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I Found a Pair of Jeans to Replace My Beloved Vintage Levi’s

The author, in her not-yet-hemmed Need jeans

A couple of months ago, I lost my favorite blue jeans. Let me tell you about them. They were Levi’s, they were dark blue, they were cropped at the ankle, and they fit my little-waist-big-butt figure with an ease I’d prayed for since I hit puberty. I found them at Front General Store, a veritable vintage dreamscape, for $100, which felt too small a sum for pants I knew I’d wear until their denim-to-hole ratio tilted toward inappropriate. Even then, I’d likely have worn them on the weekend — the two days a week I let my rattiest clothes out of the house.

I don’t know how a person loses pants. I once lost my flute in the fifth grade, so if anyone could, I guess that person would be me. I began hunting for a replacement in earnest straight away, but finding a pair of flattering dark-washed, vintage Levi’s is an uphill battle: If the color is slightly off, the pants give off an unsettling 1980s Full House vibe, and if the color is perfect, the pants probably won’t pull up past my thighs, because that’s just how vintage shopping tends to go.

Need Supply NEED Cousin Fit Jeans
The pants in question, sufficiently cropped on this five-foot-eight model.

This is all to say: When Need Supply wrote me a press email last week saying they were releasing a line of vintage-inspired dark-washed jeans and would I like to try them, I wrote back yes, please, thank you and my size and address before even really looking at the pictures. They arrived today, and while I will not say that they are as cool as my beloved Front General pair (the magic of finding perfect pants under a pile of imperfect pants … well, it’s incomparable), I will admit that these jeans are really nice. They are dark-washed, but definitively blue, vintage-y looking without any dreaded fading or factory-made holes, high-waisted, but not ridiculous. The fit is interesting, too — they are a little loose on my butt (reader: This does not happen often), but are still form-fitting and flattering. They claim to be “slightly cropped” on the website, which, well, I’m five-foot-six, and they go down to my foot, but that’s okay, I will go get them tailored.

Here’s my feeling on these pants. If you, like me, have vintage-pants-shopping fatigue, would sooner go pantsless than purchase stretchy chain-store jeggings, but do not have the wherewithal to rough it through a new pair of selvedge jeans, these are a really good option. They are cool enough that they won’t compromise your outfit, and they genuinely fit to size, so ordering them online is not a risk. They are not cheap, but think about it this way: It’s a small price to pay for not having to bathe in your pants or try on a hundred pairs of ill-fitting vintage 501s. I would buy them if I had to.

Need Cousin Fit Jeans in Judd Wash

Other vintage-y-looking pants I love

Dickies Men’s Professional Painter Pants
$20 at Walmart

I went into a work-gear store in Arizona over the holidays and came out with these Dickies men’s painter pants in the smallest size they had (28 by 30). I’m a four, usually, and these don’t drown me — instead, they sit right above my hips and actually look really cool rolled at the ankle.

High Rise Ankle Crop
$301 at Re/Done

If I didn’t have a strange aversion to spending $300 on jeans, I’d buy all the Re/Done’s. I’d start with these, which are similar to the ones fashion-editor-at-large Amy Larocca loves.

Rachel Comey Slim Legion Pant
$295 at Garmentory

The aforementioned strange aversion did not stop me from buying these. They’re a little past their prime, but I still love ‘em. And they’re on sale!

Won Hundred Pearl Denim
$135 at Garmentory

If you’re a 29, don’t look back: GRAB THESE. They’re VERY reasonable for Won Hundred and really cool-looking.

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I Found a Pair of Jeans to Replace My Beloved Vintage Levi’s