Friday, September 21, 2012

Jeans: A Comparison Study

Jeans: A Comparison Study

On the left, we have J. Jill's Tried and True Fit Jeans.  They cost about $89.90 and they were sent to me as a free sample from J. Jill.  I didn't do anything to request them, they didn't ask me to review them.  They just showed up at my doorstep one day, begging me to take them in.  Not one to turn away free stuff, I took them in, sent them out with the laundry before wearing them, and gave them a home.

On the right, we have Lane Bryant's T3 Technology Jeans.  T3 stands for Tighter Tummy Technology.  You would think with a name like that, they'd be uncomfortable, but they're not. They cost about $70.  I bought them at the Lane Bryant store in the Staten Island Mall, with a coupon, and on sale, so I didn't pay full price.  Lane Bryant has good deals if you watch the sales and get their coupons.

My review:

The J. Jill Tried and True Fit Jeans are in the color Vintage Wash, which is shown in the picture.  They're expensive (for me, at least) and they look it.  They have a perfectly uniform faded look, and they're very well made, with double-bound seams, which you want in jeans.  They have an elastic in the back on the left and right sides, but the elastic lies flat and doesn't protrude or pucker, which is what you want - an elastic waistband that lies as flat as possible.

They have the requisite 5-pockets, with a small change pocket on the right.  My one complaint is that the pockets are not deep, but I can understand why:  Deeper pockets would throw off the sleek look of the front of the jean.  For better fitting jeans, I will put up with shallow pockets.  Just don't put too much stuff into your front pockets.

As to fit, they go on fitting really well - more of a sleek than a tight fit.  However, as seems to be the inevitable fate of all jeans, they bag out after a day's wear.  These didn't do too badly, though.  I wore them yesterday and today, and unlike a lot of jeans, they weren't falling down past my hips.  Don't you hate when that happens?  They stayed up, and stayed put, without the assistance of a belt.

They are slightly higher in the waist than many other jeans that are out there (Old Navy, I'm looking at you!), at least on me - I have a long torso and a high waist, so the fit was fine for me.    If you like a low-rise, these might not be the style for you.

These jeans have classic styling, with no trendy detailing - just a straight-forward pair of nice blue jeans.  

Overall, I'd have to give these jeans high marks, with the reservations cited: shallow pockets and a tendency to expand as the day goes on.  But the expansion isn't as bad as some other jeans.

The Lane Bryant T3 Technology Jeans in Dark Rinse held up reasonably well over two days of wear.  I had a couple of complaints, the chief one being that they are just too long!!!  I had to cuff them to wear them with hiking boots, and the cuff was about 2" deep.  I know I can take them to the tailor and get them hemmed, but that's a pain, and it ruins the hem of the jeans.  On the other hand, I thought they looked pretty cool with cuffs.  Maybe I'm deluding myself.  Time will tell!

The other complaint is that they bag out super fast.  One wearing and they were sagging on me already.  The problem could be that I bought a larger size, on the theory that the smaller size would be uncomfortable, but I should've taken into account the sag 'n bag factor.  My bad!

Other than that, the jeans are made of a heavier denim fabric than the J. Jill jeans, and the rinse is darker.  They do not have an elastic waist, which is a good thing, since most women don't like elastic waists (due to the afore-mentioned problems, which J. Jill addressed in their style), especially on jeans.  One thing I like about Lane Bryant's jeans is that they are cut for a curvier woman's figure - the waist is small and the seat accommodates larger hips, without having too much fabric in the thighs and legs.  Not to say that they skimp on fabric in the thighs or legs; it is in proportion to the rest of the pant, so that it fits comfortably, without an excess of fabric, eliminating the unfortunate "tenting" problem.  No one wants that problem.

They are also well-made, with double-bound seams, with the traditional 5-pocket styling, and the front pockets are deeper than the J. Jill style.  It's very important to wash these jeans before wearing them, as the dark rinse is very dark and will rub off on your skin and any other clothing you are wearing.  

The Lane Bryant jeans have more updated, trendy details, like interesting belt loops and placement of the change pocket, and intricate embroidery on the back pockets.  The thread of the embroidered design matches the fabric, so the design is not obvious.  

In summary, I would have to say I prefer the J. Jill jeans, and they may just have themselves a new customer.  J. Jill offers beautiful, well-made clothing in women's sizes up to 4X (roughly sizes 28-32) and I believe these jeans would be worth $90, if I paid for them myself.  I have to find a way to work them into the budget!