inspiration · project · RTW · sizing

On RTW jeans (and brand aesthetics!)

Do you ever find that you really like the concept and aesthetic of a brand, but that (for whatever reason!) that brand’s products just don’t seem to love you back? I have this problem with Roxy. This is a brand that I often see about. I like to surf and snowboard, and Roxy are one of the top women’s ‘active lifestyle’ brands you see around. Aesthetically, I love a lot of their clothes, but I rarely (RARELY) buy any of them. I would say that a lot of the reason for this is that, well, I sew my own clothes!

But there are still some cases where I would be more than happy to pay for items of Roxy clothing, provided they are high quality and where it would be quite labour-intensive to make them myself. Recently I’ve been realising that I’m in need of at least one more pair of jeans, and I decided to spend a little bit of time looking at the Roxy jeans section. They have quite a few pairs of jeans on the website that I really like the look of, and the price range (£50-£80) didn’t seem too bad, so I thought I’d maybe order a pair and if they weren’t quite what I had in mind, I could always return them.

Roxy ‘Torah’ Jeans – £75
I think these are so cute!

So I had a quick look at the sizing page to see what to order, and realised that there IS another reason (aside from the sewing) that I don’t tend to buy anything from Roxy. Their sizes. Now, I realise that I do not have what some may term a ‘slender, boyish’ physique, but NEITHER would I say that I am particularly large (I wear a UK size 10-12) so I was a little bit taken aback to see that, according to my hip and waist measurements, I am in their ‘XL’ size. And over the past couple of years, I have probably lost a few inches around my hips and waist. This probably explains why I haven’t had any Roxy jeans before this – they didn’t fit! And if I’m really honest, I doubt very much that they’d fit very well now. There is a difference of over 10 inches between my waist and hips/bum, and I think it’s fair to say that although these jeans fit this model very well, she is definitely of a more ‘slender’ physique! I don’t have many photographs of my bum and thighs (because HELLO, why would I want to photograph them??) but I’ve managed to find one that I think will illustrate the difference in physiques between me and the Roxy model:

Prominent bum? CHECK. ‘Full’ thighs? CHECK.
No sign of a prominent bum or even moderately full thighs!

So, after taking a step back and thinking about it for a minute, I decided that forking out 75 quid on a pair of jeans that will be too big around the waist and too small around the hips/bum would just be silly. I’d be forever hitching them up at the back, and feeling paranoid every time I sat down. Now, this is not to say ‘Wah wah wah, woe is me, RTW clothes don’t fit me!’ (although a little bit of me is wondering why ‘active lifestyle’ brands like this seem to think that because you surf/snowboard/ski/skate etc. you must be a size 6/8 and not particularly curvy, but let’s not even get started on that eh?) Although there was a time that I would go and try on RTW clothes and often come away feeling like crying because I didn’t fit the clothes, now that I sew, I just think RTW clothes are badly designed for me. And honestly, that is a really empowering thought.

So. Rather than grumping about the jeans not being designed for my body type, and buying them anyway, I’ve decided that this time I’ll be proactive, and will make my own pair of cute, but well fitted jeans, no matter how labour-intensive it feels. Surely it will save time and money in the long run to invest in making a well-fitting jeans pattern for myself, than spending a small fortune on some jeans that I will refuse to wear in fear of the dreaded builder’s bum? (OH HAI! Pls look at my ASSCRACK!!)

I’ve made Mr Cuckoo a pair of jeans now, and although I know that getting a pair of jeans to fit me well is going to be…er… a challenge, at least I know that I’m capable of sewing them up once I’ve got them to fit properly. So, I’d better go and dust off those traced Thurlow pattern pieces eh?

In closing, does anyone else ever feel that they love a certain brand’s aesthetic, but feel like the clothes just aren’t designed for you? Please tell me I’m not the only one over here!

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4 thoughts on “On RTW jeans (and brand aesthetics!)

  1. RTW jeans rarely fit me, either. My figure sounds pretty similar to yours, and making my own jeans to fit that worked out so much better than trying to find something in a store! I did find that the Jean-ius class on Craftsy was quite helpful in working through the fitting process and the jeans details. Since I took that one, they've added another one on designer jeans details, which I haven't done yet, but I'm quite interested. So they may be worth checking out for you.

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  2. Oooh, I'm excited to hear about your experiences making jeans! I'm a huge fan the AllSaints aesthetic, but I don't actually own anything of theirs because I feel guilty buying RTW and I'm way too cheap to fork out the cash for AllSaints stuff, even when it's on sale (not to mention the fact that neither black nor white really suit me). But I love looking at all their things for inspiration!

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  3. Yeah, the guilt over buying RTW stuff is another reason why I don't tend to buy clothes for myself, I have to admit!

    I always have a nosey in the AllSaints windows but I don't ever go in, because their stuff just seems 'too cool' for me. I feel like I'm not hip enough to buy their clothes! 😀

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