NYDJ review

NYDJ tag in shadows

Embarrassingly, I've gained a few extra pounds over the last year and a half, probably from too much commuting, too much sitting, not enough walking, and general discontent. As a result, my jeans are all fitting tighter than they should, pulling into a noticeable, uncomfortable line across my thighs. So this fall and winter I've resorted to wearing primarily leggings and tunics, which feel like I'm somehow cheating and wearing pajamas to work, though acceptable because it's a school with a casual dress code.

Most people, if smart, will find a jeans brand or two that fit their body type well and then stick to those brands. For me, the brands that tend to fit have been primarily Lauren by Ralph Lauren and (to a lesser degree) DKNY in bootcut styles that help balance out my curvy thighs, and which I can occasionally find at Goodwill barely used, sometimes even half off.

But lately I've also been wearing Not Your Daughter's Jeans (NYDJ), after buying a slim-fit pair on deep clearance at Nordstom Rack, finding them more comfortable than my DKNY jeans. Of course the average 40-something female is going to have a different shape than the average 16-year-old, but we don't need that rubbed into our faces on top of all the other beginning signs of cultural ageism. (For the record, I didn't have the average 16-year-old body shape even when I was 16.) And of course a percentage of stretch is crucial for making a comfortable pair of jeans, unless you happen to be shaped like a boy.

I had vaguely seen the NYDJ brand before, but the name itself was a big turn-off since I'm not a mother and have no desire to wear mommy-branded comfort clothes. But then I found out these jeans, unlike most, are made in the U.S. And that I can support: quality in renewed local manufacturing over globalized mass manufacturing.

NYDJ tag in shadows

But in case Nordstrom prices are still too high, I also see NYDJ at Goodwill, and, right now as I write, am wearing a black pair of their bootcut jeans that I got half off at Goodwill for seven dollars. That's right: a made-in-the-U.S. pair of premium jeans for the price of a couple cups of cafĂ© coffee. (Though to be honest, they're a size too big, so I'll probably look for a smaller, slimmer pair.) The hardest part about buying thrift-store jeans, however, is finding the right cut, people's castoffs changing according to fickle trends—flare to bootcut to low-rise to skinny to boyfriend. More than following trends designed mainly to sell more clothes, we should be wearing clothes that fit and flatter our individual body shapes, that are made well, and that are made sustainably. And if you can find a brand of jeans that does all that, who cares what stupid name it has?

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