I’m not quite back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (ok, I am but, I’ve got some serious muffin top IYKWIM) but I’m already hot on the trail of the perfect pair of denim. My requirements:

  • NOT low-rise “see my undies” jeans
  • quality, thick denim
  • great fit
  • not made in a sweat shop (fair trade)

Here’s how I’m conducting my search:

  • finding the right jeans for my shape – oh, ick. I can’t seem to figure out exactly which jeans are right for me, so I’m going to stick with flares. I’ve always loved the Gap long & lean jeans (flare), but I don’t like the whole “made in a sweat shop” thing. I always thought I liked bootcut, but in the last couple of years I realized that this style really doesn’t go with the casual shoes and flip-flops that I usually wear (at least at the length I’m wearing them).
  • which companies encourage good ethics (ever hear of nanotechnology in the jeans industry?) – The following companies get good reviews from this site: Bishopston, Ascension, Greenfibres, Hug, and Kuyichi. The top name brand is Calvin Klein, FYI. This article was from 2006, so I’m sure many new ethical brands have entered the market.

A cursory google search on “Fair Trade Jeans” brings up this April 2009 post on companies that offer jeans meeting this caveat. Now after an hour of research, I’ve narrowed it down to three choices. Help please?

Fair Indigo Organic Denim Authentic fit Jeans

At only $40 these are a steal for organic fair trade jeans (supposedly they are 50% off, but I’m guessing this is one of those perpetual sales, kinda like at Baileys furniture *wink*). My only concern is that in the reviews, oodles of “pear shaped” women in their 50’s and 60’s loved this jean. I know that should totally scare me away, but I’m still willing to take a risk and try out these for myself.

Rica Lewis FairTrade bootleg jeans

I found these jeans from UK’s Hug site. During my research Hug was consistently rated as a great company. As far as I can tell, these are only available shipped from the UK (for about $76 after shipping).

Harmony by Loomstate

And finally, in the way-too-expensive-but-they-might-be-worth-it-if-they-fit-perfectly-and-last-a-million-years category, here is the Harmony jean by Loomstate ($138). Loomstate jeans are also abundant on Ebay for a lot less (about half of the above price), so that’s an option to consider.

Here’s my plan:

  • scour the local thrift stores for a pair of jeans my size (doubtful), including The Mouse House consignment store (which has lots of good women’s jeans, but I don’t expect to find any longs)
  • Order a pair from Fair Indigo. This company is pretty impressive, and I’d like to vote for them with some bucks 😉
  • Download a free pattern from http://www.e-sewingpatterns.com for kid boy jeans and try out my hand at sewing denim. If these puppies turn out all right, I’ll be tempted to get a women’s pattern.
  • hunt for the perfect pair of shoes. All this research is making me realize that shoes and jeans go hand in hand and a great look can easily be achieved just by stumbling on the perfect match.