Sally that's funny about the contest. I know it's a badge of honor for all the whiskering, fades etc...and all the special names they have for them. Whatever gives our life meaning, right?

I started my raw denim journey with unisex ones from APC about 12 or more years ago? (time, who can keep track!). They were good, I really loved them. Then I had some weight gain, so had to let them go. When I was going to replace them with a bigger size, I found the brand Chimala that made women's jeans at the Madewell site. They only made lighter wash broken in ones, but really good quality. (I still have a few of those!). In 2016 Chimala did some raw ones, ordered these: The fabric was amazing. Thick and dark with little flecks of white in it. That faded of course, but the denim is still incredible. I ordered these in early 2020: These were a lighter weight of denim right from the start and not as nice as the other pair. They are fine, but there's no comparison in the denim. So even within the same brand, there are differences! Or did I wash them too early? That makes a difference too in how it ages.

Okay, obsessive rant about raw denim over !

I wear jeans whenever I can. I prefer jeans to any other bottoms in my wardrobe. I have tried jeans from almost everywhere. I like 100% cotton.
Expensive jeans fit me better. The denim is of better quality. The rise works on my body. They are long enough. They are better designed.
I liked a pair of high-rise, wide-legged jeans from Banana Republic, but they did not compare to those I got from Citizens of Humanity.

I am 5'7", and some lower-priced jeans are not long enough, and the rise is too short even when called high rise. The fit is off.

These are my jeans. I find Citizens of Humanity fits me the best.

catherine--great point about ethics. The closest I get to ethical shopping is thrifting, but I should get my undergarments ethically. I bet there are a lot of good ethical jeans out there.

I think denim manufacture is very water and dye intensive.

I think thrifting is just as ethical than buying new "sustainable brands" - which are expensive and not aways in the right sizing etc for everyone.

unfrumped--Your are selling me on the bootcuts. I remember when I used to have a lot of those. Especially if you really do wear them with boots--it's a cool look.

You sound like me as well--curious about all the denim out there but pretty satisfied to try on a couple and settle on the best one. Premium denim remains for me an ideal, but I'll settle for a solid mall pair.

judy--those are lovely.

Style Fan--I bet the premium jeans do fit better in terms of rise, etc. Great photos. I can see that some are on sale, but perhaps they're worth full price, too.

This thread got me curious as I’d never even tried in on premium denim. When these Frame jeans (in Petite!) went on sale for $114 (very high for me) down from $285, I decided to order them. They were amazingly flattering despite being so big they slid down and stuck out quite a bit at the waist in front. They hung well and didn’t cup or wrinkle below the seat which is a common problem for me. In short, I now understand the attraction of premium denim. Unfortunately, a size down is unavailable.

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DonnaF--Wow, those look great! Now I need to try some premium denim. Those may be a size up, but with a fun belt, they could go anywhere.

In the interests of *research* I just ordered a few more pairs of Frame sale jeans *just to see*, lol.

DonnaF--They look nice in the waist and seat, like you said.

Not always, but I've generally noticed that higher-end brands tend to cater to a different fit model. So if you're really tall &/ or thin, you may have better luck with their denim. For me personally though, I need a little stretch because I have a substantial difference between my waist & hips.

Similarly, I've found brands like Levi's don't fit me right for some reason, but vintage Lee's work well on my frame. My other pair of jeans are from Peruvian Connection (the most I've ever paid for denim) & I've noticed the fabric requires less constant pulling up. They're also in a pretty floral design.

So I suppose high-end denim is a mix of better fabric and unique designs, but for certain body types.

Zaeobi--hmm, you know that's funny--Lee's work for me, too, and every pair I've had has been secondhand, so maybe vintage. I, too, have a big difference between waist and hips.

Hmm then I suppose you & I may both have better luck with non-designer denim lol. My Lee's have some interesting details that help with fit, like elastic only in the sides of the waistband.

Big disclaimer though is that:
A) I don't wear jeans often so I don't own that many (have already described all my pairs in the comment above lol), and
B) I've never actually tried any *truly* designer jeans (just going into Levi's & being frustrated with all their rises not fitting over my junk in the trunk was enough to put me off lol).

I don't wear jeans often, so never felt much need to spend a lot.

But- then I found these in a boutique. I paid somewhere around $100 for them, cause they were exactly what I was looking for. Full length, bootcut, pull on, high enough in the rise to cover my entire Brazillian backside, and just the right shade to go with my palette. Totally worth it.

suntiger--they are pretty! very 70s vibe with that waist.

Okay; all those Frame (premium denim) jeans finally arrived. The ones that were supposedly Petites most definitely were nowhere near petite length. The size which would normally be too small was definitely too small. They were nice, but I did not feel like I had died and gone to heaven. For the most part I'm not a BLUE jean person so I don't think it makes sense for me to spend extra for blue jeans. Now if I had blue eyes. . .or if true (vs faded) black straight or bootcut jeans were to show up at a decent price, I would consider them.

I used to buy lots of premium denim, seriously spends stuff. Like R13 and Chimala (like Judy above).
My most recent jeans purchases were American Eagle. I’ve gained a lot of weight, trendy jean cuts don’t exist in premium brands. Even Good American has more skinnies.
I recently went to Australia to visit family. It’s winter down there, and I forgot to pack jeans. So off I went to a Westfield. Ended up buying super cheap ones on sale from Kmart, Anko brand I think. One pair was 8$ AU and the other 12$ AU. And they were cute actually.
I’m tired of the pandemic sweatpants.
Last week I was getting my glasses fixed and I stopped by Nordstrom. I know everything has gone up in price, but even then I shocked at the prices. There was a cute skirt by Mother, I think it was over $300. A jacket, over $600.

ETA, I guess if I found a really cool pair in my current size, I might be tempted.