The Jeans Paradox

Longtime lurker who just had to set up an account today to tell this story.

First, let me say y'all have given me lots of support material. This is a great forum.

I lost 100 lbs, going from 245 to 145 from the first two weeks to slow the spread to week, eh, 75 of slowing the spread. It was about a year and a half. I've tracked every bite. I'm 5'8".

And I've gone from a size 20 to an 8.

There's immense joy for me in wearing real denim. Not that thin Old Navy denim colored cotton weave they call denim, but real thick denim like I wore as a kid. For my two decades of being overweight, I had to wear junky denim because the real stuff isn't made for bigger girls. All my junky jeans were so thin you could easily pinch it between your fingers and rub it back and forth like a handkerchief cotton. Every pair I had would wear through in the crotch in a month of regular wear. I dreamt of wearing a pair of Thelma and Louise style, real jeans!

And I found a pair of discounted Lucky Brand jeans with zero give in them on a sales rack. I thought they looked like they were for preteens. They'd never fit. But they did. And they looked great. And more than that, they felt great. Like I was wearing pants, and not leggings. Like I could kneel down I the desert to look at the damage to my convertible after a car chase.

Today I went to the Lucky Brand store, thinking I'd get another pair. The salesgirl was very nice. She pulled a few pairs for me to try on, and I did.

But only one pair had that magic real-denim, no give at all, serious feeling. And they looked great on me. The others were oddly baggy and the denim was that handkerchief denim that was baggy around the thighs. Weird.

So I asked the salesgirl. Why do these feel great and these others look so bad and baggy, even though both are an 8?

She came clean. The pair that fit great was old stock. They had found them in the stockroom underneath another box and put them out on the floor. They were a season old.

They were also made from thicker, less forgiving denim. All the new jeans are thinner, with more generous cuts in butt and thigh.

I couldn't believe it.

I lose 100 pounds to make my jean dreams come true, and they're dashed by vanity sizing.

Interestingly enough, while I was in the store, a girl asked about finding XL and size 20 several times. They said they're getting more of those sizes in soon.

The silver lining, though, is that my one good pair of jeans shows no sign of wear at all in the crotch. So it ain't all bad.


  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,140 Member
    Try Driftwood jeans. They’re pricey (by my standards), but if you get on their mailing list they send out sales fairly often.

    And I feel ya. I found a pair of gorgeous thick embroidered Lucky Brand jeans on clearance for 80% off. I LOVED them. They were a size 2. I could button and zip them but sitting was going to be a problem. I hopelessly asked the clerk if she could see if any other store had them in a 4, and she asked why? Well, because the 2 didn’t fit?

    No no, she said. I meant I just put a pair of 4 back on the rack from a dressing room a minute ago.

    I sailed out of that store grinning like the Cheshire Cat, hugging those jeans for dear life.

    I am obsessed with embroidered jeans right now, and these are plum.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,116 Member
    edited December 2021
    I managed to score a pair of Real(er) Jeans at Goodwill a few years ago - they're Gloria Vanderbilt, so there is *some* stretch, but not nearly as much as the thin cotton jeggings you describe. When I bought them they barely fit, and within a couple of weeks didn't fit at all; I've gotten to the point now, probably 20-30lb lighter than when I bought them, to where they fit comfortably, and I'll be sad when they're too baggy to wear. Maybe the "boyfriend fit" trend will hang around long enough to get me into straight sizes and I, too, will find me a pair of Real Jeans, LMAO. My problem is that I got short li'l legs and a dumptruck *kitten* (26" inseam, 40-some inch hips last I checked), so I need Short but *not* Petite cut jeans.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    I can't be arsed to make a separate thread, but.



    The size 9 longs (lighter pair) are rigid, unforgiving, denim and about 20 years old. The other pair is a new pair of walmart jeans (I needed a pair in a rush) are size 6. Not only are they crappy quality that will stretch out, they're TOO BIG. THEY ARE ACTUALLY BIGGER THAN A PAIR OF NINES.

    I hate everything about it all.
  • mjglantz
    mjglantz Posts: 449 Member
    First off congratulations on your weight loss! Second as you're reading vanity sizing is the thing and we really can't depend on the size...manufacturers and styles are all different. Personally I've had good luck with the jeans from the Gap. haven't checked there recently but love mine. Another brand that runs pretty true to size and isn't expense is Articles of Society. Their size 8 is pretty consistent style to style and year to year.
  • CodeMauler
    CodeMauler Posts: 52 Member
    mjglantz wrote: »
    Personally I've had good luck with the jeans from the Gap. haven't checked there recently but love mine.
    Me, too, except that my legs are long and the tall styles are not usually in stock. I go to the store to try on for the hips-butt-waist, then order the tall version of that size off the website. Still has a good fit, wears well and make me feel good.

  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    In absolute fairness, I clearly do not hate time and tru or cheap jeans. I guess clearly anyway? Because I own them. I actually own mostly them, in an enormous variety of sizes.
  • Une_Poire
    Une_Poire Posts: 46 Member
    I love my NYDJ (Not Your Daughter's Jeans) - extremely durable denim and high quality construction. Comes in the size gamut from 0 to 28. I previously wore their size 18 women's at 250 pounds and now, 42 pounds lighter, wear a women's 16. I have to wear "skinny jeans" because my midsection is disproportionately big compared to my legs and even my butt (insulin resistance) so I empathize with your search for just the right pair of jeans!

    I have a pair of these I found at Goodwill, but I never knew what the NYDJ meant :D
  • Ginharbe
    Ginharbe Posts: 70 Member
    I gree with all of you, it is hard to fit in a good pair of jeans, and every other brand has different sizing, but stretch jeans have come a long way.
  • Beautyofdreams
    Beautyofdreams Posts: 1,004 Member
    If you want the non stretch jeans then try Levi 501s and some wranglers. JC Penney bootcut junior Arizona jeans do not stretch either and are reasonably priced. Also, Penney’s St. Johns Bay straight leg jeans fit like Levis but are much less expensive. Manufacturers are making more stretch denim and baggy jeans in response to people liking their comfortable sweat pants to sit in while working from home plus the Covid induced weight gain.