Ethical Denim from FashionABLE *** UPDATED

Several months ago, I mentioned that I was planning a great denim reconnaissance mission to find responsibly made jeans which to replace my well-worn and well-loved Levi’s. I was  Then Hubs and I decided to double down on our savings plans so that we could save up for a down payment on a house, and spending upwards of $100 on a pair of jeans simply wasn’t an option. Over the summer, both of my trusty pairs of Levi’s met their holey ends, and I made do with a couple of pairs of second-hand thrift store jeans that I tailored into skinny jeans. Fast forward to now, over one month since moving into the new house, and the great denim reconnaissance mission is back on!

But, exciting changes have happened in the ethical denim world since I was last in the market for jeans. In August, FashionABLE launched their line of denim, and last week, Everlane also put out a denim line. I was especially excited to hear about FashionABLE’s plans for denim since I only live an hour away from their flagship store!

I managed a very quick visit last week while I was in town to DJ at Nashville’s local Friday night swing dance. Since I was driving down after a full workday, I arrived about 40 minutes before the store’s closing. This isn’t a sponsored post, it’s just me sharing my whirlwind experience with the store.

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So first things first, the FashionABLE store is small but gorgeous. I was so focused on trying on jeans before they closed that night that I only got shots of the outside and the dressing room, but I have already determined that I must go back when I have time to ooh and aah over all the jewelry and bags!

As my time was limited, I set to work on trying on jeans immediately. I’m fairly old fashioned when it comes to a lot of things, and jeans are no exception. I prefer a more basic, classic style. Long before setting foot into the store, I had already determined the criteria for my ideal pair of jeans:

  • High waist
  • Dark denim wash
  • No holes or distressing
  • Skinny jeans

Having done my homework on the store’s website ahead of time, I knew that none of the styles being offered would fully satisfy all the criteria on my list. I tried to keep an open mind; if I was going to purchase denim from FashionABLE, I knew I would have to be willing to compromise on something.

I also had fairly low expectations of finding a great fit. My waist usually measures 27-28″, but I have a generous 41″ hip, and finding any pair of pants that manages to fit my hip, thigh, and waist is a near-miraculous feat.

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THE SKINNY – CARLA WASH, SIZE 30, $128

The first pair I tried on was a mid-rise skinny jean in a size 30 that fit 3 of the 4 criteria (everything but the high rise). It had a beautiful, solid, dark indigo wash with traditional khaki-colored finishing thread. The denim was a heavier weight than I was expecting and had a little less give and stretch than most denim on the market. These fit me perfectly in the hip, were a little tight across the thigh, and were just a smidge too big in the waist (in more technical terms, I’d say they were probably .5″ too large – not large enough to warrant a belt, but not perfectly tight either). But they looked great on and felt amazingly durable. I could tell they would not be wearing out anytime soon.

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THE HIGH RISE – ELVIRA WASH, SIZE 30, $148

Having been highly impressed by the Carla jeans, I went back to try a high-rise option, of which FashionABLE offers two options: the Elvira wash, a black skinny jean with minimal distressing, and the Lorena wash, a medium-light was with holes in the knees. The Lorena was entirely too far outside of my comfort zone, but I decided the Elvira was worth a try.

I was slightly shocked that the size 30 was much too large on me. There was a major gap in the back of the waist and the skinny pant legs felt more like a straight leg. I went back for a 29…then a 28…

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THE HIGH RISE – ELVIRA WASH, SIZE 28, $148

Things improved a lot once I managed to get in the right size, and it dawned on me that if one were to actually adjust sizing by the waist measurements of a pair of jeans, it was only natural (but horribly confusing) that I would be a size 28 in a pair of jeans that sits at my 28″ natural waist, but that I would be a size 30 in a mid-rise jean that sits just below my waist, and area which measures closer to 29-30″. I’m not sure the sizing difference was intentionally done on their part, but it was an epiphany for me!

As for the jeans themselves, these were so comfy and were very classy in a rock-star kind of way. The fit was absolutely perfect, and the weight of the denim was light and stretchy. If black denim was my thing, I’d buy these in a heartbeat!

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THE VERDICT

Ultimately, I felt like I had two very solid, responsibly made denim options, and that in and of itself is enough for me to call this shopping trip a big win! Not to mention feeling great about supporting a company with a beautiful mission.

In the end, the skinny jean in the Carla wash came home with me. I was excited about the prospect of having a slightly heavier denim option as we start to transition into the cooler months, and despite my love and adoration of high-waisted pants, I felt that I already had that need satisfied in my current closet. A mid-rise will get me just outside my comfort zone, and I’m looking forward to many years of enjoying these very classic skinny jeans.

Interested in getting your own pair of FashionABLE jeans? Although this post is in no way sponsored or requested by FashionABLE, I would be honored and so appreciative if you would use my referral link, which gives me a $20 discount on future FashionABLE purchases http://fashionable.refr.cc/annawray.

So what do you think about FashionABLE’s denim options? Know of another ethical denim brand I should be checking out? Leave me a comment – I’d love to know all about it!

Cheers,

Anna Signature

*** UPDATE ***

In the interest of being fully transparent with you all, I want to let you know that just a few days after writing this post, once I had the chance to wear the new jeans beyond the dressing room, it became woefully apparent that the Carla jeans were not going to work for me.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the jeans and everything to do with the fit for my body.

The reason I’m so in love with high-waisted jeans is that I can put them on and never think about them again. No worries that there is a revealing gap between my shirt and my jeans when I crouch down, no need to pull them back up after sitting, etc. In the few hours I wore the  FashionABLE Carla jeans in “combat conditions,” I felt like I was constantly worried that the jeans weren’t fitting right, I was tugging at the waistband, or I was re-adjusting underwear that the jeans seemed intent on pulling down every time I sat down and stood up. When I changed back into my high-waisted jeans, it was like my body and mind breathed a sigh of relief at the sheer comfort and mental peace I was experiencing by contrast.

Thankfully I was able to return the jeans, and while there I made a second attempt with the Elviras. The fit on these are still perfect, but the lightly distressed black denim doesn’t suit my style or personality. I hate that ultimately none of the inaugural FashionABLE denim line worked for me, but I still love the company and the product, so I’ll definitely be watching to see what their spring line looks like!

 

2 thoughts on “Ethical Denim from FashionABLE *** UPDATED

  1. I totally feel ya on the “hard to find good quality denim that fits my body type” front! I am six feet tall and a straight body type (basically no hips! haha). So I immediately need a 34″ inseam, which this company doesn’t offer. In fact basically all the ethical brands I’ve looked at don’t offer longer inseams. So…long story short, (and I always need to try on first), I’ve looked everywhere in the town I live. I’m still stuck in getting my cheapie Old Navy tall length mid-rise skinny jeans that I’ve been wearing for years (and buying every year or so because they simply don’t last much longer than that!). I also have decided that anything lower rise is out for me, though a mid rise usually works well on me! The problem with all the high rise jeans I’ve tried is they expect women to have a narrower waist and wider hips. I don’t, so I end up with a too tight waist, or baggy in the hips. Sigh. I’m sure living in a small city in northern Ontario doesn’t help 🙂 Good luck to you and good on not compromising what you want!

    Like

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