Soooooo, I’m a denim girl – remember last year’s search for the perfect spring jean? This year, I’m back to my old tricks. Actually, we all are. The Mom Edit team has been off trying (and trying and trying in some cases) to find the perfect light-wash jean for Spring.
My criteria was as follows:
- A perfect faded vintage blue wash – this is the wash I’m in love with right now. I have tried (and tried) really light washes and they just aren’t for me, but that broken-in perfection? YES.
- Interesting fit (or at least new-to-my-closet?) – I wanted to push myself beyond a skinny jean, because I already found a perfect pair!
I tried on a ton and some definitely failed, but the winners made it allll worthwhile. I am always up for a jean challenge. Is there such thing as a denim geek? ‘Cause that’s me. Come. Come along into my madness…
The Styles That Worked
Gap Mid-Rise Vintage Straight
Gap Mid Rise Vintage Straight – I love these jeans and was surprised by how good they are, especially for Gap. They have a gorgeous wash and the fit is good. They run true to size. They fit tight in the hips but not too tight. I’m finding that with a lot of the vintage fit jeans. They’re 100% cotton, no stretch, but seem comfy enough to wear and break in naturally or at least a good date night jean. I would possibly distress the bottom hem some with a DIY, for a little edge. They’re quite cropped, too and not great for taller mamas, unless you want a real crop. They looked ok with sneakers/flats but best with heels. size 27, for reference
Madewell Perfect Vintage Ripped High Waist Boyfriend Jean
Madewell Perfect Vintage Ripped High Waist Boyfriend Jeans – These are called a boyfriend jean, but they’re much more of a girlfriend fit or just a vintage fit to me. They aren’t baggy at all and that’s what I think of in a boyfriend jean. They definitely run small. I had to size up one size. They’re very high waisted and have a very flattering and sexy fit, but they were not comfortable for sitting. They’re 100% cotton, no stretch. The distressing is really good and I liked the inseam length on me. I much preferred them with heels, as I do most boyfriend jeans. My photos here might be slightly blue, but seriously. They are not the color on the website photo above. Wearing size 28, for reference.
Levi’s 501 Original
Levi’s 501 Original – Ah, Levi’s 501s. Talk about vintage. These are the original jean, no? I’m re-watching Felicity right now and these jeans just took me back to the 90’s in a big way. Nostalgia anyone? They were cute and the perfect vintage wash…and I always love a button-fly. They’re tight in the hips and the waist and gapped in the back on me, though, and they run small. I had to size up. Having the lightest wash of the ones I tried, they’re a bit harder to wear (a darker jean just is more flattering). I would need to crop them or get them hemmed for them to be the right length on me. Again, they are 100% cotton with no stretch, but seem to be that awesome Levi’s cotton that would break in perfectly after wear and washing. I also preferred these with a heel or wedge. I’m not sure why the don’t offer this wash in the released hem style they offer in the darker wash on the site, either. I would’ve preferred that hemline (you can see by clicking the Levi’s link above) Wearing size 28, for reference. (32″ inseam here)
AG Sloan Vintage Straight
AG Sloan Vintage Straight – These. They fit all my requirements. They’re comfy, too! They say high rise but to me they were almost more of a mid rise. I love where they hit on my waist. The denim is soft and has stretch and they run true to size. They have a true straight leg and look best worn with a heel, too.
They are more of a ‘dressy’ jean to me, which I like. I have a ton of skinny jeans I can wear with sneakers. I am in love. The first link is my exact fit and wash and you can find them here on Amazon. A similar wash, same fit, but more distressing here (the only style left in a size 27 for some reason). Wearing size 27, for reference.
The Styles That Didn’t Work At All
Levi’s Re/Done – These looked so great in the photo on Nordstrom’s site (pictured above) that I had to try them, despite bad reviews. Well, yeah. They’re totally misrepresented online. I did love the wash when they came in, even though it’s darker than on the site (it was a little lighter than in my photo above). They fit nothing like the picture though. UGH. I want that pair above, Nordstrom. Why do you tempt me so and not deliver??
Here I’m trying on one size up from my normal size and I couldn’t even button them. I’m tempted to try the next size up, but not sure it’s worth my time. Look how skinny the legs on these were versus the photo? Not anything alike. These are literally reworked vintage Levi’s for over $200. I feel like I should just find some old ones and resew them myself. Fail. Wearing size 28, above.
Levi’s 505c – Ok, so these are ok from the front. Again, they looked great online. Sigh. The knees are really distressed and I don’t love them, but they’re fine. BUT. Here’s the back view in comparison to the 501 originals I mentioned earlier…501’s on the left, 505c on the right:
The BUTT. OMG how horrible is that. On the left are the 501’s. Yes. Nice booty shaping there. I’ve been doing a TON of squats lately. (Apparently, I was talking about it a lot, too, because Sienna even told her art teacher “mommy goes to a class where she squats and squats and squats some more!” Not embarrassing at all…) But those jeans…on the right. Are not giving me any credit at all for all the squats. Lordy. They’re bad. How can the same jean company make such insanely different pocket styles? WOW.
Sorry for the bathroom background, but I wanted to show you the difference in these. Wearing a size 28, I think. If you’re really interested in trying them out, they can also be found here. MOVING ON…
Levi’s 517 Crop Bootcut
Levi’s 517 Crop Bootcut – Ok. These. They looked interesting online and worth a try at a reasonable $98. Um. They run very small. I couldn’t really even get them on and wasn’t about to take a picture of them. I guess they might be worth trying on if you see them in-store, but hmm. They’re more of a cropped flare than I think I’d want. The wash was ok, but a little yellower than I care for. I tried a size 27, my regular size, for reference.
Ok, so if you’re up for trying out some lighter washed denim for spring, here are a few things I’d keep in mind during your search.
- Size up at least one size for denim that is termed ‘vintage’ fit and is 100% cotton/no-stretch. I’d imagine you still want them to fit tightly because they will stretch with wear, like in the good ol’ days. Remember when we had to lay on the bed to fit into our jeans? Thanks, lycra, for allowing us to get dressed upright.
- Straight leg or boyfriend denim, especially on shorter legs and especially in a lighter wash, will typically look best with heels or wedges instead of flats. If you’re looking for a jean to wear with flat sandals and sneakers, stick to a narrower straight leg in a crop or a skinny jean.
- Be prepared to try on quite a few pairs and a few sizes to really find what is most flattering and what you like. But, hard work pays off!
Shop My Fav Spring Denim
We are in our rainy season right now…haha. No, really. BUCKETS here you guys. Buckets. But we got a leetle taste of awesomeness yesterday afternoon and I’m dying for more. Let me know if you try some of these jeans out. And use hashtag #TMEspringdenim so we can see your pics, please!
Happy Jean Shopping!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@elletrain) for more denim goodness, almost daily.