Jeans shopping, it’s right up there with swimsuit shopping and hair removal on the pleasure scale. And while head-to-toe denim used to be reserved for farmers and gold diggers (the 1849 kind), now the hippest of the hip rock that uniform on the regular. And we’re glad for that. But since your butt is parked in those pantalones almost every day and the thought of shopping for them makes us drop our White Russian cake pops on the spot, we’ve found a way to avoid the frustration of pulling up, squeezing in, and yanking on. Whether bespoke, custom fitted, or just upcycled and renewed, we’ve found your indigo saviors.
1. 3×1 ($1200+): For that heart-attack-inducing price, you gain access to 3×1’s creator Scott Morrison, who will fit you while going over his 130 fabrics, including vintage Japanese and Turkish denims. While most of us will never attain anything of this magnitude, if we somehow did, we’d be wearing them everyday for the rest of our life, while keeping them covered in protective plastic wrap, of course.
2. Jack/Knife ($300+): Alright, we’re not quite sure what’s making 3×1’s so insanely more expensive than Jack/Knife’s but it is what is. What you get from this San Francisco outpost is a choice of fabrics, some rare and vintage, and a pattern made just for your bod. That alone takes 20 hours to hand draw and everything is sewn the old-timey way using old-timey machines by two ex-Levi alums who look like they seriously just stepped out of the 1800s. Last we heard, there was a two month waiting list, but for this caliber of crotch cover, we’re willing to wait.
3. Z2 Jeans Co. ($65+): There are mixed reviews about the experience, but the price is hard to beat. A pair of Japanese raw denim slacks can be yours for under $200. It’s true. But you’re giving up a few things for the price. You’re not getting a stylist and pattern maker, you’re not meeting the maker, and if you’re all about American made, you’re not getting that either. Which for most of us is probably okay, considering the price differential. Order online and your brand new trousers will be at your doorstep in three weeks.
4. Do My Jeans ($140): Here’s another online option that lets you customize everything from the wash, belt loops, and front pockets to the fly, back pockets, and hardware. Quality is on the up and up, but if you’ve ever had to measure yourself for a tux or dress, you know it’s incredibly hard (which is why most places have professionals take care of it for you). So you’ll undoubtedly get a pair of quality jeans, and if you follow their thorough measurement guide, they might actually fit.
5. Schaeffer’s Garment Hotel ($250+): Custom jeans? There’s a hotel for that… which isn’t a hotel at all. The Shaeffer’s Garment Hotel in LA has a staff of denim specialists with over 20 years of experience under their belts. They’ll work on their vintage machines for around 20 hours getting a special pair ready for you. They’ll even sign and date their work for you. Artists!
6. The Stronghold ($500): People who are into denim are apparently into real old timey stuff. Another LA outpost, The Stronghold, will get you in a made-for-you set complete with exact replicas of their 1895 zippers, buttons, and rivets. And you better believe your blues are going to be dyed with real life indigo plants. (via Denim Maniac)
7. Denim Revival: Already got a pair of fancy pants that need a little fixing? Their name should give you a clue that they know what they’re doing, but just in case, they also call themselves the Denim Doctors. So trust that your favorite pair are in good hands. (via Gallivant)
8. Denim Refinery: In case it hasn’t been in you to revamp your old blues with a little DIY treatment lately (seriously, are you okay?), you can send them to Janet Sung of Denim Refinery. She has an entire menu of refinements, including waxing, softening, distressing, foiling, and… wait for it…. lasering. Hells to the yes.
9. Den.m Bar ($329+): Pick your style, pick your denim (Japanese or American), pick your hardware, get measured, and in 7-10 days you’ll have a pair of jeans customized just for you with a lifetime guarantee. How easy was that?
10. Make Your Own Jeans ($52+): If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at design, this is the site for you. Other requirements: You know a bit about fabrics, like what 3 percent lycra means, you’re a whiz at measurements, and you love making decisions, because there’s a lot of those to make here. Sounds exactly like you? Then get to work. In two weeks your jeans will arrive from Mumbai!
11. Loren ($1,200): Who gets their jeans made by Loren? The Kings of Leon get their jeans made by Loren. If you don’t have mad rockstar stacks of cash, you can also get off-the-rack wearables for $60 from their outpost in Brooklyn.
Have you owned a pair of custom jeans? Let us know in the comments below!