I love my faded blue Love Story bellbottom jeans, and Greg does too. They were a wild card at the time I bought them, filling a “fancy jeans” wardrobe hole. The degree to which I enjoy wearing them was unexpected, because I’m an ‘80s tapered hems gal at heart. Also, sporting flares has its challenges, like soggy hems in our rainy Seattle weather, and wearing two inch heels because I prefer the silhouette with height. Yet I adore their elegant ‘70s appeal and the way they swoosh when I stride. And I can manage a comfortable two inch heel if it’s not a regular thing. So I added a pair of white flares to my shopping list for Spring and Summer. Dressy, crisp, and with a modern Retro integrity.
I started the search at Nordstrom and Shopbop, where I usually purchase jeans. There were many suitable options, but I whittled them down to six candidates. Most of the options are premium, because that’s where I ended up in the past with my beloved Love Story jeans. I selected low and mid rises because that’s my comfort zone, but threw in a few high rises to keep an open mind.
After more consideration I chose three of the original six and ordered them online. My preference for low rise jeans is strong, which made Hudson’s Signature Flap Pocket Bootcut Stretch Jeans and Paige’s Denim Fiona Flare Jeans an obvious choice. I was going to leave it at that, but at the last minute ordered KUT from the Kloth’s Chrissy Flare Leg Jeans because I’ve had great luck with white boyfriend jeans by the same brand. I ordered one size in both premium styles and two sizes in the KUT jeans.
The items arrived, and after trying them on there was no contest. The non-premium KUT from the Kloth jeans were hands down best. The denim is thick, which offsets the sheerness of white denim and makes the flare drape better (another benefit of more substantial denim: the pockets don’t grin). I preferred the way they fit at the crotch point. The width of the flare is dramatic yet manageable. And although they have quite a high rise, which is not normally my preference, they are comfortable. I opted for the larger size because they were looser on the thigh. They will need half an inch taken off the hem so that they almost skim the surface of the ground, and a slight waistband alteration to create a perfect fit.
The Hudson Signature Flap Pocket Bootcut Stretch Jeans were disappointing because the denim was quite transparent. Greg thought that my skin grinning through the jeans was quite funny. I didn’t like the permanent branded red grommet on the front of the jeans at the money pocket because it takes away from the “white look” I am after. And the flare was too narrow. They did fit well, but their sheerness was a deal breaker. They do have rave reviews, so this might not be important to everyone.
The Paige Denim Fiona Flare Jeans weren’t as transparent as the Hudsons, but were still a little sheer. The width of the flare was great, but the fit was a little tight. Sizing up would probably have done the trick, but I didn’t bother because I much preferred the KUTS at less than half the price.
It was a stroke of luck that I ordered the KUTs. I didn’t expect to go non-premium for this item. This just reinforces my opinion that while premium denim can be worth the price, they are not always a slam dunk when it comes to quality and fit. Price is not a good gauge of quality these days and often the the less expensive option is best.