Jeans. I can’t think of tougher item of clothing to buy when you’re masculinely expressed than jeans. Really. Jeans have been a rough one for me for a long time. I’m going to try to hit on what might work best for a few different body types, but obviously I know mine the best. And being that I’ve been a few different sizes, hopefully I can provide a little wisdom to a lot of people.
For the hard part: body disclosure. I have some trepidation about telling the world my stats, but, I know it might be worthwhile if it helps you to compare yourself to me to figure out what might in turn work for you. I am 5’3 (and a half, thanks) weigh 175-185 pounds (it sometimes varies, and I lose about a pound or so a week with my current work out regimen), and wear a men’s 35/36 sized jean/pant and prefer a 29/30 inch inseam. I have very muscular arms and legs, and hold extra weight pretty much exclusively in my face and belly. I have lost about 60 pounds in the past year and was at this time last November about 235 pounds and wore a size 40/42. I’m pleased with the work I’ve put into my body, but mostly I’m ecstatic about how healthy I am and feel, and that’s the best part for me. I’ll tell you more about my body as it becomes relevant to future posts, but I would really like to stress that this is a judgment free blog. Butches of all shapes and sizes are hot. It just comes with the territory.
Some quick jean tips. Stay away from cotton/spandex blend jeans. Most men’s jeans are 100% denim, but some stretch jeans for men do exist and I caution you to stay away. Just not good. I think that if you are rail thin, a skinny jean with some mixed blend fabric would be ok, but if you’re anything but that? Caution.
Not all women’s jeans are created equal. I don’t usually wear any women’s clothing (except for a bra, which we’ll get into at a later time), but I have a pair of old Gap women’s jeans that are pretty much my favorite “old” jeans in the universe; they look incredible on me, and they do not look or wear like a women’s jean. So don’t immediately count them out. If jeans fit right and look great on you? Go for it, whatever department they come from.
I think that once again, even with jeans, you get what you pay for. That isn’t to say that you might not find an awesome pair of cheap jeans, but I have ALWAYS found consistency with a few brands that are slightly pricy. My favorite jeans are Lucky Brand jeans. Right now my favorite is the “Slim Boot Cut” because they just fit my body so, so well. I’m also a HUGE fan of any jeans that are button fly; for whatever reason, those just feel sexier to me, though Lucky has a great selection of zip jeans as well. Additionally, Lucky jeans have short inseams available which is GREAT because then I don’t have to roll them up, which is kind of the bane of the short butch’s existence. And even though they are kind of expensive, they OFTEN have sales exclusive to their website and you can buy one get one, or get closeouts for pretty reasonable prices.
For smaller/shorter butches, jeans can also be a problem. Jeans from the boys’ department often don’t fit right, though Levi’s makes most of their men’s jeans up to boys’ size 20 (30 inch waist) and usually have a 25/26 inch inseam.
Larger butches don’t have it any easier. The bigger the men’s waist goes, the wider the pant leg goes too, and usually women hold their weight in different places than men do. Fabric tends to bunch in the crotch area, the ass is saggy, and usually they’re too long. This is why there are specialty stores for larger feminine women; unfortunately, there’s no such thing for masculinely expressed ones. So there are a couple of things you can do. Experiment with a ton of brands. This is tedious and usually makes you feel like shit about yourself; at least, it did for me when I had a hard time buying jeans. Hopefully, my research and experience can save you some of this trauma. I found that there were a couple of Levi’s that fit well me well, but often I had more luck with Old Navy jeans, and even though I had jeans that fit and looked cute, they were mostly carpenter type jeans. It was REALLY hard to find jeans that were big enough in the waist that didn’t look horrible anywhere else, and because I have good legs, they were never tight enough. This is actually why I fell in love with Lucky’s – They have sizes up to 42, and they fit my body type really well.
Larger than that? Feminine build? Don’t fret, you still have some options that are going to make you look great. Casual Male 626 Blue jeans might be for you. They’re not too “gappy” at the waist and still fit well through hips and thighs. And if you hate shopping in stores, or in exclusively men’s stores, these websites have great return policies, so you can have stuff delivered to your house and try them out there, and send them back without much hassle.
A quick segue to tailoring, which will also be covered in depth at a later date, but as far as jeans go, many of us shorter butches end up rolling jean cuffs. Sometimes it’s cute, and can work really well with a boot, or skater sneaker type look. Most times, with real shoes, it just doesn’t look right. The trick here is to find a good tailor. A really good tailor who can not just cut and hem your jeans, which looks horrible because it doesn’t have the same kind of wash or finish as the original, and it looks silly, but s/he will cut off the cuff, shorten the jeans, and reattach the original cuff. This looks flawless – though it can take a while to find someone who is talented enough to do this. And it will cost you a bit, but trust, it’s worth it.
Outside of the dress pants that I have to work in, jeans are the most prominent leg wear in my closet, and a good pair of jeans can go with almost any kind of outfit. Jeans can be worn with a shirt and tie just as easily as they can with a tee shirt and hoodie. And when it comes down to it, there’s almost nothing hotter than a butch in a pair of jeans that fit well. And an A frame undershirt. Barefoot. Not that this image is stereotypical or anything. But um. Yeah. Damnnnn.
Annnyway. This is where this blog becomes interactive – tell me about what jeans you LOVE, and where you get them!
**EDIT** Today, Nov 3, at the LUCKY BRAND website, get $35 off any purchase of $100 or more**