The Problem

I’ve had a growing frustration with jeans. American Eagle used to be my go-to, but they’re not cutting it for me anymore. The last few pairs I’ve purchased have been a lower quality than what they used to be, in my opinion. The waist stretches out by the end of the day, so I need to keep pulling them up or get a belt…and I really dislike wearing belts.

AE used to be my perfect fit because they sold pants short enough for my 5’3″ self. But I switched to Old Navy jeans thanks to some personal recommendations. I was thrilled with my first pair, so I ordered more! It just so happened I got lucky with my first pair because I have not found a pair that fits like that first pair even though I bought the same size and style: Rockstar Super Skinny Ankle Jeans.

The Breaking Point

While listening to a Jenna Kutcher podcast, she recommended some individuals for listeners to follow. To my wonderful surprise, one of those humans was Ilyssa Herrington. Ilyssa is a Personal Stylist based out of NYC, with an expertise in curating a versatile wardrobe full of staples and basics. When I say staples and basics, I am referring to the style and quality of her suggestions. Easy to put together, and she personalizes all of her clients’ wardrobes (hence personal stylist) herself.

I feel relatively put together and in touch with my style, though I’m always transforming it to focus on simplifying, but when she asked what my one “wardrobe malfunction” was I had to answer jeans. It took me about three to four months to finally listen, but I ordered a pair of Madewell jeans! More on that later…

The Realization

Why don’t we talk about jeans more? We share suggestions for style and fit, especially for tops, but I feel like jeans are heavily overlooked (most of the time). Favored styles and great sales are shared, but what if we shared jeans that were really worth your investment. They’re such a basic item and everyone has at least one pair, but do we really love our jeans? If we don’t love an item, why do we keep it? Or why do we even buy it for that matter? Because it was on sale and we didn’t want to miss out? Because someone recommended it? Food for thought…

Those are actually two points Ilyssa stresses: 1) Invest in jeans (all clothing, but we’re talking jeans today) that will last, and 2) Don’t buy because it’s on sale…be intentional.

Moving on…

Many of your kind suggestions were AE and Hollister. If you are happy with your jean fit in those brands, I am so excited you already found something that works for you. If not, this might be why…

When Ilyssa noticed my jean surveys on Instagram, she immediately responded with some input on the foundation of “proceed with caution”. She said, “American Eagle are teenagers’ pants, they’re juniors’ jeans. If you’re not a teenager anymore, no to AE.” Like I said, if those work for you, great! But they aren’t working for me anymore.

The Survey Results

Photo rights to respective owners via Pinterest.

My Feedback

Have you ever done the “true fit” quizzes on various websites? It asks your size, weight, and age. But why age? I am close to the same height and weight I was in middle and high school, but I’m not the same shape. Your body distributes your weight differently based on your age, which changes as you get older. Another perk of growing up, right? *insert eye roll here*

(you can read more about that in a brief article I found here)

As I stated before, AE isn’t working for me anymore because of the stretch at the waist. I am making the switch from Old Navy because I can’t find a consistent fit and length for short legs. I generally stray away from brands like Abercrombie and Hollister for the thickness (or lack thereof) in their “jeggings” (not a jeggings girl). Again, if those are your best-fit, most comfortable jeans, don’t switch because I told you to! Do what is best for you.

Now, consider this episode one in my series, The Denim Dilemma. If you have this problem too, you may want to sign up for email notifications, because I will be sharing recommendations and solutions for finding your best fit jean at various price ranges in the very near future!

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