Every once in a while, a reader will email us and ask if we can recommend a pair of jeans. Usually, the question is something like:
“I currently wear X and wish the rise/ leg opening/ thigh/ whatever were a bit higher/ shorter/ wider/ smaller/ whatever. Can you recommend something?”
The best resource for this sort of thing is Scout, an online denim database with nearly every detail you could want – price point, measurements, color, country of origin, fabric weight, etc. Just use the filters on the left hand side of their site, hit search, and you’ll bring up all the jeans that fit that description.
The database isn’t perfect. It mostly focuses on “craft” labels, rather than fashion brands. So you’ll be able to search through Iron Heart and 3sixteen, but not Saint Laurent or Helmut Lang. And it doesn’t include every craft label, either. For example, The Flat Head, a cult favorite in the denim community, is notably missing. So is our advertiser Gustin.
Still, with over 4,000 jeans in their database, you’d be hard pressed to find a better starting point. You can also use Self Edge’s jean finder, although theirs is limited to what they sell (understandably).
When using either, be sure to take shrinkage into account. Certain fabrics can shrink and stretch in different ways, so only use these databases as a starting point, and be flexible with your parameters. If you’re looking for something with a 7.25″ leg opening, for example, it might not be a bad idea to search and see what’s available in 7.5″. Some of those might shrink to a 7.25″ after a wash.
Oh, and also worth checking out: Scout’s store finder. It’s often better to try on jeans in-person anyway, and you’d be supporting your local businesses.