I’m a guy that makes a reasonable attempt at dressing fashionably. I’m 25, which means I’m still relatively young, and I’m pretty hip - I play in bands and work in a coffee shop.
But I’m having a major problem finding jeans that fit and look good. I really like dark jeans - not black, but that specific dark blue that’s almost black, like these on this woman with a hot navel. I have no problem finding jeans in the color, but what’s up with the CUTS? Even “straight leg” and “traditional fit” (as opposed to loose or “relaxed”) jeans are baggy in the thigh and butt, and give an unflattering “elephant leg” look that makes my legs look thicker than they actually are. The thing is, I’m not a skinny guy! At 36/30 and 5’8", I’m stocky enough that I don’t need my jeans making me look any thicker or more stout.
So I want to find jeans that are dark like that, but form-fitting enough to be slimming and flattering instead of “elephant-legging” me. I don’t want baggy, don’t want “relaxed,” and don’t want them to look “worn” or “vintage” like so many jeans come these days (with big, worn-out patches on them). I don’t mind a slight flare at the bottom, but just really want something with a fashionable and slimming cut.
Yikes!! Based on the Jean shopping I have done of late, the only limitation on pant styles is the price you’re willing to pay. I own a few pairs of Polo jeans that are a little tight around the waist/seat, but are straight in the legs. They aren’t baggy in any way, shape, or form. Heck, Diesel makes Jeans that are cut in every way conceivable. However, you have to be willing to pay $130 for them. The Polo jeans that I own run around $80. I realize that this is a high price, but it’s worth it to me.
I second this. Their “Nashville Slim” worked for me, but I’m quite a bit thinner (also 5’8" but normally 31/32.). You might want to try one of their other styles and you still shouldn’t wind up being “elephant-legged”.
Come to think of it, your 30" inseam could be a problem however, since their standard products all come in one inseam length, just over 32. You might have to have them hemmed. On the other hand, though, if these would be generally tighter than the jeans you’ve been accustomed to wearing, then you’ll probably find that you need a longer inseam lest you show bare skin above your socks when sitting down.
Levi’s 501s Shrink-To-Fit are the One True Jeans. The pre-shrunk are not so bad if you happen to fit their pre-shrunk profile. Really, I read your OP and thought “VC needs to get himself some 501s” right off the bat. You have to like button flies, though.
For almost fifteen years I swore I would not pay more than $20 for a pair of blue jeans, and for almost fifteen years I’ve had jeans that were almost-but-not-quite-right. A few weeks ago I tried on a pair of Polo jeans in their darkest wash. They fit phenominally well, and have higher back pockets than most (this has a lifting/slimming effect on your butt). The legs are cut like a pair of nice dress pants. They cost $80, and I bought two pairs – one for work on Fridays, and one for weekends that I can beat up a little more.
One caveat: most designers are awful about fitting larger sizes, and assume that only skinny people want/deserve to look good. You may have to visit several stores or even a Polo outlet to get the fit you need. Whether you go with Polo or not, don’t pay for jeans that don’t fit; if it’s “almost but not quite” right, then take it “almost but not quite” to the register – then put it back on the hanger.
At 5’8", you may need a “short rise” cut instead of your typical off the rack jeans. If you watch Eddie Bauer online store, the occassionally have short rise cuts & they will tailor the inseam perfectly.
I’m your age, and I very much like the color you describe. Lucky works damn well for me. They aren’t cheap, but they are darn near bullet proof, save for the front button, which will fall off. It ain’t too hard to get some gal to offer to show off her Betsy Ross skills and put one back on for you though. (I have had three pair of Lucky jeans and I’ve lost the front snap on all three)
I hate the baggy Compton Cripps look, as well as the “I paid $100 for these jeans and the look like they came from a bombed out Albanian tractor factor look, see they are already faded and have holes in them!” style. Lucky does the job.
My only issue is with their durability. Not the best, but probably not much worse than other brands. I expected them to last as long as their shirts, but they didn’t come close. AS for large sizes, I’m 6’5", 230. That isn’t huge in the waist, but even I have noticed that the 38 sizes aren’t exactly filling up the shelves.
Just the final word - Express for Men was the answer, with perfect low-rising (really brings the ass up to where my ass actually is, instead of having it droop and slouch), hot-looking jeans that were on sale for only $30. Levi’s came in a close second with a pair of low-rising, straight-legged and boot-cut 527’s.