With the start of Fall and the promise of Winter coming just around the corner, Hubs and I have found a need to cycle out the worn-out jeans in our wardrobes and replace them with new denim. I’m still on the hunt for great responsibly made denim for me, but a couple of weeks ago Hubs asked to make a trip to Diamond Gusset Jeans‘ store in Bon Aqua, Tennessee, and he hit the USA-Made denim jackpot.
Hubs had heard a radio endorsement for the company and was intrigued by the concept of the hallmark diamond gusset design of the jeans. Essentially there’s an extra diamond-shaped panel of fabric where the two front and two back panels of the pants would ordinarily meet at the crotch of the jeans. The idea here is that removing the 4-ply seam that most jeans have at the crotch means extra comfort without extra bagginess in a key comfort area, especially for men.
The key selling point for me was that, not only are these jeans manufactured in the USA, every stitch, thread, zipper, button, or rivet on these jeans was sourced from the USA. The salesman running the store while we were there says he’s seen and spoken to the employees sewing the jeans in their Blue Ridge, Georgia factory. Winning.
Another key factor that sold me on these jeans? The price. Most of their jeans styles run around $70 a pair. While that’s still a bit of an investment, it’s also significantly less than what I’ve seen for most ethical denim for women. Also winning.
So hubs and I took a Saturday to drive the hour and a half from Bowling Green to Bon Aqua (which is a little piece nowhere located about a half hour west of Nashville). The store isn’t much from the outside, with a large gravel parking lot and bars on the windows, but inside it is packed to the gills with denim and canvas pants. Sadly, Hubs has declined the opportunity to have me take dressing room pictures of him, but after the salesman and I sent hubs off to the dressing room with an armful of pants to try on, I was directed to the racks that held their three women’s’ styles: the Stretch Denim Tapered Leg Jean, the Backstage, and the Defender Motorcycle Jean.
While the selection overall was limited in styles and washes, in light of my recent disappointment with my purchase of the FashionABLE Carla jeans, I was excited to try Diamond Gusset’s tapered leg style.
WOMAN’S STRETCH DENIM TAPERED LEG JEAN, SIZE 30, $70
If you remember from my last post, I have four primary criteria for my ideal pair of jeans:
- High waist
- Dark denim wash
- No holes or distressing
- Skinny jeans
The Diamond Gusset tapered leg jeans fit all of these, so immediately, things were looking good! They were a classic style jean, with no frills or exceptional styling. The denim was clearly a high quality, thick and durable fabric, and the dye was a nice and even dark indigo. Every size had several lengths to meet the needs of short and tall women. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives stop. As is the usual experience for me, I had found a jean of wonderful quality that was too tight for my thunder thighs of glory and too loose for 28″ waist. With only 1% elastane stretch, there was very little give in these pants, and even in the size 30, you can see that they are TIGHT across my thighs, actually cutting into the area where the top of my thigh joins at my hip. But the size 30 was also gapping at the back of my waist, so sizing up wasn’t an option either. Since the price was so reasonable, I did consider sizing up and tailoring the waist, but the sizes increase in 2-inch increments, and sizing up to a 32 meant I would be taking in 4 inches of waistband, which is a tall order for darts.
We ended up walking out of the store with 3 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of canvas pants, and 2 leather belts for Hubs, so the trip was definitely a major win for our purposes, as well as a major win for men with large thighs like Hubs (we’re a pear-shaped family). If you’re a woman of less dramatic proportions than I (I’m a 27″-28″ waist and a 41″ hip) and need a durable pair of high-waisted, nearly no-stretch skinny jeans in a dark wash, definitely check these out!
I’m still on the hunt for great fitting responsibly made jeans for me. Bonus points if I can find a brand that carries a jean that fits me, in the styles I love, and will be a brand that I can come back to year after year whenever I wear through the denim I have in my closet.
Have any leads on an ethical denim brand for me to try? I’d love to know what you’ve found that works for you! Leave a comment and I’ll check it out!