I recently went through all my jeans (and other pants) and ended up donating a few pairs that just weren’t working for me. Among the pairs that were lovingly passed on to a new home were: the GAP black cropped jeans, the AG skinny jeans, the H&M boyfriend jeans, the JCrew jeans, the GAP army green chinos, and the Topshop black trousers. All were too big except the JCrew ones. They were just completely worn out.

So that was six items, edited out of my closet. I didn’t need to replace them, but ultimately I found these three:

SHOPBOP: Levi’s Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans $98

I have been dreaming of a pair of “real Levi’s”, like the ones I had in high school. Were they really that good, or is that just how I remember them? I’d heard rave reviews of Re/Done jeans. Would I ever spend $300 (and up) for one pair of denim? I finally thought I would so I contacted them to make sure I chose the correct size. I heard they work with customers to find their perfect fit, from exact measurements. That turned out to be untrue. I was worrying about paying for shipping if I had to return them, so I did some digging and as you know, a little digging on the internet turns up dirt. I was so turned off so I pivoted to: new Levi’s. I found a pair of vintage-looking jeans on Shopbop (which has free shipping both ways with an Amazon partnership) for “only” $98. I chose my current size, a 28, and with 99% cotton and 1% spandex, they were only somewhat uncomfortable. I washed them and … still good. I actually could have gone down to a 27 (If I wanted the true Levi’s experience of not being able to sit or eat.)


Finding a good pair of jeans at a thrift store is like finding a needle in a haystack. I had just gotten rid of a pair of Adriano Goldschmied jeans that were perfect except that they were a little too big and then I lost a little weight and so they were a lot too big. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found these. I love their wash, their length, and their overall fit. The rise is a little low but I’m willing to overlook it. I took some items in to sell at Style Encore, my local used clothing store, and so I ended up netting money on that trip. I’ve had good luck with AG jeans for my husband as well. He tried on a pair in-store in NYC, then searched for a used pair on Poshmark. Always check if you can find your favorite brands pre-loved first. (Found these on Zappos, if you’re interested.)


Ok, yeah, I know: not “jeans.” I really love a pair of army pants, especially with classic front patch pockets. They’re a closet staple for me. These are so similar to the GAP pair I had to let go, but better since they are exceedingly high-waisted and fit like a dream. I went down one size to a 27 and they feel tailor-made. I have always had good luck with Madewell and they continue to impress. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been talked into a pair of jeans which I later returned. But, you know, my choices usually work out. I put these pants on the second I got home and was so happy. What’s the opposite of buyer’s remorse? Satisfaction? Yes, I was very satisfaction. They are a little funky, I mean, somewhat “Manrepeller” but feel SO ME.

Historically I’ve shopped for jeans at the usual places: GAP, JCrew, H&M, Lucky Brand. I’ve done well at Nordstrom since they have a bunch of good denim brands. It’s hard to take a risk and try something new. Maison Scotch was a rare diversion. I happened to be in NYC and had heard of the brand. I was very happy with the pair of black chinos I got there. I haven’t bought another pair (or any other clothing) from them because they don’t offer free shipping. Making a mistake isn’t something I want to pay for by shipping things back. JCrew is another one. Ordering online from them is a drag since you have to pay for return shipping and their sizing is very unpredictable. I’ve never ordered H&M online and even when I’ve tried things on in-store and made purchases, the items didn’t always end up being a favorite.

My goal going forward is to shop more sustainable brands. I’ve shopped and loved: Everlane, COS, Amour Vert, and Girlfriend Collective.  This year I’m planning on purchasing from: Patagonia, Sézane, Alex Mill, and Jenni Kayne. And definitely hitting up the thrift store again!