The recently popularity of a stiff, mid- to high-rise, not super-skinny, vintage jean gives off a great feel of Americana – just in time for the ultimate American holiday this upcoming weekend. Surprising as it may be, vintage jeans (aka, “mom jeans”) are incredibly flattering and versatile (with an added benefit, just ask the blogger team at Man Repeller… LOL). Given their popularity, vintage jeans are still so tough to shop for.
As for me, there are a few things I consider when shopping for vintage jeans:
- Fit: You have to start with the fit and you will need to go to the fitting room every.damn.time. Vintage sizing does not match modern sizing so expect to “size up” 3-5 sizes depending on the cut.
- Alterations: Until recently, jeans were only really made for a man’s body which obviously means you won’t be fab off the rack. As a result, always account for the alteration costs as you may need to taken them in here or there and/or hem them to get the best fit.
- Look & feel: Only after having tried on many, many pairs to determine your fit can you consider color and style/cut. Yet you can expect another challenge – There are so many to choose from but they are not exactly on demand. My advice? Go on and branch out, because you’ll be surprised what feels good on you.
- The brand: Again, try on a ton of pairs. I love Levi’s 501’s and Wrangler which both have a forgiving fit.
With months upon months of shopping under my belt, I’ve come to rely on these 5 places to shop for vintage jeans that you too can afford:
The Vintage Twin: Their “JEANius” somehow mentally calculates your measurements – no tape measure needed – then shuffles you into a fitting room with several pairs of jeans that all fit. I’ve paid on average $150 per pair. If you’re willing to pay a bit of a premium and have the search done for you, go here. Online shop HERE.
L Train Vintage: Both Manhattan locations have a large selection of jeans and cut off shorts at about $15 each, a price you really can’t beat. Online shop HERE.
Nasty Gal: Check out the “After Party” section for reworked vintage including Levi’s 501 jeans and shorts. Stumped on what size to get? Ask through their “Questions About This Item?” section and they will usually provide an answer within 2 days. Shorts go for about $68, and jeans are $88. Online shop HERE.
Etsy: You can shop for vintage online, you just need to have the extra time and know your measurements. I especially love Fairseason, an Etsy shop, that has a large and ever growing collection of Levi’s jeans. Pairs go for about $88. Online shop HERE.
Poshmark: My favorite resale site has a pretty good selection of vintage jeans and shorts. But buyer beware – You must know your waist and hip measurements and communicate with the seller to get the perfect fit. I’ve seen shorts as low as $5, jeans around $30. Find more HERE. If it’s your first time signing up, use my referral code for $5 on your first order!: BPAOR
Direct links to Levi’s 501 styles at Nasty Gal: