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    Jeans fit

    Dumb question: how are jeans "supposed to" fit? I see advertisements for jeans and see actors wearing jeans and it looks like they cannot get more than a knuckle into the pockets. I actually use my pockets, but maybe I'm not "supposed to" and they are more form and not function?

    I need new jeans and get kinda tired of jeans that seem like they fit and then I put a belt on and there is all sorts of extra fabric. Maybe I get them too big(?).

    #2
    Bump
    I don't know very much about jeans (sacrilegious growing up in California) I always figured that Levi's 501 were kind of the platonic form of jeans. Though, people who are older than me and who wear jeans more than I do tell me that the the fit of 501s has changed drastically over the decades. Trending towards the spray on pairs you talk about.

    Again, I don't know much about jeans, so I got the 511 fit, which is a little roomier than that for me, I also have a pair in black and a pair in corduroy. Cuz I don't know what else to do!

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      #3
      If you are buying based on waist size, then there shouldn't be extra fabric around your waist when you put on a belt. With some brands, the numbered size does not exactly correspond to the actual measured size. In general jeans are meant to fit relatively close to the body, but if you are finding them too tight you could always try one of Levi's more relaxed fits (like the 550). Personally I wear the 505s because I find them to be slightly more forgiving without getting into relaxed territory, and the leg opening is big enough to fit over boot tops without getting caught on them.

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        #4
        There are so many different cuts in men's jeans (slim vs straight vs relaxed(vs. skinny), tapered vs straight etc.) these days that finding the right one for your body shape can be challenging. Several years back I read a few articles about this and one said to put them on and button/zip them up, and then put two fingers (index and middle) in the waistband at the front-side of your hip and rotate the fingers to maximize their width - they should be snug against your fingers but if they're tight the jeans are too small for your waist. If they're still roomy with two finger widths they're too big in the waist.

        Then, GQ had a quick and easy guide for fit at the thigh - just pinch the fabric between your thumb and index finger at the side of your thigh until the fabric is snug around your thigh. There should be an inch to two of fabric there for the ideal fit. Anything more and they are too roomy.

        Then there's leg opening width - some companies use a "full circumference" fit and others use a half circumference fit where you measure the leg opening lying flat hem to hem. So a 7.5 inch leg opening is half circumference and corresponds to a 15 inch full circumference measure. Levis usually uses full circumference and BR/The Gap usually provides half circumference measures.

        Bottom line is whether you hit the platonic ideal on all three measurements depends on your body type and matching that to the cut of the jeans. If you wear cowboy boots/ropers or have beefy calves a larger leg opening will look better. If you're stocky then you might have to go roomier in the thigh than if you're slim - i.e. straight or relaxed fit rather than slim. A "slim fit" 32x32 should fit the same in the waist as a relaxed fit of the same size but relaxed will have more room in the seat and thigh, so if you're real slim you're going to have a lot of extra fabric around those areas with a relaxed or athletic fit jean. A wider leg opening will mean more fabric around your ankles and thighs unless your calves are really beefy or something else (tops of cowboy boots) is taking up the room. If you wear cowboy boots you'll need a 15 inch leg opening or things aren't going to look right. If you don't and your calves aren't super sized then 14-14.5 might look better especially with low top shoes. Levis 501s have I think a 16 inch leg opening which is too wide for me. I like 14.5 to 15" leg opening and 15 is enough for cowboy boots (not that I own a pair but I've tried some on once or twice).

        Keep in mind that roomier fits are coming into vogue so if you follow trends "extra fabric" might start looking right to you over the next several years - maybe even a decade or so. Then the pendulum will inevitably start swinging back to slimmer again because that's how these things seem to work.

        “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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          #5
          Originally posted by Cbiscuit View Post
          Dumb question: how are jeans "supposed to" fit? I see advertisements for jeans and see actors wearing jeans and it looks like they cannot get more than a knuckle into the pockets. I actually use my pockets, but maybe I'm not "supposed to" and they are more form and not function?

          I need new jeans and get kinda tired of jeans that seem like they fit and then I put a belt on and there is all sorts of extra fabric. Maybe I get them too big(?).
          Levis Vintage Clothing 1967 505 0217 is the fit you are looking for, not skinny, not baggy, not stretchy just honest sanforised selvedge jeans from the "golden era" of coolness.

          versatile and unpretentious

          Thank me later 😉

          Comment


            #6
            I'm having trouble finding relevant dappered articles now (I'm almost positive Joe has written about jean cuts/fits before), but I think for the average guy, straight cut or slim fit (not skinny) tend to work best.. If you have some junk in the trunk (be it from the gym or from the fridge) an "athletic fit" is also something offered by most of the mainstream clothing brands that gives you a little more thigh and hip room. I think the general consensus around these parts with most clothing (jeans not withstanding) is that you want something that fits somewhat close to you, but is not constricting/painted on. As far as waist sizing, ideally they should stay up without needing to wear a belt but also not so tight as to have trouble buttoning them. If wearing a belt is causing the fabric to bunch up, I'm thinking you're probably wearing a waist size or two too big.

            Personally, I've been wearing jeans with stretch for the last several years and I can't imagine going back now to a pair without. Stretch just makes such a world of difference in comfort in my experience. I'd maybe experiment with some of the above cuts from the likes of Banana Republic, Gap, Lands End, and/or J Crew and just see what feels good.

            Of course, styles change and it seems lately things have been swinging looser again, so YMMV.
            Last edited by Deke; October 21, 2021, 05:41 PM.

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              #7
              https://spoke-london.com/products/br...RoCPqIQAvD_BwE

              You could try these, I like LVC for jeans but I buy Spoke Chinos, they shop outside the UK and the sizing system is excellent, with one inch waist increments and three different cuts/builds

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks all for the responses. I guess I poorly worded my post. I welcome and appreciate the slim fit/straight fit/etc recommendations, but what I was trying to ask about was not the label of the fit, but the ACTUAL fit. For example, and one of the replies mentioned this, was amount of fabric on the hips, thighs, etc. I mentioned pockets; should my hand (whole hand) slide into the pocket easily? With some effort? You-actually-use-pockets!?

                I can buy some straight fit and some slim fit, but how will I know which fit the best?

                Someone asked about the waistband and a belt. If I put pants on without a belt, I usually have it so the waistband just doesn't fall down right away. This allows me to put my hands into my pockets rather easily, but when I put my belt on, the belt always ends up tighter than the waistband (otherwise, why have it) and creates the excess wrinkles.

                I am sure I am still not effectively communicating my question, but we'll give this a shot.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cbiscuit View Post
                  Thanks all for the responses. I guess I poorly worded my post. I welcome and appreciate the slim fit/straight fit/etc recommendations, but what I was trying to ask about was not the label of the fit, but the ACTUAL fit. For example, and one of the replies mentioned this, was amount of fabric on the hips, thighs, etc. I mentioned pockets; should my hand (whole hand) slide into the pocket easily? With some effort? You-actually-use-pockets!?

                  I can buy some straight fit and some slim fit, but how will I know which fit the best?

                  Someone asked about the waistband and a belt. If I put pants on without a belt, I usually have it so the waistband just doesn't fall down right away. This allows me to put my hands into my pockets rather easily, but when I put my belt on, the belt always ends up tighter than the waistband (otherwise, why have it) and creates the excess wrinkles.

                  I am sure I am still not effectively communicating my question, but we'll give this a shot.
                  There are so many different fits of Jeans and shapes of humans it's impossible to answer.

                  Try a lot of different pairs, you will know when you find the right ones for you, then just stick to that Brand/Model

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I wore jeans in college and shortly after but swore them off for nearly a decade due to their complete lack of mobility. However, this past month I decided to give jeans another try as stretch jean fabrics have seem to come a long way. I used to wear jeans exactly as you described - they fit in my mind but there was a bunch of fabric in the belt area when tightened up.

                    I’m not a big or muscular guy, but I found Levi 541 and Sonoma (from Kohl’s) Athletic Taper fits fit me PERFECT. I normally wear a 33x32 in 501s or other straight leg jeans, with that extra fabric, but going down to a 32x32 in those athletic taper jeans fixed everything. No extra fabric, plenty of room for “the boys”, a taper so they look flattering, and a bit higher rise (for jeans) so I’m being polite to anyone standing behind me when I need to bend over to grab my kids. Also, compared to decent khakis you can’t go wrong for the price ($21 for those Sonoma ones & $50-60 for the Levi’s).

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                      #11
                      Maybe this is too simple, but, in my humble opinion you are if you: 1) Don't have extra fabric around the waist--it bunches up when you tighten your belt. 2) Don't wear jeans that sag in the butt or crotch areas. 3) Don't wear any that a super skinny cut, super baggy cut, or have extremely tapered or belled hems.

                      Inside those parameters, wear the fit that feels comfortable to you.

                      Keep in mind that they will stretch as you wear them and shrink when you wash them.
                      WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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                        #12
                        I can buy some straight fit and some slim fit, but how will I know which fit the best?
                        It's very easy to overthink these things. Your jeans would have to be quite ill-fitting for anyone to notice or care. Still, in case it helps, here's my cent and a half.

                        How do you know they fit? Here are some generic criteria that will get you in the ballpark:

                        - You wont have pooled fabric around your ankles,

                        - The legs will 'skim your body' i.e. they will touch your legs but not be stretched around them when you're standing straight up

                        - The waist will be snug enough that they stay up, but not tight or uncomfortable..

                        - The opening at your ankles will be slightly smaller in diameter than your pants at the knee (slight taper).

                        If all these criteria are met then Congratulations, you have a pair of jeans that fit pretty well and can be used in most if not all scenarios (with the color taken into account of course).



                        Once you have jeans that fit this way, you can adjust for any special things you'd like the jeans to do. for intstance Do you want somethign only for maximum comfort, then try a fuller cut. If you have a trim waist you'd like to show off,try a 'slim-straight' cut, and if you'd like to be able to wear these with a dress shirt and sportcoat - get a dark pair with a slim cut and perhaps a bit more of a taper.

                        Don't overthink it. If it looks good to you, go with it.




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                          #13
                          Thanks all.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Perfect.

                            Originally posted by nathan miller View Post

                            It's very easy to overthink these things. Your jeans would have to be quite ill-fitting for anyone to notice or care. Still, in case it helps, here's my cent and a half.

                            How do you know they fit? Here are some generic criteria that will get you in the ballpark:

                            - You wont have pooled fabric around your ankles,

                            - The legs will 'skim your body' i.e. they will touch your legs but not be stretched around them when you're standing straight up

                            - The waist will be snug enough that they stay up, but not tight or uncomfortable..

                            - The opening at your ankles will be slightly smaller in diameter than your pants at the knee (slight taper).

                            If all these criteria are met then Congratulations, you have a pair of jeans that fit pretty well and can be used in most if not all scenarios (with the color taken into account of course).



                            Once you have jeans that fit this way, you can adjust for any special things you'd like the jeans to do. for intstance Do you want somethign only for maximum comfort, then try a fuller cut. If you have a trim waist you'd like to show off,try a 'slim-straight' cut, and if you'd like to be able to wear these with a dress shirt and sportcoat - get a dark pair with a slim cut and perhaps a bit more of a taper.

                            Don't overthink it. If it looks good to you, go with it.



                            Comment


                              #15
                              Good advice here. Your best bet - go to a store of your choosing, grab a few pairs of different fits in your size (skinny, slim, straight, slim-straight if thats a thing for them), and see which ones you like the best! Then buy that pair. Boom, good to go.

                              Just know that every brand's fits are different, so you'll have to do this to some extent with any new brand of jean you buy. But it gives you a starting point.

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