Jeans for (Wo)Men?

Friends… I think I may be on the verge of a critical discovery:
Men’s jeans. For women.
Now, just hear me out.

This weekend, the husband and I were at Target, when I saw a really cute pair of dark wash, boot-cut jeans with a mid-rise waist and legs that were not dragging on the floor. Ooh! All of those attributes in one pair of jeans? Nothing short of a miracle. So, of course I wandered over to grab a pair to try. Levi’s. Hmm, ok. 6 petite, where are you? Wait… 27×30?

And yes, that’s when I realized I was standing in the MEN’s section.

Ladies, you may not have realized, but MEN’s jeans have this amazing concept for sizing: Actual Measurements. No kidding! You want pants that fit your waist size and your leg length? You just… look on the tag for your waist size and leg length!

Yes, of course I understand that Men and Womens’ bodies are shaped differently–the variety among women alone is astonishing. But still… why have I spent my entire adolescent, teenage, and adult life looking for jeans based on some seemingly arbitrary numbers and terms that change from year to year and even within the same brand?

13? 6? 7/8? Ankle? Petite? Short? Regular (I ask you!)? Tall? Slim? Curvy? Ooof. I wear at least 4 different “sizes,” depending on when and from whom I buy them.

Levis, are you for me?

Levis, are you for me?

Back to the Levi’s: I have never worn men’s jeans–except for a brief grungy stint in high school–because I have a distinctly woman-shaped lower half. And straight-legged men’s jeans just aren’t going to fit. Case closed.

But, unlike my collegiate years, today’s boot-cut jeans for men aren’t only for indie-artists and Swedish exchange students. Heck, they’ve got them at Target, people, along with skinny jeans and yes, I did espy a flare leg or two.

Er, actually, those last two may still be mainstream verboten…

Anyhow, just for kicks, and in the name of socio-apparel research, I snagged two pairs of those cute boot-cut men’s jeans in my waist size and the shortest possible length on the rack– one Levi’s and one Converse brand.

The Levis: No way those things were fitting around my womanly posterior. (Then again, that’s a problem I also have with Levi’s jeans for women.). But the legs were actually really comfortable, even in the thighs, where men’s jeans have always been too snug. And, the length was absolutely perfect. 30″ leg is my new holy grail for any and all jeans.

The Converse: Zipped up like a charm. What I suppose would be a “low rise waist” for many was a really comfortable, flattering mid-rise for me, that just hit my belly button, and didn’t even gap at the waist as much as some women’s jeans do. The legs were, again, the perfect length. The one downfall — and it was a major one, or else I’d be wearing my awesome new men’s jeans today– was the back side. “Lift and separate” should never be a term associated with your jeans. No matter what gender you are. So…. yeah. A big fat NO on those ones.

But, oh! so close! Even the price tag makes it worthwhile to try again– As I have learned from shopping with the husband, a good pair of new, non-clearance, non-overpriced-designer men’s jeans can always be had for less than $40.

So although I walked out of the dressing room empty-handed, my heart is full of possibility. Is it possible? Will boot-cut jeans designed for the modern man end the fruitless fashion efforts of a woman of classic proportion? I am perfectly willing to find out!


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