I thought I’d do some updates on this from time to time, to help me organize my thoughts, and to help others if these posts do that. I’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping but it has mostly turned out to be research and elimination of choices rather than finding jeans I want. I am trying very hard to only order jeans that meet my goals, and that takes time.

What I’ve learned
1. Only about 5-10% (non scientific) of jeans for sale these days are the 9-10” front rise, 29”+ inseam, slim leg, non-distressed style I want. AND, they are often available only online. I’ve eliminated entire brands because of this (Pilcro, BananaRep, NYDJ, DL 1961, and others.). I did decide to add one or two pairs of skinnies if I see ones I like.

2. The “rise” terminology (hi, med, low) is like the Wild Wild West, with no standardization. Lucky Brand Lolita low rise jeans have a rise of 8”, JCREW has a 9” high rise jean, Target mid rise skinny universal thread have a front rise of 10.13”, and Anthro has ultra high rises of 10.75”. I’m going with numeric measurements now, and am no longer shopping on sites that don’t give exact measurements. I’ve eliminated more brands due to this.

3. Same for “slim” vs “skinny” vs “straight”. I’m going with numeric values and again skipping sites that don’t give them. More elimination.

4. I need to be much more particular about inseam length, which is harder in-store. I need to remember to bring a tape measure. .

5. Big Aha moment (smacks head, how did I not get this already?) …the following are indicators of stretchy fabric that is more like leggings than true jeans….and I want real jeans (just my choice of words but you know what I mean)
- Jeans that claim to “hold you in”
- Less than 90-95% cotton (not sure where the cutoff point is)
- Any blend of Cotton/Poly/rayon/spandex or elastane is likely to be very stretchy (sometimes sites list the fabrics but not the percentages)

6. Another big aha moment is to check fabric carefully for different colors. I've seen a pattern where black jeans are very stretchy while blue washes are less stretchy in the same exact style. (Levis in particular) Must have something to do with how fabrics take dye or something.

Accomplishments so far (in addition to all the research)

  1. Bought half a dozen styles (2 sizes each) at TJMaxx that I returned (no instore try-ons allowed).
  2. Ordered and a returned a few at Macys.
  3. I made one visit to the super thrift store nearby, which has no treasures but lots of jeans and other clothes. No returns, fitting rooms are still closed. I’m thinking about going again, wearing some leggings, and doing try-ons in the aisle but that might not be allowed.
  4. Bought one pair of jeans, same as the brand shown below but a different model. Found at TJMaxx. I un-stitched the hem so I can fold it up to be a narrower cuff, which I prefer.
  5. Have some possibilities at Macys, Zappos, Talbots, Everlane, and Boden to review next. Not quite ready to look at the ones that cost $200

All inputs or suggestions gratefully accepted!

My original posting with lots of suggestions from fabbers is here