Saturday, May 12, 2007

Which Jeans Are You Wearing?

Seven JeansI'm convinced that the Quest for the Perfect Jeans is more difficult, more unattainable than the Quest for the Holy Grail--or even the the Perfect Haircut.

I have a love-hate relationship with jeans. I love being comfortable, love the casual ruggedness of denim, love the way they allow me to go from my household chores to a night at The Moose's Tooth without having to change my attire. I hate the way they feel if my weight fluctuates so much as a pound, hate the way I worry about whether I'm wearing Mom Jeans, hate paying more than the GNP of many Third World nations just to have a pair of jeans that actually fit and look good.

Anyone else out there remember the Levi's shrink-to-fits? Too tight, too tight, too tight! But the only thing worse were the Guess jeans that were so form-fitting they had to put zippers on the ankles so one could squeeze one's foot through the leg hole.

Guess JeansThose Guess jeans were the bane of my high school years because everyone--and I mean everyone--had a pair but me. Oh how I wanted a pair of Guess jeans, wanted to look like Claudia Schiffer did in the ads, but they didn't make them in 58-lengths so I had to envy the more petite girls and their tiny-bottomed Guess jeans from afar.

After my first baby I went through my Eddie Bauer phase. Never really liked the way the dumb things fit and thought they made me look terribly fat. Eventually I realized that it wasn't the jeans it was me--but by the time I'd lost the baby weight I'd moved on.

I've gone through both Gap and Abercrombie phases and came through fairly unscathed but always with the lingering suspicion that I'm dressing a little too hip for a woman pushing 37. Anyone have a handbook that clearly delineates where the line between dressing hip and looking ridiculous is? I'd be interested to know . . .

What I've really wanted to buy (and shhhh! Don't tell Andrew, this is just between you and me . . . ) is a pair of Sevens. What are the Mighty Sevens you ask? Seven for All Mankind jeans. I first heard about these jeans in the same hushed tones that one would talk about UFO or Elvis sightings. The jeans that fit every body, perfectly. The jeans that looked good on everyone regardless of shape. The jeans that would one day rule the world! "Muaha ha ha ha ha ha ha!" But here's the thing: I've been afraid to try them on.

What if the rumors are true? What if they really are the pair of denim at the end of the rainbow? What if I haul myself down to Nordstrom, try on a pair and find that everything I've heard is reality?

I'll tell you what it means. It means I'll be shelling out $200 for a pair of jeans. I've looked them up and know how much they cost and know darn well that once I try them on and the magic begins I'll never take them off. That'll be it, I might at well wear them home from the store because there will be no turning back. I've held out this long but don't know how much longer I can before one afternoon, one afternoon in a moment of quiet weakness, I'll find myself on the second floor at Nordstrom with twenty minutes to kill and plastic in my pocket. It's bound to happen.

Have you tried them on? Tell me if the rumors are true, I must know. If not Sevens, what jeans are you wearing and do you like them? Remember I have legs of Amazonian proportions and can't wear anything shorter than an extra long so my choices are rather limited. Enlighten me and save me from the $200 pair of jeans.

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43 comments:

Jaycee said...

I'm a bit like you with the fluctuating weight thing so for that reason I like jeans with some stretch in them.

I haven't heard of sevens jeans so can't comment on them.

Anonymous said...

I wear New York jeans. They are the stretch jeans, but they are so comfortable and they come in a long length. I am 5'9 and 41 years old. They have many different styles, I like the ones that sit right below the waist. The New York store is in most malls. Good Luck with your search for the "perfect jean"

Jeana said...

I always wanted Guess jeans too, and never had a pair.

I've heard you can get deals on Seven jeans on ebay--go try them on and find the size and style you need, then watch ebay for a while.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I've never tried on 7's. My BFF lives in them. If she's 95 pounds...it's heavy!

Just never thought I could wear them.

Lemme know how they feel.

I have a pair of Express jeans that I live in.

Daisy said...

I am short and plump -- buying jeans is torture. When I was thinner, I had one size of Gitano jeans that fit perfectly, and I bought several pair. Sniff. Those were the days!

Babystepper said...

I too share this love/hate relationship. My best jeans always come from the thrift store. That's where I can get those sizes and shapes that I'm too cheap to pay for in the normal way. It's incredibly hit-or-miss, of course, so I just keep trying. My problem is that my behind sticks out in back and I have a sway-back. I hate, hate, hate the way my pants always have a huge gap at the base of my back. It's so hard to find a pair that goes in for the back. Even the size ones at Maurices didn't come in enough at the waist, although the butt was skin tight. Argh! I am not a size one. I also have stomach issues, so my pants can't press hard on my stomach or I'll be sick. Therefore they have to rest just right and still be smaller at waist then hips. This is turning into a blog-post, so I'll stop ranting now. =)

G's Cottage said...

Growing up in a man's world on a farm meant jeans were essential. Since I also did the marching band thing it meant that jeans roomy enough to fit my calves and thighs gapped at the waist. Then Lee started putting small sections of elastic at each side to discreetly absorb the excess material. I was hooked and the only Jeans I buy now are Lee relaxed-fit with elastic and boot leg in petite short; but I am not telling the size. I haven't heard of Sevens before either and have better ways to spend $200.

girlymama said...

I TRIED THEM ON! And a pair of "Citizens". (Didn't have the buying power at the time, but was tagging along with a friend.)

The rumors are true. They looked amazing. Truly. They even hem them to the perfect length for you!

Give them a whirl!! (Or find out your size and look on ebay!)

Lisa said...

It seems that Jeans are the blog topic of the week.

Check out Grumperina for a neat concept in Jean purchasing:
http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/archives/2007/05/true_jeans.htm

This site won't solve your $200 jean problem, but it will find you a pair that fits!

Islandsparrow said...

I haven't heard of those jeans - and I have the opposite problem in the leg dept - my inseam is 29 inches...

I wear a pair of jeans from Blue Notes - they fit - but they are on the lower side and don't do much to hold the tummy in...

sigh

la bellina mammina said...

Guess jeans and me - not compatible, so I never owned one. My first pair was a Levi's which I still wear. I also have a pair of Gucci jean which was a gift and which fit me perfectly and I wear those all the time! Am curious about 7 jeans too. They cost like SGD$450 here in SIngapore!

Jthemilker said...

Guess jeans were always too rich for my blood. But years ago I would have spent my last dollar on LEVIS and wear them until they wore out. I loved those days. These days... I rarely wear jeans and wish I looked as cool in them as I did in years gone by.

Anonymous said...

The best $100+ I've ever shelled out was on a pair of Lucky Brand Jeans. The hit below the waist and look like they just came out of the dryer, even after wearing them for a few days.
~Tracie

odat_kim said...

I wear Reitman's $36 (CDN too) they come in extra long, although I wear regular length and I'm 5'9". I wear size 11. If you want I'll send you a pair, just tell me your size. FYI, they have lycra and boot cut and fit a curvy figure, cause for a caucasian, I have a fairly rounded bottom, although I'm pretty straight through the waist and hip. They come up to just below the belly button.
Kim

mcewen said...

I would hate to think that we have been reduced to 'who had the worst childhood' comparisons!
That said whilst I sympathise with you being 'the only one' without the necessary - I on the other hand was in an entirely different category altogether.
Which one, which category, that is to say? I was in the 'jeans home made by mum' subdivision. I also had an honorary mention in the 'mini hot pants, home made by mum' club. I think I was the only member. You can't really buy that kind of exclusivity.
Cheers

Jordan said...

My sister got a pair of Sevens on eBay for $50. I thought that was a ridiculous amount to spend.

I had some Arizona jeans that liked; I realize now that they were a couple sizes too big, though. But hey, I could wear them until I was like 4-5 months pregnant.

Sorry, I can't report on how well they fit her; I tend to not check my sister out....

*~chelle~* said...

I am still on the search for the holy grail know as the perfect jeans .. in the meantime ... I wear old navy jeans.

dcrmom said...

Jeans. My very favorite topic in the whole world.

I do not like Sevens. *gasp* They are so freaking low-rise, I would have to get a Brazilian. No thanks.

I love, love, love David Kahn's. Go to Nordstrom. They're $150, but they rock. The other ones I have that I'm very happy with are Lucky jeans. The Lucky stores are great b/c the people are trained to help you, they look at your figure and listen to what you want, and then they pick the styles they think you will like. They will tell you the ones that will stretch out and the ones that won't. I have 2 pair, and I lurv them. They have long lengths, and their regulars are long on me (I have long legs) so they should have them to fit you. Also, David Kahn's are very long. I have had to have mine shortened. Lucky's are in the $100-$125 range.

dcrmom said...

Oh, and Guess jeans. Those were the days. I thought I was so friggin hot in my Guess jeans. With the pegged legs. SNORRRRRT!

allysha said...

I have a pair of Managers that I really like. Before that it was Silvers, but who knows if they're around anymore...good jeans are worth their weight in gold, except that I don't think I could ever bring myself to pay $200 for a pair...

Jane said...

I have found that places like Ross or Marshalls are good for jeans because they have an assortment of brands to try. I got a great pair of Lee jeans for $9. I probably would never have tried them on in another store.

My friend buys cheap jeans and then gets them tailored. Sometimes the waist, sometimes the hem.

Orhan Kahn said...

I'm not a jeans person, sorry :(

kailani said...

In my younger days I used to wear Chic, LA Gear, and Guess jeans.

I've always had a hard time finding the perfect pair of jeans. So yes, I do own a pair of Sevens and a pair of True Religion jeans. And let me tell you . . . it's worth every penny! I'm one hip Mommy! LOL!

Cathy said...

My lifelong quest for the perfect jeans ended a few years ago when the lovely, wonderful saleslady at Nordstrom brought me a pair of JAG jeans to try on. Amazing. $90--but I found a pair for $35 during one of the half-year sales. Also love my WORN jeans from Nordstrom--those get the most compliments.

My JAGs are the only ones I bring when I come to AK where I wear them every day for 3 weeks!

Good luck

Haley-O said...

Sevens are supposed to be AWESOME! When I get my body back, I gotta get me some (they're apparently worth the big $$$). No jeans for me right now -- just lululemons!! :)

Anonymous said...

No one has said it, so I will. What is this world coming to when we would even consider paying that much for a pair of PANTS? I'm sure Sevens are pure heaven to wear, but for me it would be pure hell when they tore or they wore out (which they will) and I have to realize what else that money could have gone for. If I care that much how my butt looks and not how that money could buy food and shelter for someone without any...I don't like what that says about me. Cece

An Ordinary Mom said...

My favorites right now are good old boot cut relaxed Levi's that I found at JC Penny's for $30.00. They fit remarkably well. However, I have been wanting to try on the Sevens ... let me know if you happen to take the plunge :) !!

Happy Mother's Day!

Cathy said...

Just wanted to add that I agree with CeCe about the cost.

For me, I now buy one or two pairs of well-fitting, comfortable, $$ ($90) jeans that last years (literally) instead of buying 5-6 cheaper jeans (which together cost well over $90 and sit in my closet because they aren't comfortable). I've also done the same with shoes and my pair of winter boots. I have become much more discerning (in my 40s) when it comes to clothing basics.

My closet is much more sparse (unbelieveable, actually, to my friends), but I actually wear the stuff I buy until it falls apart, and I spend much less overall on clothes.

Anjali said...

I live in jeans. The two pairs that my butt currently resides in are Calvin Klein book cuts (purchased at an outlet for $20) and Ann Taylor loft (don't know the style, but love em). Never heard of Sevens, but I guess I should check them out.

Leslie said...

I struggle with this, too. Since I'm about as tall as I am wide, it's especially difficult. I have one pair of jeans that fit me perfectly and have never been able to find another pair.

I loved the Mom Jeans things, by the way.

SnarkyPants said...

I'm in the minority here, I think, but I would encourage you to try on the Sevens if you do feel that you could justify the money. The equation I use for justification is this: $.50 for every wearing. So if you think you'll wear them 400 times, do it. Based on my experience with Sevens they will last long enough to do so. That said, there's a lot of other denim in that range that I believe it better these days. Current faves include: Serrafontaine (sp?), Ernest Sewn, Joe's Jeans, Cheap Monday (and Cheap Monday is CHEAP!), or Hudsons.

I can also assure you that if you decide to buy more expensive denim you will absolutely be able to find something that fits your inseam. (Many come "raw" so that they are hemmed to your specific needs)

Also - don't buy seven jeans off ebay with your long legs... that's asking for trouble. :)

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi michelle: you made me smile with your comment about how your legs are of " ... amazonian proportions ... " you're too cute. ~happy mother's day to you girl, kathleen :)

Char said...

I have finally found the perfect jeans for me after all these years - Coldwater Creek, boot cut with a bit of stretch. I paid $18 for one pair on clearance and loved them so much I was willing to fork out the $69 for the second and third pair.

They are cut a bit long which is perfect for my 5'9" frame.

my4kids said...

I have that problem with jeans trying to figure out when I can't wear the stylish ones or not..Is there an age? I also did the Eddie Bauer ones also and realized they made me look fat and that was when I really wasn't. Right now I can't find any that fit right. I know abou the Seven jeans but have never tried either. If they fit I would just be to depressed by the price tag!

binkytown said...

Its the jeans. Good jeans are harder to find than a good haircut, hands down. I'm curvy but short so I need room for the hips but if I buy those they are down past my toes. Sigh.

PunditMom said...

Facing this same dilemma for more years than I care to remembers, I did finally buy a pair of "7's." And, yes, I think they were worth it. I put them on and don't think about it. The rise isn't too low, not too much of the tummy hanging out, good length and fit. The thing that is hard for me is that the pant legs generally are too wide on jeans for me, and these work well. I am lucky to say I spent less than $150 for them. I wear them all the time, so I am rationalizing it that way.

Anonymous said...

Try www.zafu.com, they ask you a few questions and then recommend your perfect jeans - it worked for me. Have fun!

Write From Karen said...

Okay, it's confirmed, I'm MS. CHEAPO. There is no way I could dish out that much money for jeans. Heck, I can barely dish out $30 for a pair of jeans!

We're in the same boat, Michelle. I'm an Amazon woman, too. I'm 5"10 and though not fat, I have some flesh on my bones. *grin* I've been buying my jeans from Lands End for the past several years and just love them. They will hem them as long as you want (thereby eliminating the high-water, nerd look) and they fit pretty good. The only downfall? There's not much give. They may have some stretchy jeans, I just haven't checked. And the best part? $30 bucks.

Good luck!

cheeky said...

Funny, sognatrice over at bleeding espresso did a post on jeans, and her struggles to find a pair as well.
Must be something in the air, global warming perhaps?
I own 7's. I'm all about a great pair of denims. I own way too many pair(of denims that is) but I think they are the best-ever invention.
7's do fit really well and they have many different styles to chose from. There are a plethora of brands out there and they don't have to be break-the-bank expensive to be good.
Get a pair that fit, and if they don't have them altered. I do and I'm much happier for it. I can't stress enough how important it is to have trousers that fit properly.
Of course, in the end, it's a personal choice.
I'm 39 and I don't look ridiculous.
I think hip is knowing what is appropriate for your own style and image. Too low and showing one's bum is not appropriate for anyone.
Best of luck and happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

Could you ladies explain to me to me why you like to shop at Nordstroms? I've never shopped there.

Nicole R. said...

Hi! I'm a little late commenting, but I wanted to chime in that jeans that look good (and therefore make you feel good) are totally worth the money -- I also subscribe to the "cost-per-wear" theory. If you love them, you'll live in them, so it's okay to spend more money. I also justify an expensive haircut and pricey eyeglasses frames this way -- I wear these things every day.

Currently I'm wearing Levis 504 "Slouch Fit" -- the top is bias-cut to avoid the dreaded waistband gap at the back -- which are low-rise and straight-legged. They come in an extra-long, which I wear. Not too youthful for a 37-year-old mom, I think, although I also have a pair of the "skinny jeans" that you see in the celebrity magazines (also Levis). Those might be a little young for me, but what the heck. They do remind me a bit of the old-school tapered jeans of my high school days. (The Levis are about $90 each.)

Ryan said...

There's no such thing as "too hip" for somebody at 37. You're at the prime age where you should be looking your best! There are a lot of places to help you find the perfect pair of jeans. One that I like is http://www.theofficialdenim.com

Check it out :) I think you'll be happy.

Mrs. F said...

I love my seven jeans. They are super comfy. The best part about them though has to be that I bought them one size smaller than I would normally wear. Also, I found mine at Mervyn's for only $70. I believe they are a secondary brand...or something. They have seven tags all over them, but a different pocket squiggle than the $200 seven jeans. I can not bring myself to even try on te $200 jeans for fear of NEEDING to buy them :)