Feeling Lucky, jeans?

By Mir
March 10, 2009

Why, yes. I am here to talk about my adventures in jeans shopping, again.


Once upon a time, long ago and far away, I bought a pair of Lucky brand jeans for a paltry $10. And lo, they are the most wondrous pair of jeans in the history of the universe, for they are soft and fit well through a variety of size changes; they are the only jeans I’ve ever owned which not only fit me in the waist AND in the hips BUT also have a little give in the thigh area, thereby accommodating my “problem area” (yes, they are not so much thighs as they are ASS OVERFLOW: You’re welcome!) through a bit of weight fluctuation.

I lurve them. And I thought they were discontinued. And I wept.

Ever since the purchase of those jeans (I don’t remember when it was, but I do know that it was before I moved, so a couple of years ago at the very least), I have always become very! excited! any time I see Lucky jeans show up at TJ Maxx or other discount stores. I grab them all up in my size and try them all on, and then I cry because they’re never the same cut.

Except that a few weeks ago I was at TJ Maxx and they had Luckys, and I mentally steeled myself for disappointment, but gathered them up, anyway, and went and tried them on, and OHMYGOSHSOSOFTSUCHGREATFIT.

I may have squealed, a little.

Now, all was not completely rosy. On the one hand, the denim was the softest I’d ever felt, and the fit was not only perfect through the waist/hips/thighs, but the length was perfect as well. (The standard length for Lucky jeans is a 32″ inseam, which is actually a tad long for me. My original pair can only be worn with heels.) This new pair was clearly an irregular, because the inseam is closer to 31″, which renders them perfect for me to wear with flats or sneakers. Yay!

On the other hand, though, I had to decide if I was willing to buy jeans of the variety I have always claimed to hate: Pre-chewed. Pre-chewed jeans are strategically made to look worn when they’re brand new, and this phenomenon DRIVES ME UP A WALL. Why would I want my brand new pants to look like crap? These jeans had some fraying along the seams and a few small almost-holes and also—the major sticking point, for me—the color was strategically faded in a few places. I hate that, truly.

But I love Lucky. I am Lucky’s bitch, quite frankly. And I had just thrown away several pairs of jeans, and desperate times call for desperate measures, and so (I’m hanging my head here, truly) I bought them.

But then I got smart. These jeans were PROOF POSITIVE that the cut that fits me is NOT discontinued. Right? I started Googling the numbers on the tag of my new jeans, and then the numbers on the tag of my old Lucky jeans, and before long, I had cracked the code. My perfect jeans? Are Lucky Easy Riders.

(That’s what she said.)

Okay, so, VICTORY! Now I know what I need!

But, um, what I do NOT need is to pay $110 for a pair of jeans.

Naturally, I turned to eBay. I found two auctions of what I wanted—Lucky Easy Riders in a dark blue, uniform wash, in my size. I watched them. Okay, I STALKED THEM.

The first pair I nabbed for the absolute maximum of what I was willing to pay. So I reasoned that I should probably forget about the second pair, because although I was PRETTY SURE these were the right jeans, what if they weren’t? And I’d already spent money at the store and on this other pair. So I was going to skip the second pair.

Except they ended at a weird time, which meant that I actually, on a whim, was able to grab them for the opening bid, which was around $10. Crazy.

The first pair arrived in the mail day before yesterday, and the second pair came yesterday.

The first pair is NOT the same fit, but it’s very, very close. The thighs are a little bit more snug than my other ones. They will be perfect a few pounds from now.

The second pair IS the same fit, although (of course) they’re too long, so I’ll need to get them hemmed, but that’s not a big deal seeing as how I paid under $20 shipped for ’em. Major score.

The funny thing is that my two new pairs aren’t the same material (or label) at all, and neither of them are the same as the pair I’d gotten at the store, either. It’s the weirdest thing. The ones that are just a tiny bit too snug are not as heavy as the other ones, for example. All four pairs are supposedly the SAME FIT and just different… colors… I guess? But they are NOT. I’m not kidding—just take a look.

It’s like Lucky is actually making this pair of jeans in as many slightly different fabrics as possible, JUST TO DRIVE ME INSANE.

No, I don’t think that’s paranoid. Why do you say that?


  1. Megan

    Hmmm… can’t imagine why I can’t get jeans that fit. I have a totally logical system. It goes: if they’re $10 they fit. If they’re $5 they fit and they look fabulous. I do draw the line at jeans with sparkly things dusted on the ass or anything – there are some places I just wont go, even for $5.

  2. jennielynn

    They may have been originally purchased in Europe. Or maybe Lucky Brand is just messing with your head. It’s been known to happen.

  3. B

    My daughter got 2 pairs of Lucky Jeans for $8 a pair at a thrift shop. That’s when she fell in love with them. And yes, she totally keeps buying different pairs when she finds them for cheap, and they all fit differently, even if they’re all technically the same! Same story here!

  4. Leandra

    That is weird. Maybe they’re different “seasons” and so that’s why the fit/color is a little off.

  5. JennyM

    Hey, RueLaLa has a Lucky boutique going today, if you didn’t already know that. (Being the extremely pretty bargain shopper you are, you probably DID=.) Still a bit more than $10, but still quite a deal. And I see some Easy Riders… Just saying.

  6. Tammy

    Looks like you have essentially the same style, just different “washes”, so to speak. I bought a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans 2 years ago that I can’t find anymore. They almost got relegated to the bottom of the drawer before I decided to lose 20 lbs. They’re back up to the top of the pile now!

  7. Katie in MA

    Seems to me that you need RED-LABEL Lucky Easy Riders. Sort of like Johnny Walker Red except…completely different. :)

  8. tracy

    When they cut the fabric for clothes they cut through many many layers of fabric. So the ones on top end up being a different fit/size than the ones on the bottom. That is why even the same size/brand/style do not always fit the same.

    Its total BS but how I finally knew I wasn’t insane when 2 of the same pants fit totally different. It drives me (and my husband!) crazy because it takes 2 hours to find one pair of pants to fit the way I want.

  9. Amanda

    I can go into a store, put on four different pair of the same pair, size, fit, and color and they will all fit differently. Yes, I have tried this!

    I finally scored a good fit with a couple pair of Levis two years ago, and last year I figured I could just replace them with the same number…hahahaha Levi says! Not even close to the same fit, length, or color! They switch manufacturing companies, so the jeans come out differently. Fun for all concerned.

  10. ChristieNY

    Oh yes, been there with a different brand – they’re never the same fabric or fit despite the identical number on the tag inside, so frustrating! :(

    Enjoy your stash of Luckys, those look great! =)

  11. Groovecatmom

    Sophia’s mom keeps reminding me that the same size of the same exact style will often differ because when they are manufactured, they cut thru a whole stack of denim at once. The ones on the bottom end up being a wee bit bigger than the ones on the top, because the cut isn’t precise all the way down. She probably got that from Stacy and Clinton. I am sure glad she’s around, because I would be an even bigger slob without her.

  12. Marla

    I have the same problem with jeans…..for me these days, it’s Lee Jeans, relaxed stretch. I can’t stand bootleg either, and I have long legs…..I just don’t want to wear heels all the time cause it kills my back and feet. I just want simple, comfortable jeans made for and average size woman, not a skinny size 14. UGH!

    Glad to hear you got lucky(hee hee) with your new jeans!

  13. Lauren

    I’ve had the same problem with different washes fitting me totally differently. Also I bought the softest pair in the world (at half-off) but got a hole in the knee just a couple months later. Not the strongest denim, at least that particular wash (or pair?).

  14. The Other Leanne

    “She likes to look good…but it must be natural and easy.”
    I’m not sure I would describe your process of finding these jeans as “natural and easy.”
    I am addicted to GV “Amelia”, which come in a variety of colors and are very, um, forgiving. They are the only jeans I have found that a) fit me and b) do not look like my mother’s pants OR my niece’s pants and c) are affordable.

  15. Keyona

    So hilarious. I had to read Nothing Fits (which made me choke when you talked about your clitoris) and The Agony of (pants)Defeat and A fitting conundrum just to catch up.

    You poor thang. I am sure it’s a conspiracy. I see this sort of thing all.the.time. Really.

  16. elizabeth

    yes, cut thru layers for slightly different size pieces
    and they are sewn together by humans. the seven-year-olds in china (or mexico or the country du jour), while very good, are not perfect and there will be deviations in sewing things together.
    the different fabrics with the same style number on the other hand – a mystery.

  17. Little Bird

    I see at least two other people have said it, about how they cut giant stacks of fabric at once, to get the pieces for the jeans, but not the implement used to cut the fabric. I’ve always imagined it to be a sort of giant cookie-cutter.
    I feel your pain when it comes to finding jeans that fit. Old Navy USED to have the perfect jeans. The fit was perfect, the length was perfect, the color was perfect. And now? Not so much. I must remember the next time I find a style I like, to buy every pair that fits.

  18. Tracy

    I wish we had a thrift store that sales irregulars. It would be worth trying on numerous pairs to just find ONE perfect pair. Right now, I wear Levi’s 550 they are relaxed through the hip and thigh (which for me is a MUST) and I only wear bootcut, straight-leg isn’t flattering on me.
    I can also relate to the shopping trip. My hubbie decided when it comes to purses and jeans, he rather stay at home. I always tell him that I want to shop for these prior to leaving the house!

  19. Kate

    I wonder if you’ve stumbled into at least one pair of fakes. The tag on the “other” e-bay pair looks suspect.

  20. bob

    the labels on the EBay pairs are different. knock-offs? you may have contributed to a CBP felony. just thought you’d want to know.

  21. Mir

    People (that means Kate and Bob): The eBay pairs are from years back, that’s why the labels are different. They are not fakes. But thank you for your concern. ;)

  22. Nancy

    I am SO with you on the pre-chewed front. I’m coaching my 11year old in the same manner.

  23. Summer

    Are the too-long pair too long to wear with heels? Because if you have FOUR pairs of Lucky jeans, you could afford to set aside one pair as your date jeans. Your Gettin’ Lucky jeans, if you will.

  24. Half Assed Kitchen

    Those Lucky people. They’re just trying to keep us hopping. Same with Calvin Klein. And even Levis.

  25. BethR

    @Little Bird: the tool they use to cut the stacks of fabric is basically a jigsaw with a really long blade. If it’s a legit sweatshop, the cutter is actually tall enough to see over the stack of fabric to the pattern and wears a chainmail glove on their free hand.

  26. Jo

    Sorry, Mir, I laughed out loud when I saw the $110 price tag on your linked Luckys. I’ve decided to make my own jeans cuz I got tired of the hours and hours of shopping for them. So, yes, yards of stretch denim sitting in my closet and a custom pattern that fits me less and less with each dessert–of course that makes sense!

  27. Leah

    Looks like you need to one with the red label. I found a great pair of jeans one time at Kmart. Can’t find them anymore.

  28. Motherhood Uncensored

    I just sent you an invite to RueLaLa — today’s boutique.


    Cue angels singing.

  29. Jenn

    There is a store here in Canada called Bluenotes. The have the best idea _ever_ when it comes to jeans. They have 4 or 5 basic cuts in about 4 different colours each. Everybody I know fits one of the cuts well, including us curvier ones. Let me tell you, finding jeans that fit in the hips and didn’t leave me with a 2″ gap at the waist almost made me cry. The best part is that they have kept the same cut for at least 10 years now it is just the colours they change to follow the current style. I never remember what the cut I like is called, but they each have a unique stitching pattern on the pockets so I just match the new pair to the pair I am inevitably wearing and I am set. Best part? They are $40-$50 and often on 2 for 1 or at very least buy one get 50% off the next.

  30. Lucinda

    I agree with other posters. It’s a denim thing, jeans thing, whatever. I have gone to the store, picked up 3 pairs of the SAME jeans–same size, cut, color, etc. and had all 3 fit differently. It’s enough to drive a person to drink. That’s why I hate buying jeans.

  31. Lia

    They all fit so differently because when they laser cut the big pile of fabric they can’t possibly keep each layer exactly the same as the one above (try cutting a stack of paper to see what I mean). Then each piece is not necessarily matched with the same layer, so each pair is different. Crappy I know.

  32. MomCat

    Being married to a copyright attorney, my first reaction is that one of the pairs is counterfeit Lucky jeans. But if they fit and the price is right…well, you didn’t hear that from me!

  33. Emily

    I love lucky jeans, but I hate paying the regular price. I’ve gotten mine at the Lucky outlet for $60 a pair, if you catch the sales right you can get them buy one get one half off at the outlet. I found a better a selection of sizes and lengths at the outlet then the regular Lucky store.
    Just my two cents

  34. Kate Setzer Kamphausen

    Part of the trouble may be tolerance. No, not yours! “Tolerance” is sewn-manufacturing jargon for how much discrepancy the Lucky company is willing to put up with between different pairs of the same pattern jean, when the pairs emerge from the factory. Retail tolerance (depending on the company) can be as much as half an inch … and we all know what a HUGE difference half an inch can make in fit! AND if that half inch (or quarter-inch, or eighth-inch) happens more than once on the same pair – well, it can get really squirrelly.

    Even Chanel and other huge names have some small amount of tolerance. But the lower you go on the retail food chain, the bigger the tolerance gets, until by the time you get down to the disposable clothing (as a friend calls it!) at Rainbow or Dots, the same size will fit totally differently from pair to pair in the same store!


    Not that any of this fascinating (ahem) information helps – but it is kind of interesting.

  35. Headless Mom

    I love lucky’s too. Major score on the price. I cry a little when I have to pay 70$.

  36. Reagan

    Glad to hear someone’s having luck in the jeans department! I looooooathe shopping for jeans- they are never all alike, the sizes are wonky, and every time I love a pair, they change/discontinue them… Life is so cruel! ;)

  37. Lindy

    I can’t stand it when on occasion I’m jean shopping and I find jeans that fit really, really well. So I pick up another pair. Two pairs of the exact same size, cut and style, that were sitting on top of each other on the little shelves at the mall or wherever. The same damn batch number on the tag. And yet… one pair fits. And the other doesn’t. Not just like these are a little snugger in the thigh. I can’t get the second pair half way over my ass. Happens to me ALL the time. I just don’t understand.

  38. Lindy

    And congrats on the Luckys, and cheap. I’m jealous. I can never find jeans at TJ Maxx. I’m too damn short. Two years ago I did find a great GAP cut in my size and length (!!!!) and I am still convinced it was an early Christmas miracle.

  39. Lady M

    You’re the Singularity of the Traveling Pants. In the book (and movie), the same pair of pants fits four differently-shaped friends. But instead, you’ve got a bunch of supposedly same pants that fit differently. Glad you found them!

  40. Lady M

    You’re the Singularity of the Traveling Pants. In the book (and movie), the same pair of pants fits four differently-shaped friends. But instead, you’ve got a bunch of supposedly same pants that fit differently. Glad you found them!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  41. Dawn

    Oh. I see your mistake. You think that clothing manufacturers have some kind of STANDARD for these things. Like… oh, I don’t know… a PATTERN perhaps.

    Don’t be embarassed. It’s an easy mistake to make.

    The clothing manufacturers, they hate us.

    BUT! Very glad you managed to find 4 pairs of jeans that fit you. That is no mean feat.

  42. Karen

    very odd, woman! but then at least they all fit.

  43. Erin

    Mir, had me in stitches! no pun intended. Love it.

  44. ~annie

    You are not paranoid. This “same but different” thing happens all the time. I’ve had it happen more than once with shoes: Same brand and size but different color = different shoe entirely. Aargh. As to the jeans you bought at TJ Maxx – could you dye them and make them “new”?

  45. Ishkadebble

    Jeans never fit my muscular thighs or bootylicious ass without being way too big for my relatively slim waist. Until I found Lucky jeans at Costco. For 30ish a pair. There is a slight variation in fit between same size jean be it same or different colors… nicely explained by Kate in comment #36.

    Good luck!

    PS about 5 years ago, Nautica made some ultra awesome jeans that fit me even better than the Luckys… never been able to find them again tho. Wore my 3 pairs til they self destructed.

  46. becky

    I’m so glad you mentioned this. I found a pair of Lucky jeans at the Buffalo Exchange (pre-child) and loved them. Alas, they are 2 sizes too small right now. After reading this, I promptly went to ebay. And found a couple of pairs! Not for the amazing $10, but still a good price. I finally got them in the mail. Soft! Comfy! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it before. I’ve been meaning to get some jeans as nothing fits! I really hope I can lose some weight and get back into the original pair… Anyway, THANK YOU for the idea.

  47. Amelia

    Just got an ad for Lucky jeans from SmartBargains.com in my email and of course thought of you. They’ve got the Easy Rider fit for $49.99 with an additional 20% off right now. That comes to $39 or so, and I’m still too cheap for it…but I thought I’d pass it on…


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