For someone who has spent most of her life in girly dresses and heels, I’ve owned a lot of pairs of jeans.
My first job ever was at a store called Hangers Jeans, a lovely little family business in my local mall that had walls and walls of denim. Over the four years I worked there during high school, I learned everything there was to know about denim: folds, fits, even how denim is made. I helped a ton of women who had never found jeans that fit find their Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants-level match, and though it was tough sometimes, I had a lot of fun making denim dreams come true.
When I moved across the country, I got hired at a much more high-end store. I went from selling $100 jeans as “the expensive brands,” to selling $250 jeans like that was the norm, and surprisingly, not too much changed. A lot of the more expensive denim had similar fit issues to the more affordable pairs, and customers brought back ripped or split pairs just as much as they had at my previous job, if not more.
Instead of making a variety of fits for different sized women, it seemed like all the denim brands, both high end and lower end, were using one thin model with small hips, small legs, and a small butt to cut all their pants. As a result, most women had fit issues, including me.
Some found the hips too tight and the legs too baggy, while others had the opposite problem and were barely able to get the legs over their thighs, only to find they were much too big in the waist. The majority though, had my problem: the awkward butt gap.
The awkward butt gap occurs when the pants have to be too loose in the waist to properly fit your behind. My wise first boss taught me all about this issue, and even designed and produced a pair of her own jeans to try and help women with this fit problem (though I’m not sure what ever happened there, come to think of it).
I have always had an athletic body type, but because I did competitive mountain biking when I was younger, I ended up with a pretty sizeable, muscle-y ass. My mom had the same problem, and together we struggled to find the perfect jean fit.
I tried so many brands, I can’t even remember half of them. Seven, Rock & Republic, Silver, American Eagle, Zara, Topshop, Wilfred, Ksubi, Nudie, Current/Elliot, J Brand, Courtshop, Cheap Monday -- the list goes on and on. Each brand had something to offer of course; Zara pairs were cheap and fun, Current Elliot uses the softest denim imaginable, J Brand makes killer jeggings, Courtshop has perfect washes (especially the super bleached ones) and Nudies are thick and strong, perfect for camping trips or adventures of any sort. I liked them all, but none of them were perfect. All of that changed however when I found Acne.
Acne jeans give me everything I could ever want in a pair of pants. They're designed in Sweden and sold over the world. I got my first Acnes, a low-rise gray pair (with no pockets and a back zipper) called “Skin” on super sale at the high end store I worked at, and I’ve since adopted two more pairs, the “Needle,” a high-waisted skinny in soft raw denim, and the “Flex,” a medium rise slim fit in black.
I strongly believe there is a perfect pair of classic jeans out there for almost everyone -- a denim soul mate if you will -- and for me, there is no one else but Acne. Though I have three different styles (a high rise, a mid, and a low) all of them fit my body like they were made for it: no weird bagginess and no butt gap. Though they cost quite a lot more than my Cheap Mondays used to, I’ve now had my first two pairs for five years, and I seldom wear any of my other pants.
My Acnes have been through the washer and the dryer (by accident mind you!) and none of them are threadbare and hole-ridden like I’ve experienced with other brands. I am constantly complimented on them. In fact just the other day, I gave Hannah and Mari the same spiel after they both complimented my blue pair.
What jeans can you not live without? Have you found your denim soul mate, or are you still on the hunt?