Shopping for jeans. Did you just cringe a little bit? Yeah, me too. Glad we share mutual feelings! Let me tell you something: I have always loathed shopping for jeans. You see, I have a unique body shape and quite frankly, my stomach is significantly smaller than my hips, thighs, and bum. We are all unique and finding clothes that fit us well can be a struggle.
All my years of hating jeans shopping left me cycling through pair after pair. I would try on a seemingly perfect fit, only to be frustrated weeks later when they weren’t what I imagined. Now, finding ethical jeans? Don’t get me started. Over the years, I have come to realize that I mainly purchase second hand denim (probably where my problem with fit comes from). But let’s get real: finding ethically made jeans that are affordable and fit well seemed like a figment of my fashion imagination.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon DSTLD jeans. Of course, I poured myself a nice big glass of skepticism. First of all, I live outside the USA, so if I ordered a pair and didn’t like the fit or fabric or something, returning the jeans would be difficult and time consuming. Secondly, I HATE SHOPPING FOR JEANS! So why would this company be any different?
Surprising (honestly, I was like, “really, I’m doing this right now?!”) I ordered a pair of High Waisted Skinny Jeans in Black Power Stretch. They arrived in a birthday package from my family and I half smiled, half cringed, as I held them in my hand (dramatic, I realize). My husband wished me good luck and I slipped them on, eyes closed (why do we all do this!?)
Wait, what? Hang on. Let me check. Walking. Deep lunge. Okay, the real test, deep squat. And just like that, I have a new favorite company. The fit is not 100% perfect (notice a bit of bunching around the zipper and knees). However, they are 100% comfortable. Looking back, I’m kind of shocked at some of the high waisted denim I squeezed myself into. Sorry stomach. I ordered a size 27 waist/ 30 (regular) length, and I’m a biiiig fan. My favorite fit is the high waisted look, but not when you can’t feel at ease in them after a meal. The power stretch of these pants provides the perfect amount of give. In other words, they are definitely burrito friendly! I wish they were a little more fitted around the ankles, but perhaps next time I will try a size down and see what happens. I am already eyeing this same style in dark vintage.
Okay, great: these pants are comfortable, stylish, great quality, and affordable. Even better, they also happen to made responsibly. This was one of the first things I searched for when I came across DSTLD’s website. Sure, maybe there is a denim brand out there that has a pair of jeans that fit me tailor made. Chances are, they will not use ethical practices. They will more than likely be made in a factory faraway, by a human being who is not compensated with a living wage to support their family, who is completely overworked and overwhelmed, and who sewed my pants in the thick, exhausting heat of the day with no breaks. This description happens to be the norm in the fashion industry. When I noticed DSTLD’s three ethical standards, I wanted to support this brand:
We demand a higher standard not just in denim, but also in labor practices and conditions. We carefully screen our suppliers, laundries, and factories to ensure our products are fairly manufactured and 100% sweatshop-free.
Our line is equipped with top-of-the-line premium fabrics, many of them eco-friendly and fully sustainable. When possible, we use natural dyes and softening techniques to achieve our denim’s striking range of hues and irresistibly soft handfeel.
The goal of our direct-to-you, middleman-free stand is not only to filter out extra steps and excess markup. It is also an effort to preserve the integrity of our line and honor our relationship with clients.
Beyond these standards, I was also intrigued by DSTLD’s firm policy when it comes to orders and shipping: “In order to offer the best online shopping experience, we’re committed to providing free shipping and returns on all orders. However, shipping a single tee or tank consumes valuable environmental and material resources, like fuel, packaging, and paper. In an effort to conserve these resources, we do not fulfill single tee or tank orders.” Though I know of and respect many ethical companies who regularly fulfill even the smallest of orders, I admire DSTLD’s heart behind this decision.
Finally, I was intrigued by DSTLD’s curated selection of products. As fast fashion remains focused on producing hundreds of products to try and please everyone and make a sale, DSTLD stays true to their vision by offering high quality, effortlessly versatile closet essentials that will last years. “As our name suggest, we focus on simple design, superior quality, and a pared-down product selection in order to deliver the perfect core wardrobe. We’re inspired by understated, modern style and live by a fundamental, edited color palette: black, white, grey, and denim.” Quality over quantity, anyone?
Are they the perfect jeans? I sure love them. Are they good quality? I can feel it. Were they made responsibly? As far as my research has shown me, yes. If you’re a capsule wardrobe lover or are simply in need of beautifully crafted closet essentials that you can easily dress up or pare down, DSTLD is what you’re looking for.
Additional note: I recently reached out to DSTLD, attempting to gain more information about factory locations and more thorough production details. I have yet to hear an answer, but will update this post accordingly if I do.