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Best jeans under... $100? $80? $60?

j

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I am looking for a new pair of jeans. I promised myself I wouldn't settle for a pair that "pretty much" fit from Marshalls just because they were cheap. However, I don't have a lot of money to spend on them, and so Papers and Diesels are pretty much out, at least at full retail. I just can't stomach paying $140+ for a pair of jeans that may or may not fit my wardrobe (or body) in a couple years and are unalterable and basically unresalable.

So what are my choices? I want something with a pretty "normal" looking wash, i.e. no "whiskers", no "dirt", no "grinding", no holes, no acid, paint, writing, weirdness of any kind. I'd like them to be medium to light blue but not look fake, if you know what I mean. They are for summer and warmer weather, so lighter fabric and color are better. I don't like obviously flared legs, bagginess, or weird low-rise-ness. Basically a pair of straight fit jeans that aren't too tight. I'm about a 32x33-34, depending.

From here I'll leave it to the experts. I have seen Mavi, Lucky, some Polo Jeans Co., Express, etc in my price range but I am willing to try anything if they fit, look good, are durable and don't break my bank.

Thanks.

P.s., I'd like them to be somewhat more "forward" than old school Levi's. That wasn't very clear in my post. Just not too fashionable.
 

LA Guy

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norcaltransplant

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Size and weight? What kind of cut do you like? I'm built like a small stick, so I favor bootcut rather than baggy. I second the recommendation on Helmut Lang (yoox)--be forewarned, HL denim is untreated and tends to fade/shrink following the first wash.

A little bit cheaper, but still following the modernist/minimalist styling are my Tristans from Theory. I think the denim is a bit softer than the Langs and so far they've worn extremely well...
 

HRHAndrew

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I have a hard time finding jeans that are comfortable. The best jeans I ever found were called Forestel. They were very cheap, which was nice when I was in college, and they would last forever. I have been on a mostly fruitless quest for the last five years trying to find a new favorite brand.
 

johnnynorman3

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I picked up a pair of Joe's loose fit jeans, and those are really nice -- straight leg, loose but not baggy. Definitely not tight, and definitely comfortable. Try to find them on markdown somewhere.

But, if you want an old faithful, I personally think that Gap and Banana Republic make pretty good jeans. I like Polos fine too.
 

imageWIS

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bigbadbuff

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I second the GAP recommendation.

Personally J Crew wins for me... their jeans can be had for under $50 on sale and they carry a nice variety of styles, colors, fit...
 

LA Guy

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Brian SD

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I'm going to second the Helmut Lang suggestion.

I also think you can find Diesels under $100 that are basic washes.
 

AlanC

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I think with jeans (as with anything else) you have to assess your needs. If I were in college (or even under 30) I might be more interested in various designer jeans, but as it is I'm not interested in pouring much money into what I see as a more utilitarian item in my wardrobe.

I have jeans by Gap ($8 on clearance), AE (bought at Marshall's) and JCrew ($5 on clearance). The JCrew I find a bit stiff. If I were to go out and buy jeans today I'd probably go to the Gap first. I've bought Eddie Bauer jeans in the past that I like.
 

T4phage

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My favorites: Levi's 501, Diesel (forgot the model, slim fit), Paper Demin (GTO/GTS - both supposedly slim fit, but allows for a large meal
).
 

Brian SD

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On addition to T4phage's comment, I have to say that my Paper Denim GTS that I bought recently are my absolute favorite casual item in my wardrobe.
 

T4phage

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On addition to T4phage's comment, I have to say that my Paper Denim GTS that I bought recently are my absolute favorite casual item in my wardrobe.
I agree. However, I don't think that PDC jeans will last. The fabric is extremely soft (great for comfort) but won't last as long as a 501.
 

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