You may recall the first pair of raw denim jeans that I got recently. However, those were not 100% cotton, so I had still been on the lookout for that. I quickly gave up on finding all-cotton jeans in a women’s cut, so I decided to see how men’s jeans fit me.
Since my husband has loads of awesome denim, I told him that I wanted to see how his jeans fit me. That way, I would know if it would even be worth my while to look into getting jeans in a men’s cut. He had me try on his Iron Heart SEXIHXINDO16 jeans that were just a bit too small for him to be comfortable. To our surprise, they fit me really well! Since he doesn’t wear them anymore, he gave them to me. The only photo I have of me wearing the Iron Hearts is this one of me with the dead squirrel, unfortunately.
But this opened up a whole new range of possibilities! Not only could men’s jeans fit my curves, they fit well! Perhaps even better than women’s jeans! And they would be 100% cotton. I still have no idea how they fit my big butt so well, and yet be so tight on my husband who has an itty bitty tiny butt. And he has the longest, thinnest legs in the world, while I have short round legs. If the jeans fit both of us so well as they do, maybe this whole men’s cut jeans / women’s cut jeans is a lie? Are jeans more malleable than we give them credit for? I don’t know.
I started wearing those Iron Hearts every day, but they were already faded and broken in from when Doc wore them; and I wanted to have the full experience of getting my own raw unsanforized cotton denim jeans, breaking them in, and fading them. I tend to like how The Flat Head jeans look on men a lot, so I found a pair of Flat Head 3001 and they fit me really well. Since they are a much slimmer cut, they are a lot more flattering than the Iron Hearts. They have already been soaked once, so that they are properly shrunk before I begin the wearing process. Otherwise, since they are unsanforized, they would be too big on me, and start fading/wearing in the wrong places.
Now I just need to get these hemmed, and they will be good to go! That, or start pegging my jeans.
And that is the story of how I went from owning 0 pairs of raw denim jeans, to owning 3 pairs of raw denim jeans in a short period of time. The Iron Hearts and Flat Heads are unsanforized; the 3sixteens are not. But they are technically all raw.
So, ladies! You, too, can have the experience of breaking in and fading raw cotton denim jeans! Just don’t be afraid to wear men’s cuts. Because it seems that that is your only choice for the time being.
I searched the Internet high and low for references on how different types of men’s denim fit women, but didn’t come up with much. Therefore, I decided to put this out there, in case it helps anybody make any denim decisions.
26 thoughts on “Raw Denim Part II: Do Men’s Jeans Fit on Women?”
Thank you for this! I’ve been wearing APC Petit Standards for years now and trying to find a specific womens cut for raw denim… and keep coming up short. I’d love to try other brands but there just isn’t enough information out there. Your post is a lot more help than other things I’m reading.
No problem! I have also just discovered Rogue Territory, http://www.rogueterritory.com/ and their SK cut almost seems like it was custom made for my shape. Rogue Territory’s SK also has a very nice thin taper, unlike the Flat Head 3001 which has a very slender top half and then is straight from the knee down. So I guess it mostly depends on if you want a taper or not.
Wow, this is very helpful! I think I might be shaped similar to you and honestly women’s jeans never fit me right (for instance I have a pair of Railcar Vipers that I really *like* but they don’t quite accomodate my shape). I have a round butt but a small waist and everything either gaps in the waist or sags in the butt…or else my kind of muscular thighs feel like they’re being squeezed. I’ve always been jealous that men have so many jeans to chose from (how come they don’t make shrink-to-fit for women??) but I just always assumed men’s jeans wouldn’t fit right. But those jeans look fantastic on you, I can’t believe they’re men’s! Now I’m defintely going to try some.
Might as well give it a try! If you know a place you can go in and try some on in person, that would be ideal. I also went a long time without even considering wearing men’s jeans, I thought there just had to be a reason for men’s and women’s jeans being manufactured differently. Shrink-to-fit men’s jeans might even be the best option for women, because then they won’t get too tight in the hips, but still get tighter in the waist. Good luck!
In my day we wore the guys 501 jeans. We buy a size larger, put them on and go out side and wet our selves down with water hose.
We would wear them until they dried. They would shrink to our size.
We would fill the tub and sit in the water with our jeans on. Loved my 501 jeans. Macy’s bargain basement. I paid 5 bucks a pair. Yes, many years ago but I’m thinking of getting me a pair as I’m tired of women’s jeans so tight around my calves. Those skinny jeans.
I found my teenage sons Bullshead jeans (that he put in the give away pile) are much more slimming than of my other jeans. Nice to know that because I have been extremely frustrated with the fit of the legs and hips of women’s jeans.
Yes, women’s jeans seem to have a much poorer selection and much poorer durability compared to men’s jeans. Since I discovered how well men’s jeans can work for women (about the time I wrote this post), I’ve only worn men’s jeans.
Why bother with uselessly thin, light-weight stretchy denim that claims to be designed for women, but don’t even fit the hips right (and that dissolves within 6 moths of purchase)?
Very sexy when feminine women cross-dress into menswear , especially pants like jeans.
These pictures remind me of a college coed freshman who wore selvage male Lee Jean Riders as her uniform the school year of 1970-71. She looked hot ! The oxymoron of a feminine form looking great in historical menswear. Drove this then 18 year old male crazy on campus . She wore very dark denim with cuffed legs showing her selvage seams as a tease.
My husband is the same way as you, he is mystified by how women always look good in men’s clothing. He often asks, “how is it that all of my clothes look better on you than they do on me?”
I know that my opinion was not unique , good to know other males out there think the same way; including your husband. I buy so called female jeans that look like Hollywood cowboy hero fancy ranch pants ( Roy Rogers style ) for my wife over the decades; she looks fantastic in them. 1952 ‘s movie ” Son of Paleface “; Jane Russell wears the tightest black cowboy clothes possible and looks ” super ” but the writers of this script failed to have Jane put on Roy Rogers’ great outfit after she pistol whips him from behind and could easily have swiped his outfit for herself then adding it to her own cowboy wardrobe, what a sad omission ! Earlier in this movie , Bob Hope is successful in stealing Roy’s great cowboy duds and wearing them himself and even Bob hope looked great in wearing ” The King of the Cowboys ” outfit. Jane would have looked the best wearing Roy’s Western outfit.
Who is 18 yr. old coed I mentioned ? Aptly named ” Jean ” Pona ( maiden name ) .
Dear Steen ;
On Ebay; search for N.Y.D.J. Angelina coated denim leggings for your size; Mary Ellen has several pairs that I have purchased for her and they remind me of those Roy Rogers or Gene Autry fancy ranch pants. I have several pairs for myself.
Two 1968 movies showing frontier women wearing jeansThey are : ” The Shakiest Gun in the West ” with Barbara Rhoades ( cross-dressing outlawette ) and ” The Ballad of Josie ” , starring Doris Day . Barbara wears skin tight , stovepipe legged brown jeans tucked into suede tall cowboy boots , while Doris dons a pair of Levi jeans in a men’s shop in Cheyenne. If you look closely, Doris’ Levi’s pant legs aren’t tapered ( straight cut , tucked into cowboy boots) but a scene a little later, supposedly the same jeans, the legs are super skinny,ala. the more modern ” jeggings ” style. Barbara Rhoades’ jeans are also ” jeggings ” style tapered. These movies were the foundation of ” jeggings ” of today !
Thanks for this post. I was planning to buy 501 STF jeans for my girlfriend (who enjoys projects like this) and only just realized they aren’t made in women’s sizes. Already figured out the inch measurements of “size X” and your post gave me direction and confidence to go ahead with the “men’s” cut.
Awesome! I hope she likes them! If you aren’t getting them as a surprise, it might still be a good idea to have her try them on first though, since it seems to me that clothing fits (especially pants) is finicky for everybody.
Of course, if you’re buying them online or you want them to be a surprise, then obviously that isn’t an option. I’ll say it’ll probably be fine. Most of the “men’s” jeans I’ve tried on fit me perfectly fine, but there was one particular pair that fit really weird and didn’t work at all. And, for some reason, many of the waist band sizes are inconsistent from brand to brand. The Iron Hearts I’ve gotten seem to be usually “true to size,” but the Flat Heads I’ve gotten seem to consistently run small. For what it’s worth!
Cool post, glad to find this!
Here’s my two cents worth. I’m a tall gal, 5’11”, with a tummy not much smaller than my hips. Men’s jeans make sense for me. I bought some guys Lucky brand jeans that I LOVE.
My advice: size your instep down by 2″–it leaves room for what you don’t got. On that topic, skinnier jeans can sometimes be tight all over but baggy at the crotch, which looks pretty weird. I like a nice classic cut, it seems to fit me best 🙂 (And oh my gosh the pockets. You’ll never go back.)
All great points! And I absolutely second that it is nice to have functional pockets 🙂 I can go out without a purse and just put my phone and wallet in my pockets now – what a concept!
A while ago I lost about 85 lbs and found myself needing new jeans. I couldn’t find any women’s jeans that looked good so I said, “what the hell” and grabbed a pair of men’s Levi’s. Awesome! My shape had changed from hourglass to a smaller waist/hip ratio so the straighter men’s shape fit me perfectly. It was a revelation.
That makes sense! For me, I don’t know if it is because I have an extremely high waist/hip ratio, or because I stand very tall, or both, or what. But women’s jeans have never fit me – they’ve always had an enormous gap at the waist. even the ones supposedly designed for larger butts. It is like nobody has even tried to accommodate different body types. So I just resigned myself to always wearing a belt. When I started wearing men’s jeans exclusively, the problem was not noticeably greater or lessor, honestly I found the fit to be pretty similar to women’s jeans (for me). It is almost as though gendered clothing is a meaningless construct… lol weird.
I do believe that you noticed a difference when your body type changed, that makes complete sense. All bodies are different with different fit issues, so I can see how you could experience that whilst I experienced something totally different. Too bad we can’t afford to just have all clothes personally tailored for us!
Men’s jeans are the way to go! I notice 2 things right away- my butt looks about a million times better (must have something to do with the cut or where they fall?) and the quality is also much more long lasting since they think men will trash their jeans. I read somewhere that to find your “size” you have to do your size and add 21. Not sure if that is true or not… I just did a hold them up and imagine if my butt/hips could fit in them- then go from there. Uniqlo is a great place to shop if you have ones in your area. They cycle their styles each season and hem everything for free. I have several pairs of jeans from them and you cannot tell a difference that they are mens at all!
Yeah, absolutely. People are always so shocked when I tell them they’re men’s jeans – they don’t believe it!
It’s always great to find a perfect pair of jeans!
In the 80s, when everyone wore 50 shrink to fit, these jeans were “gender-less,” everyone bought the same jeans to their size liking and shrunk them. Whether they were originally made for a man, it didn’t matter, there was no women’s section for 501 STF jeans. We all wore them and loved them.
In the early 90s, I only wore men’s jeans from The Gap as they sold great jeans and men’s jeans were the only jeans that came with an inseam length great for a tall woman (33″ – 34″). Because men’s jeans are basically straight, when a woman puts them on, the jeans hug her body. Tall women would see me and beg to know where I bought my jeans…I directed them straight to The Gap.
Women’s jeans never fit me right. They seem to be pre-cut to a shape that doesn’t align with my body. Men’s jeans are perfect!
I agree, women’s jeans never fit me right ever. I don’t know what body shape they are made for, but it sure isn’t mine! It is pretty weird that jeans have “gender” now, when you think about it.
I’ve just discovered this blog post, and I’m really glad. I haven’t purchased jeans in decades because I wore my old pairs of levis for nearly 30 years. Yes, they’ve lasted that long! However, this past year I’ve noticed so many holes and thinning of fabric, I thought I’d better search for new ones. I’ve been so disappointed to find the new women’s styles seem so thin, lightweight and not 100% cotton denim. Plus I personally hate that so many styles are so short. I’m only 5’2, but they still look like “high waters” on me. They look like they shrunk in the dryer! They also have teeny, tiny pockets. Why? I don’t know. Finally my build is pretty straight without much difference between my waist and hips and so men’s jeans may fit me better than women’s jeans.
Thank you for the helpful post!
I’m so glad it was helpful! I’ve had many of the exact same frustrations so I can certainly relate!