Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September is New Jeans Month.

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I haven't bought a new pair of jeans since the spring before Al and I got married. That was four and a half years ago. I did own another pair at the time and they were easily 2 years old then, which would make them six and a half years old today, if my math is correct. Do you REMEMBER what jeans were like six and a half years ago? Well, I do. That was back when the rise of a jean still came up to and/or over your bellybutton! And lemme tell you, I am never getting the post-baby innertube of flesh and flab around my middle tucked under the vice-like girdle-grip of any Mom jeans again without a tub of Crisco® and a drill press.

Fortunately the new jeans I bought that spring had a lower rise. A rise with dignity AND hipness - not too high, not too low. They're the perfect wash, too. For color and texture they're sheer perfection. No embellishments anywhere - just a simple, straightforward 5 pocket jean. Dress 'em up, dress 'em down, you're good to go. In them I've always felt cute, comfortable and confident. And that's sayin' something. Am I right?

You know what happens to the favorite jeans, though, don't you? Velveteen. Rabbit. City. The knees of my beloved fivepockets started wearing thin in the winter months last year and as soon as I noticed that, I started machine-washing them ONLY WHEN THE SITUATION DESPERATELY CALLED FOR THOROUGH CLEANSING. I confess: I spot-cleaned them whenever I thought I could get away with it. (Hangs head in shame.) I also started hanging them to dry on the rare occasions that I submitted them to the cruel brutality of machine washine, so as to avoid losing additional precious denim fibers to the lint filter. Such are the drastic lengths to which a woman in desperation will go to preserve the integrity of her favorite dungarees. Alas, those measures only served to prolong the agony of standing by helplessly as the best pair of jeans I've ever owned developed a hand-sized gash across one knee and a threatening weak spot right at the bottom of the zipper. (Muffled sob.)

Sigh. I must find myself some new jeans or be forced, come October, to go about my life dressed like Porky Pig.

And frankly, I don't have the tail for such shenanigans.

Which is why I hereby declare September to be New Jeans Month.

And this is where YOU come in.

'Cause you shop. And you wear jeans. And you've watched an episode or two of TLC's What Not to Wear. And you're smart. And cute. And fashionable. (Can you believe the level of detail my stats tracker can provide? ZOWIE!) But you are not emotionally (or otherwise) attached to my perfect old DKNY jeans and therefore you've an ability to be objective that has thus far eluded me in dressing rooms all over Chicagoland.


Utilizing your knowledge of fashion, your accumen for shopping, and your understanding of what makes a perfect jean perfect, you tell me where to find my next pair of perfect jeans. Be as specific as possible about the brand (for brand loyalty runs mighty deep where denim is concerned, doesn't it?), the location (a retail store, catalog or website) and the style, in your suggestion. You don't need to suggest the size... I can figure that part out myself and I'd like us all to remain friends after all is said and done. Ahem.

  1. I will dutifully shop for or order and try on any of the brands and styles of jeans you love and think I would love too (those that I can find with relative ease).
  2. If I select your favorite jean for purchase (which would mean it fit well and I loved it in the way a woman loves a pair of good jeans), YOU will get a $25 gift card to Macy's, Kohl's, GAP, or any other major retail purveyor of fashion you choose as long as I can order the card online.
  3. A second winner, selected at random, will win a $15 gift card.
  4. Have fun with this. You can write a post in your own blog and share your Mad Jeany-ology Skillz, or just leave your suggestion in my comments. To qualify for the gift card, please link to this post in your blog, if you have one. Grab the button up there or get me to email it to you, if you like.
  5. I'll be shopping all month long, but the deadline for suggestions will be Friday, September 14th.

    I'm not a large woman. I'm about average or slightly smaller than average, I'd guess. If I were a fruit, I'd be a pear. Little bit of junk in the trunk.

    I think I need a slightly flared leg that goes straight down and isn't snug on the thigh.

    I like BLUE jeans. What is with that new weird brown wash that makes denim look muddy/dirty? EW!

Also feel free to play along and find some new jeans for you, too! Check back here often to find out which jeans other women love. If you can't count on bloggy friends to tell you what makes your bottom look big, who CAN you count on, know-what-I'm-sayin'?


  1. Waiting with bated breath for the recommendations! Last pair of jeans I bought were purchased two years ago for exactly $10 at Wet Seal. Yes, I'm thirty-two and I still shop at Wet Seal.

  2. I don't have any suggestions.

    Just wanted to say your giveaway is a little more, um, desirable than mine.

    Do I still qualify for the random gift card win?


  3. Venus is the brand of my latest favorite.....


  4. DUDE! I KNOW the answer to this!
    You go to You answer some questions about fit and stuff and it comes up with a VARIETY of suggestions for jeans that you might like. It's worked like a freaking CHARM for me! (It says "designer" jeans, but there are always some afforadable options tucked in there, too.)
    Good luck.

  5. You are HILARIOUS.

    Okay, my 2 cents. LUCKY JEANS. There is a Lucky Jeans store, and sometimes you can find them at Nordstroms. Or online even. The Lucky stores have sales associates who will assist you. You tell them what you want, they bring you the jeans, and they run back and forth until you are satisfied. My faves are the Classic Boot Cut. I posted about them here.

    If money is no object, then you will probably looooooove David Kahn's. You can find them at Nordstrom. These are my second favorite jeans. :-)

    Good luck!!!!!!

  6. I love my Levi's (515's or 550's). Stretch denim, low but not too low-rise, boot-cut, often on sale at Mervyn's. :)

  7. Yee doggies! Look at all these great suggestions... I can't wait to get shopping. Keep 'em coming! Oh, and for now, let's assume the sky's the limit, pricewise. That really ISN'T the case, but I don't want to limit my options (or your suggestions).

  8. Well - you will never guess where I have been this afternoon! I was out shopping for jeans! And - I bought a pair. However - I have no recomendations for you because - you are little and I am not. Therefore, when I shop for jeans I don't stick with a specific brand. I just buy whichever type works when I am shopping. Today it was a pair at CJ Banks. I agree with you about the new brown washed jeans. I don't need to buy jeans that look dirty before I wear them. Good Luck!

  9. maryelizabeth.orlowski@gmail.comSeptember 4, 2007 at 8:34 PM

    as a former denim specialist at the gap, i highly suggest the long & leans. you don't have to be long, you don't have to be lean. but you will be pleased with these jeans!

  10. Wish I had some suggestions -- I've been wearing maternity clothes for the past two years -- AAACCCCKKKK!! I'm ready for some normal jeans myself. Someone also told me about and said it worked for them. My favorite pair, pre-pregnancy, was . . . oh darn, they're still packed away . . . I think they are Calvin Klein bootcut -- who knows, those may not be in style anymore?!? I'll put a link on my blog and maybe someone can help us both :-)

  11. If money is no object :-0, Paige Premium Denim...I don't own a pair, but have loved ever pair I have tried on, sigh.

    Found you through DCRMom...

  12. I see we are both in Chicagoland. HOW FUN!

    For two years now I have been wearing Levi's 545's or 515's from Kohls. I own two pair.

    They're pretty nice - especially in the squishy belly area.

  13. The melrose is my fav, BTW. But they are are fabulous, depending on your shape...

  14. I'm with rabbit and beth. Levi 515's in the dark wash fit and they look great, no matter what. When Priscilla Maude Sybil's in town, when you're having a skinny day, when you've gotta dress 'em up, and when you get to dress 'em down. Love 'em!

  15. I am pretty set on one particular jean...but it's really particular!! Lucky FOUR button jeans. It has to be FOUR button or they are just not right...not if you have any form of female body and not a childlike My suggestion is the 4 button Lucky jean.

  16. Oh! I feel your pain! The last GREAT pair of jeans that I found were from The Limited. They were heavier denim and around $70 and I could tell the difference in quality right away. More structured fit but still comfortable. I always have trouble finding jeans that don't gape in the rear but these did not do that - Hallelujah! Good luck finding that perfect pair! They're out there...somewhere!

  17. I am very frustrated someone has already mentioned Zafu because that was going to be my brilliant, ingenious answer that solved all your lifes problems. I have blogged about them here (just really wanted to shamelessly plug
    my blog)

  18. No advice here. I am typing with a giant knee hole and just had to butcher another pair due to a hole on the bum situation. I do have some super cute Monkey Genes but they are big flares and builders bum all the way. great to see you over here by the way...all these updates. Who knew?! (It's Dland Meg btw. I need to get mw one of thse blogger things)

  19. I have put myself on a diet this month because I know I will need to buy some jeans by October. I hate the first season of buying jeans. they always fit so tight compared to the loose fit of summer wear.
    Last year I bought a pair of Gloria Vanderbelt. All I can remember at this point is that each back pocket had a button on it and the leg was slightly flared. I loved they way they fit... no muffin top for me!
    I think you can find them at Kohls.
    I will be back to see what everyone else suggested

  20. Wow! I'm learning so much more than just where to find good jeans. This "muffin top" concept (well, okay not the concept, but the clever descriptive phrase) is all new to me! Thanks for the education, y'all.

    Sweet Meg! Hi! I've missed you... I check D*land for updates frequently but you've been quiet lately. Hope all's glad to see you here!

  21. I have recently noticed the first signs of thinning and wear in my favorite jeans, too. I did however have a pair of Gap long and lean jeans. They fit great, but then I lost the baby weight (yeah)and had to let the jeans go (boo hoo). I also like Tommy Hilfiger boyfriend jeans. This is a great idea. Good luck, I'll be checking back.

  22. I have a couple of options, Hop over to see my blog.

  23. Love, love, LOVE Gap Long and Lean. I'm not really long and far, far, far away from being lean, but they fit fabulously. Can't wait to hear the verdict!

  24. I don't want a gift card, but I do want you to take a look at Eddie Bauer - I have worn their jeans for years - it's the only brand I'm loyal to and they have so many fits - they are *classic* jeans, which is what I like - you can get the up-to-your-navel (yuck) or the lower rise style - they even have a 20% off guarantee right now.

  25. I have come back to the jeans that I loved at EJHS - Zena Jeans. Can't remember where I got them, but they are semi-low rise, with a little give, and boot cut, too. I also tested out some jeans from Old Navy (or the Old Ladies Store as Emily says. OK, but abit too snug for me.

    I also tried on some that my mom got from Trader Smith that I really liked - no back pockets make it seem that you cleaned out the junk from your trunk. They were called "Waist Whittler Jeans". Check them out here

    Good Luck

  26. I remember Zena jeans! Wow, they still make those, huh? I'll have to look into that. Also, if Old Navy's the old lady store I wonder what that makes Talbott's?

  27. Talk about old lady stores...
    I get my jeans at KOHL'S! I like Lee jeans. They always fit me. The Gap never fits me in the waist -they "gap!" Then the legs are tight. Weird fit for me. Lee's aren't expensive, but they aren't too low,and they aren't too high, and the waist is a good fit, usually. They have EVERY fit imaginable, from boot cut to straight leg to those stupid looking ankle length. (been there, done that...wish I hadn't.)
    And at $30 a pair, you can buy 2 or 3, and not worry about the knees! I wear mine out, so $90 for a pair of jeans would make me a nervous wreck. It's worth a shot, anyway.
    Good luck!

  28. Actually my Emily thinks that the name of Old Navy is Old Lady (must sound the same to her!!)So when we go to get Reece some jeans - we go to the Old Ladies store :-)

  29. I'm back to read everyone's suggestions. This post was a great idea! I forgot about one pair of jeans that I love - Levi Strauss from Target. They were $20 and those jeans are my favorite everyday do-anything-in-'em-denim.
    oooh, I like that word. ha!

  30. I love my Ann Taylor Loft jeans in Curvy.

    I love my GAP Long and Lean jeans (don't worry, you do NOT have to be long and lean to enjoy these--I'm not and I love them).

    Also? Try this site:
    True Jeans

    Now...I think I'd like to have an Amazon gift card... ;)

    Oh, and dcrmom was the one who turned me on to you.

  31. Gloria Vanderbuilt fit me the best, whether it's jeans, cords or capris. But have you seen You answer a few questions and they hook you up with your perfect jeans. Bras too. But let me warn you on the bra thing, when they are trying to figure out how much sag you have and they ask, "How many pencils can you hold under your breast with no hands?" The options are 1, 2, or 2 or more. I say that because I didn't know the options and really, I wish I had stopped at "2 or more" and then I wouldn't know the exact number.

    It's not often that a comment entails both rabbit trails and TMI. You're welcome.

  32. You def need to be aware of "muffin top". I am plus-sized so, you can't wear my kind. The style for fall is wide leg and the "skinny jean" are still in style too.

    Classic boot cut with a little bit of strtch is always a good thing. Why don't you try the newer DKNY jeans since they worked so well for you??

  33. I love the Mavi Jeans! They dont feel like you are wearing jeans, they are soooo soft. Good Luck!

  34. Are you gonna post pictures of any of these? Now THAT would be funny. I'll go with you and document!! ;)

  35. Loved Elaine's idea of documentation in fitting room as re buying new jeans. I know we all would get a large charge out of coming along with you. We could even offer our opinions, huh? Mom

  36. I like my Levi's 525s. Stretch denim, low (but not too low) rise, boot cut, blue. Plus, I can get a 16 R which I normally wear a 20, so that makes me feel good.


  37. Lainey, YOU'RE ON! :) I have to do some research first to make sure I know where to find all this stuff but I think you have a great idea there... Lunch is on me. And dinner too, if it takes that long (Oh Please don't let it take that long.)

  38. 7 for all mankind. You can find them at Nordstroms or Neimans (and other place). They are pricey, but oh so worth it. They come in a variety of styles and washes, so you just have to hit the dressing room and see what works.

    The thing I love the most is that they have a little bit of stretch so they move with you and don't get bagged out at the knees (in case you just want to spot clean them)

    Also, I just bought a pair of Joe's Jeans in Rocker style. Love them, but not as much as the 7's.

  39. Ok, after reading all these comments ya'll are gonna laugh at this suggestion, but my absolute favorite jeans are faded glory (stretch) from good ole walmart & you don't have to take out a second mortgage to buy them. Now thats my suggestion....Good luck

  40. Hi,

    I heard about you on Musings of A Housewife!

    Try J. Crew's Boyfriend jeans - they're a bit pricey but perfect. Not too low, not too high, fit well in the hips and flared a bit at the bottom.

    And I'm about 5'3" and they come in short, which is great.

    I cried when mine got holes in the knees, but I wore them for four years straight and laughed when I read your description about not washing unless absolutely necessary - it fit perfectly. And made the cost absolutely worth every penny.

    Anyway, good luck, I hope you like them!

  41. Okay, Megan, there's another option that you NEED to consider. Hang up the hunt for the right brand name and go to Goodwill! Here's why:

    --you can try all different brands, including name brands and brands you never would have thought of trying on
    --you'll find a wide range of styles, from the most current, to--who knows?--maybe your favorite pair's long-lost twin!
    --you will know how the jeans are going to fit once they've been through the dryer a few times
    --at $4.99 a pair, you can buy 4 pairs and pick a favorite after you've worn them around a while!

    That said, my current favorites are Mudd flare-leg jeans in dark blue and narrower Express jeans in medium-blue.

    Both found at Goodwill, of course!


  42. Boomama wrote a great post about jeans earlier this year. She's the first person I ever know to use the word "muffin-top jeans," but it is such a perfect description! Here's the link:

    I am no help for jeans shopping. I usually get mine at Goodwill...where I get everything else!

  43. I have already commented once, but I found this this morning and thought I would share. How about $500 ( i think) worth of free jeans. This is a link to DKNY Jeans contest, , I guess you can copy and paste in your search thingy mahjig and it will take you there. HAPPY SHOPPING

  44. Hi there!

    I am a fan of the Gap Long and Lean. They are awesome. Please just stick to the rules - lower rise, slight boot cut or flare. Keep them long enough, too. Long enough to go over the shoe if you are wearing a heel.

    Another suggestion, if you want to be "What Not To Wear" appropriate, try the Express Editor Fit trouser-style jean in a dark wash. The Editor fit is the only pair of dress pants I will wear. They might just be magic.


  45. Oh how I feel your pain!! Ok, I have the mom stuff in the middle as well, so I really feel your pain. I have found that Good Ole Levi's work pretty well. They have different levels of rise and color. I also have done the GAP jeans, and they work too. Good lukc, and happy shopping!!!!

  46. gap. boot cut. stretch. ankle legnth. (but i am a shorty). may they never discontinue or change this line of jeans. may it never be.

    it has GOT to the kind with a little stretch. that's the secret, for sure.

    good luck!

  47. I'm having to take notes here too, Megan. I have a hard time with jeans and just don't have the patience for trying things on. (I am the antithesis of girly-girl when it comes to shopping; love me some clothes, but DO NOT love trying them on)


  48. No one's mentioned this yet, but I buy all my jeans at Land's End. They are more expensive that some but have such a wide variety of styles, colors (several different Blues), waist heights and leg styles. Plus lots of sizes. Plus, I don't have to buy them very often because they last FOREVER. My favorite are the 5-pocket boot-cut with a little stretch; especially the "No-Waist" waist. You can buy them at Sears or order on-line/catalog. Good luck to you.

  49. Hey this contest as I finally just found my favorite pair (after 3 children and searching forever!). It is NY&C. I wrote a post on my blog where you can read more.

  50. I came back over to mention Land's End and saw that someone beat me to it. I've heard that there jeams are awesome. They will even custom make them for you!! Does that SCREAM "Superstar" or what!?


  51. I've been a Gap fan for a while now but recently have been trying other brands. If you're up for spending a bit of cash Sevens are the way to go but I'd still probably go with Gap.

    Here's a post where we discussed the topic and there are some suggestions in the comments:

  52. Would've said Gap's long and lean, but that's been said...
    Another great brand that I found recently by accident, at Goodwill, is Union Bay. No muffin top, but not so low on the hips that it all hangs out. ;-) I just googled Union Bay jeans and found them listed at JC Penneys, not sure where else they're sold.

  53. Christy hutchins ( 9, 2007 at 8:52 PM

    Well I don't know if these have been mentioned because I haven't read all your comments, but Gap Long and Lean are my ultimate fav! I don't even have to try them on anymore...just go and pick up my size. They have a bit of a stretch so if you try them on and they are just a tiny bit tight...get them...they will relax a bit as you wear them. THEY ARE WORTH THE $$$$$!

  54. Sorry for the long comment but it must be said....I'm going along with the Gap Long & Lean enthusiasts.

    This is the ONLY jean that fits me properly and I've been wearing them for about 10 years now. I've tried other brands - more and less expensive - and nothing else has even come close. Note that it's only the Stretch version that fits me. Another note: be careful which Long & Lean generation you purchase. The sales clerks will lie to you, perhaps unintentionally but they're wrong nonetheless. These were discontinued and reintroduced with a different fit - more of a wide leg than boot cut/flare. Gap then saw the error of their ways and brought back the 'original' Long & Lean which weren't actually the original. The new original is what's in stores now. The denim is thinner and whereas I used to wear "ankle" length, I now wear "regular". I learned the hard way - I purchased a pair on ebay (the original 'original) and having just recently tried on the new original but unable to recall the length, I bought "ankle" and ended up having to use them as capris (I, too like my jeans long enough to hit almost to the toes when wearing heels). I'm frightened that these jeans may be on the way out AGAIN because I picked up a pair at an outlet (the only good thing about that trip) for more than half off what they were selling for last summer ($70). The price is also down on the website.

    Hopefully this all made you can tell, I take my jeans VERY seriously. ;-)

  55. Check out - this website shows many many styles of jeans. There is also the option of ordering jeans based on length AND waist size, which is nice for those of us who need different sizes to avoid gaps!!!

    Lori Ward

  56. Inspired by your quest, I actually went shopping! For myself! Check out Macy's if you have one nearby--I bought their store brand jeans (Grane) for $25! This is the regular price! They come in 6 washes and short, regular, and long lengths. The style they have out for fall is lowrise stretch flare. The rise is low enough not to strangle me, but high enough to cover my butt when I bend over. The stretch holds my saggy post-preggo butt up a little higher. The flare is more like a modified bootcut--you won't look like a gangsta girl! They're in the Junior department. Went upstairs to Misses, and saw basically the same jeans with a different label for $180!

  57. My favorite jeans are Levis 515 boot cut that I got at JC Penney. HOWEVER I got that particular pair 2 years ago. When I stopped in this past weekend to buy another pair I discovered that the material has changed and I hate them.
    The cut is still great but the material makes it not worth the $20.
    But if you can find the Levis 515 with the old, thicker material go for it... and let me know where you found them!

  58. I have an artilce from Women's Health about new jeans. Thought it was funny that they were thinking about new jeans in September as well, even though this is the month you drag those puppies out of the back of the closet and pray that they still have that just right fit!

  59. Zena Jeans are the best if you have, as you put it, "junk in the trunk." Also if you have large thighs they give ample room without looking boxy. You can find them at Macy's!

  60. I'd like to suggest Express jeans. They come in three different rises and look attractive with a little junk. Each rise comes in several leg openings as well. I recently perchased a pair of skinny's which I expected I would not look great...until I tried them on, and I really love them.

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