Who makes the best Curvy Fit Denim?
Let me preface this post by saying that I have no idea how ethical American Eagle denim is. While this article states that at least some of American Eagle’s line is made in the same factory as Everlane’s denim, the pairs I tried on were produced in Mexico. The reason I’m sharing fit details anyway is because, especially in the case of denim, purchasing the best fitting pair is more sustainable than buying several pairs of new jeans that pinch, pull, or fall down, and that you’ll ultimately have to abandon. This post contains affiliate links.
I have a tendency to “grow” in the summertime. And by that I mean, for at least the past three years, I have gained another inch around my hips by the end of August. I don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with my body, but it’s really disconcerting to not fit into any of your pants when cooler weather rolls back around. I have grown tired of having to purchase new denim every season, but until they come out with a better option for fall and winter weather, this is where I find myself.
I tried to find some secondhand and vintage pairs on Ebay, but ended up spending money on items that didn’t end up fitting as I’d expected, and so, I squeezed myself into last season’s pants, hoping that they’d stretch out.
Last season, I stocked up on Everlane’s Button Fly Cigarette Jeans because they fit well through the leg, but they were never perfect. The stretch denim pulled at the button fly in an unflattering way, so with a little weight gain, they became practically impossible to wear with any confidence.
I decided that if I was going to have any hope of fitting into a pair of jeans for more than one season, I should face the fact that my proportions call for Curvy Fit. My waist is just under 29” and my hips are about 42” around. Even though some would consider me “thin” at a size 8, the vast majority of denim is not well suited to my proportions, and either gaps at the waist or won’t even go over my hips. I know that finding denim that fits is a universal struggle and it’s not just me, but I’m glad that major brands are creating specific lines for “curvy” or pear-shaped figures.
I decided to try two new styles from two popular denim brands:
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Everlane Curvy Fit Denim vs. American Eagle Curvy Super Hi-Rise Jegging
In this post, I’m wearing:
Everlane Curvy Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny Jean in Regular Length, Size 29, $68
American Eagle Curvy Super Hi-Rise Jegging, Size 8, $49.95
Everlane’s Curvy Jean is made with a mid-weight denim composed of 87% cotton, 12% polyester, and 1% elastane. American Eagle’s lightweight jegging is made with 90% cotton, 8% polyester, and 2% elastane. So there’s actually more synthetic material in the Everlane style than in the AE style.
Everlane’s denim is more substantial and feels more like a vintage, heavyweight denim, which I think makes them look more expensive and flattering. However, what you gain in appearance you lose in comfort. The American Eagle style feels like a lightweight denim, but it’s not thin like a typical jegging, so it still holds its shape.
Everlane for quality, AE for comfort
Everlane Curvy Fit comes in sizes 23-35. AE Curvy Fit comes in sizes 00-24.
The Rise and Inseam
Everlane boasts an 11” rise on the Curvy Denim while AE’s Super Hi-Rise styles come in an 11.25” rise. That extra .25” makes a big difference on my almost 5’7” frame, and I find the AE style much more comfortable around the waist as a result. The reality is that making one rise for all heights and sizes just doesn’t work. My sister is 5’3” and requires much smaller measurements on a high rise style than I do. Meanwhile, I could probably do with even more room in the rise.
Both Everlane’s and AE’s regular length inseam is 28.5”
Waist to Hip Ratio
Both Everlane and AE adjusted their waste to hip ratio to account for larger hips. Just from wearing these, however, it feels like AE adjusted them more than Everlane. On the online listing for this style, they mention that jeans typically use a 10” difference between waist and hip, but they used a 13” difference. Everlane’s size chart indicates about a 9” difference in waist and hip measurements on their curvy fit versus a 7-ish” difference on their standard skinny jeans.
Of course, both are accounting for stretch in the denim, so I measured the AE jeans and discovered that their actual measurement difference is also about 9”. The main difference ends up being the weight and stretch of the denim rather than a huge difference in ratio.
It’s a toss-up
Now that my lifestyle has changed from one where I’m on my feet all day to one where I’m sitting in classes and at work, comfort and flexibility have become more important considerations.
While I was able to purchase the Everlane denim with store credit accumulated through this blog, the rise and rigidity of the fabric are ultimately deal-breakers for me, even though I like the wash better and appreciate the eco-friendly production.
The comfort just isn’t there, and winter is hard enough without wearing constricting pants. American Eagle’s denim has a lot of pluses - from size inclusivity to local access - and those make up for some of their sustainability pitfalls, at least for now.