Feeling Lucky?

by Brittany on December 11, 2012

in Style & Beauty

Last week I spent 24 hours in New York City doing something I absolutely never thought I would ever do… trying on designer jeans.

I’m a plus size girl; designer jeans aren’t exactly in my size demographic. The thought of doing trying on jeans in front of a room of Lucky Jeans professionals, well, let’s just say every scenario in my head played out like the end of Carrie.

But, I went. Worse case scenario: nothing would fit. Would it sting? Sure. But, I am coming off two years of being brave with my body, and I wasn’t about to wuss out now.

So I flew into LaGuardia airport with nothing but a carry-on full of my favorite jeans, a couple of shoes and an answered questionnaire about what I look for in denim, which surprisingly only ended up being the very obvious feature of them actually fitting. I mean, that seems like it’d be a no-brainer, but I guess I am just used to having such limited jean options. My biggest requirements are 1. button, 2. look less chubby. I don’t know if that says more about me or the state of plus size fashion options.

At 9am on Monday morning, I ventured out into the pouring rain to the Lucky Jeans showroom for a one-on-one fit session where we dished on denim, fit, and their brand new plus size jeans line. It was like group therapy without the benzodiazepines.

So, prior to last summer, the majority of my pants were flare jeans. I have thick thighs, and liked the wideness of the bell to balance out the curviness of the rest of me. Plus, I spend my summers avoiding shorts, camped out in my flare jeans and fitted tank tops. It never occurred to me that flared jeans might not be the right cut for my body. It was about comfort. I felt most comfortable in pants that don’t cling to my flabby parts, and they felt youthful.

It wasn’t until recently that I came to adore skinny jeans, or their questionable cousins by marriage, jeggings. I traded in fitted tops for longer cuts and looser shapes, and started hoarding skinny jeans to wear with ballet flats and tall boots and if I was feeling especially confident, a sexy pair of heels.

I thought meeting with the Lucky jeans designers would be intimidating. Like I said, plus size isn’t exactly the designer jeans target audience, and even when they do offer jeans in extended sizes, the cuts seem to be a bit on the conservative side, so I had mentally prepared myself to leave there defeated, and had already mapped out the quickest way to Magnolia Cupcakes for post-fitting feeling eating.

I was sent to the dressing area with a pair from their non-plus line, Lola, in a size 16, my current size. These jeans made it to about mid hip…and stopped. Lola fits up to size 18, and I very well may have gotten those all the way up, maybe even buttoned, but the fit wouldn’t have been right. They just weren’t made to fit the shape of my body.

I was embarrassed, but the Lucky folk were undeterred. They walked back over to their rack of jeans and selected a pair of skinny jeans from their new plus line called Ginger, size 16, sending me back into the fitting room. They went on…like butter. Ginger fits up to a size 24W, has the perfect amount of stretch to recover and hold shape, and the rise is perfection which means I’m not in the fitting room jacking them up over my stomach to make sure nothing is hanging over the top.

I’ve bought lots and lots of plus size jeans from lots and lots of plus size places, and I always justified the price with the belief that more fabric and more work was being put into creating the garment, but the fact is, it’s almost never true. I have only recently come across amazing companies who actually take the time to cut and fit plus size garments on plus size people, and for me, that’s priceless.

I am tired of overpaying for badly made clothes just because they happen to button, but fit like crap everywhere else.

It’s the little successes that make this adventure less scary, and motivate me to keep experimenting. Black skinny jeans? I’m officially a big huge fan, thanks Lucky!

This post is brought to you by Lucky Brand Jeans. Visit us at http://www.luckybrand.com/

kel December 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Brit, have I ever told you how much I admire your courage? You are a warrior, girl. Love you!

daisy December 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

While I love this, “the rise is perfection which means Iā€™m not in the fitting room jacking them up over my stomach to make sure nothing is hanging over the top.”
I can’t justify the cost if there is stretch material in them. I love jeans that fit because of that stretch, but the inner thigh area is always rubbing together, thus wearing through (or wearing so thin that they rip in the most inconvenient spot). Let me know if these are tough enough that they aren’t going to wear through straight away and they will be my dream jeans.

Brittany December 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

My first reaction is, you are finding jeans without stretch OMG WHERE!?

I used to hate, hate, HATE stretch in jeans. I think there is even a post somewhere about it. I then learned that it all depends on the percentages. 2% stretch typically works for me in terms of keeping shape, recovering after a wash, and NOT sagging down my thighs by mid day.

The most expensive jeans I own come from Lane Bryant, Lucky and Gap, and they are all within $30 of eachother. The Lucky is easily the thickest and most well made, followed by GAP.

Sometimes I think jean companies should take the technology they use in making the knees of little boy jeans so tough, and apply it to the inner thigh area of women’s jeans.

Katie December 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

#1 – I love you.

#2 – I love that you got to visit Lucky and find jeans that are made for your body.

Where I struggle is that in addition to being plus-size somewhere between an 18 and a 20, I’m tall. I need pants with a 34″ inseam. I was so excited to go to the Lucky site and look at the Ginger jeans only to find 32″ inseams on everything. Sure… you can order talls… but not in plus-sizes. I find this problem everywhere. Lane Bryant makes jeggings for “big girls” but on me they go to about mid-calf. Is it too much to ask for skinny jeans or jeggings that work with long legs and don’t force out an awkward muffin top? Apparently so. *sigh*

On your journeys to help companies identify with the curvy body type, can you please throw a bone out there for the tall girls as well?

THANK YOU!!

Brittany December 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I love this and let me tell you why. Often, brands think, Oh, I’ll offer plus size clothes to fit the plus size people, forgetting, that like ALL KINDS OF OTHER WOMEN, we’re short. And tall. And lots of other heights. It’s definitely a process, but this is how we educate them and SHOW them our demand.

I will say I am 5’7.5. I usually ALWAYS order my pants long (when available), and I always hang dry my pants to maintain length. The skinny jeans that I wore were long on me, in that photo, they are actually cuffed, twice.

VANESSA December 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

plus size tall jeans…alloy.com–i am 6’2″ wear a 37″ inseam and they go up to size 25 in alot of their brands and they offer 32, 35 and 37 inch inseams–i wear a 17 in most of their brands and im a 16 in “not junior sizing” and they have a lot of styles that dont look “young” (im 30) if you like skinny jeans check out the piper brand they are by far the best jean they offer i have 3 pairs-1 in black 2 in the dark wash–they also offer colored skinny jeans in talls/plus sizes which is a hard thing to find…and they are all priced under 50$.

Kathryn December 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I am so excited to find good jeans. Ladies – many of them are 25% off at Lucky. You cannot beat that. Thanks as always Brittany. You are always making us look good.

Correen December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks for the web site Vanessa. I’m 6’0 with a 36′ inseam. If a place carries an inseam that long then it’s in 2-3 different types of pants and only sold online. I can’t seem to find any place with a good variety and different types of fits for us big girls.

VANESSA December 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

no problem–there is also torrid.com they have plus sizes and carry talls i never purchased there but i have seen them offered in my search. I have come to accept the fact that jeans I buy will always be from online stores..you just get to know what sites/brands fit and stick with them. Oldnavy.com in their regular line they offer talls on most of their jeans and they go up to a size 20..they do have plus size line but i dont believe they offer talls. they are also great for a variety of shirts for us talls for the longer arms and non ass crack showing shirt length and gap.com offers talls in jeans but htey only go up to size 16 but they are usually well made and i like their fit. ANYTHING TO HELP FELLOW TALL FASHION LOVERS! i know some great shoe sites too for the big footed talls :)

Deborah N December 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I too have Plus Size in hovering between 16 and 18 with a 34 inch inseam and can’t ever find plus size jeans in “Tall” anywhere in the Toledo area. Thanks for the heads up and great article Brittany!

Rachel Q. December 12, 2012 at 6:45 am

Hooray! I’m so happy you found some great quality plus-size jeans. I’m on the never-ending hunt for jeans that are plus-size AND come in tall. It’s hard enough feeling like I should be on a poster for “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” and have everyone assume I’m a bean pole to boot.

So far Eloquii has done pretty well for plus-size AND tall AND somewhat fashionable and of course there is always the Lane Bryant fall back if I am so so desperate, but I don’t think I’ve ever managed to feel hip/cool/sexy in any of their jeans.

Maybe I could get some Lucky jeans and pretend they are capris?

Jen December 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

Wow! This is amazing. I never in all my life thought that I a curvy girl, could possible wear some Lucky jeans but now I can… I am so excited. No more drooling over their cuteness with my skinny friends.

Mo December 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

Excited about this article and immediately went to the Lucky Brand website hoping to find perfect jeans….but didn’t. I am a plus size but not a “short”, I am a petite Plus size. I need a size 14 Plus Petite (I need a shorter rise), and there are not many manufacturers that make them. Just like the tall Gals said it is next to impossible to find what you need. Great article, and I love the shirts they have. Might get some of those.

Susan December 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Yay for you, and yay for Lucky! Alas, not yay for me, because like Lands End, and every other non-plus-size specific company (Except Old Navy) they don’t go up to my size (26/28). So once again, I feel like the fattest girl ever. -sigh-

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