. What causes this is that the fabric is supposed to be cut straight on the grain, but things have gotten turned somehow in cutting and the leg has been cut slightly on the bias. Because of this the leg no longer hangs properly, just as you can't hang a picture straight if it is only attached at a corner. I have a dress that is cut fully on the bias by design, at 45 degrees to the warp and weft of the fabric, and the seams twist around the body rather than hanging straight down.

Return them. You might be able to do something with careful ironing, but it's to much trouble and only a temporary fix.
posted by yohko at 1:14 AM on March 10, 2008

Nope, srrh. You're not alone.
posted by Doohickie at 10:15 AM on March 10, 2008

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