Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

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B4Xt3r
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Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by B4Xt3r » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:23 am

Hi All,

I am engineer that supports high-tech manufacturering. Its not uncommon for the other engineers to wear button-down w/jeans. I'm interested if someone can recommend to me a manufacturer of men's jeans that are "nice enough" to pass in a work environment but that have the lowest average cost of ownership (i.e. tot $/ tot year(s) that they last).

Thanks!

-B4xt3r

livesoft
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:28 am

I wore jeans with Brooks Brothers dress shirts for decades. In your situation, I would ask my colleagues. FWIW, I wore Levis, Wrangler, and Lee jeans. Those are just the big name brands without doing "designer" which became a fad that I don't think lasted. But maybe you are a woman and need a different brand.

I still wear jeans that are 20+ years old because they go from "work" jeans to "home" jeans to "yard" jeans. I don't have a pair newer than 3 years old.
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Shackleton
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Shackleton » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:51 am

For men’s jean, the Levi 541 style is a more updated style without being trendy that is often on sale and should give you years of use. It is my husband’s favorite. I am assuming you are a man, but if you are a woman I’d still probably go with those brands since a woman asking that question wouldn’t really care about fashion.
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danaht
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by danaht » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:57 am

Target occasionally has a 20% off jeans sale. When the sale happens - I get the Denizen (from Levis) Relaxed Fit 285. These are comfortable jeans that truly are relaxed fit. A lot of the other "relaxed fit" jeans are not really that relaxed fit. These jeans are good quality, look good - and I wear these to work.
Last edited by danaht on Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

trirod
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by trirod » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:58 am

I like Banana Republic jeans for work. Full price they are around $80 a pair but they are frequently available at 50% off online, so that’s when I buy them.

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bottlecap
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by bottlecap » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:58 am

My Wranglers look nice and run about $17 a pair. I've never been in a professional setting where jeans were acceptable, though, so I don't know what exactly fits the bill for you.

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dcabler
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by dcabler » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:59 am

Levi's for me. I did the cheap ones from Old Navy a couple of times and they never really lasted all that long before a hole appeared somewhere. So back to the Levi's like I've been wearing since High School (late 50's now). Oh and I'm an engineer, too. :D
Last edited by dcabler on Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:02 am

Uniqlo selvedge. $50/pair, $40 when on sale. Dark indigo wash, and holds up pretty well. Been basically alternating btwn two pairs for the last 3 years

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LiveSimple
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by LiveSimple » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:11 am

Walmart has Wrangler jeans for $5, during the thanksgiving sale.

stan1
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by stan1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:12 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:28 am
In your situation, I would ask my colleagues.
Have to agree with this (or at least look at what they are wearing). Look at what brands and colors your bosses, colleagues and customers who have a body type similar to yours are wearing. Dark indigo is usually a safe color. Most jeans have visible logos so its not too hard to see what brand they are. For durability stick with 100% cotton (no "stretch" lycra). You may realize that your co-workers wear their newer jeans to work and as they get worn older pairs get relegated to weekend wear. In a professional engineering environment I don't think you necessarily want lowest cost so I don't really agree with your selection criteria.
Last edited by stan1 on Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Watty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:14 am

About five years ago a cotton shortage developed and the quality of modestly priced clothing really went down a lot as manufactures tried using lower grades of cotton and tried substituting other materials. This seems to be an ongoing problem since there is a lot of new demand for cotton in countries like China that have a developing middle class.

I have not bought any recently but Costco sells their Kirkland brand of jeans if you are looking at saving money. They used to be pretty good but the last pair I bought was not as good so you should check them out carefully.

When I used to wear jeans to work I would rotate the jeans out when they got a bit faded so I also had a lot of non-work jeans.

I always just used blue since with some color like black it may be more obvious if you are wearing the same jeans for many days in a row.

livesoft
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:46 am

Never pay full price for any jean, especially name brands. You can buy 2 pairs (buy one, get one free) and rotate them without washing them.

If you want them to last, then don't wash them, so don't get them dirty. Put them on last just before your commute. Take them off just when you get home. I wear a dress shirt about an hour when I go to lunch with former colleagues or to another appointment. So at most 3 hours a week. Since my appointments are with different people, I can wear the same outfit multiple times a week if needed without washing.
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by BruDude » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:58 am

www.reddit.com/r/rawdenim

Your life has now been forever changed. You’re welcome. Also, RIP wallet.

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Kenkat
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Kenkat » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:59 am

I like Levi’s 559.

open_circuit
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by open_circuit » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:03 am

I've had your job, but I never wore jeans while supporting the factory, only slacks (Dockers or similar). I was quite junior in my career at the time, and it was important to me to appear professional.

I no longer have a factory support position, but my vote is for Levi 505 or 569 -- something slim cut without being a hipster skinny jean.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:08 am

Got a pair of Everlanes for Christmas. Very nice.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by bungalow10 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:13 am

My office also wears almost exclusively jeans with collared shirts.

Most men wear Banana Republic jeans, which seem okay but not great. I (female) wear Madewell (expensive) and Everlane (not expensive and surprisingly good quality denim). I did purchase some Everlane for DH last spring and they are holding up well.

Skip the Old Navy and similar "soft" denim, it's comfy when you get it, but doesn't hold up. Don't buy anything with whiskering, light colored stitching, pocket designs, or any fraying. Make sure they are slim or straight fit, don't go with relaxed or wide leg styles. Definitely no stretch. Always wear a belt and make sure your shoes are high quality.
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sillysaver
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by sillysaver » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:18 am

Watty wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:14 am
About five years ago a cotton shortage developed and the quality of modestly priced clothing really went down a lot as manufactures tried using lower grades of cotton and tried substituting other materials. This seems to be an ongoing problem since there is a lot of new demand for cotton in countries like China that have a developing middle class.
Another thing that has changed is a lot of the manufacturers are using a mix of cotton and synthetic fabric for "stretch." The resulting garment is comfortable, but to me it doesn't have that old denim feel anymore. Not sure how widespread this practice is, but Gap and Old Navy are both doing this.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:26 am

For some, it depends on the ongoing allocation of muscle to non-muscle with age (closer to retirement).

Levi, Lee, Wrangler >> Skinny to Trim :happy to "Comfort Fit" to "Relaxed Fit" :D to "Cargo Fit with elastic waist" :shock:

Cotton/shrink to Cotton blend/scratchy to zero cotton/funky.

It seems clothing quality has gone "South" and spending more for higher quality and better fit is the best option.

What happened to the sizing????

In many brands, today's XXL was yesterday's L ?? :shock:
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FlyAF
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by FlyAF » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 am

Lowest cost of ownership for jeans? really?

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:36 am

The key with jeans is you only get so many washes. Then they are dead and start to fray/rip.

I find the color and fit (usually Lee Regular Fit with a lighter to medium color). I then buy 3-4 pairs of identical jeans. Then, rotate through them washing after 2-3 wears. Or if you spill something on them or get them dirty. :wink:

That means they last a long time and you do not have to buy frequently. Kohls or JCPenney is where I find the best "deals". Buy one get one or X% off. Usually no more than $25 to $30 for a single pair.

Finding your "fit" and color to work with your shirt colors is where you should start.
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:37 am

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (jeans).
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Bacchus01
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:38 am

Another forum I review had a similar thread and overwhelmingly Lucky jeans were rated the highest. They were noted as the best combo of fashion, durability, comfort and price, provided you buy them on sale or find them at TJMaxx on the rack.

I do not own any Lucky but am going to try them.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Jackbnimble » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:42 am

If you have a Rural King anywhere near you, their jeans are $8.99 and fit me nicely. They have RK on the tag and you can make up your own french name for them.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by friar1610 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:57 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:28 am
I still wear jeans that are 20+ years old because they go from "work" jeans to "home" jeans to "yard" jeans. I don't have a pair newer than 3 years old.
Although I never had a job where I wore jeans except for "casual Friday's", I've been following the same sequence for years - dress jeans to hanging around jeans to yard/dirty work jeans. I actually write the "in service date" (month/year) on the label when I get them so I can keep them straight. I doubt I've gotten 20 years out of any, but 12-15 is common for me. My "go to" brand is L.L. Bean.
Friar1610

FireSekr
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by FireSekr » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:01 am

Work in tech and the jeans and button down or jeans and sport jacket are pretty common.

Banana republic and 7 for all mankind are excellent. I prefer the 7 for all mankind because they fit better, have gotten many compliments on them, but quality is about the same I think. My oldest pairs are about 5 years old and they’re good as new.

6Pack
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by 6Pack » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:02 am

Carhartt. I’ve had them for years and their clothes holds up very well. Not sure how their pricing stacks up, but their stuff lasts for years.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by stoptothink » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:09 am

friar1610 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:57 am
livesoft wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:28 am
I still wear jeans that are 20+ years old because they go from "work" jeans to "home" jeans to "yard" jeans. I don't have a pair newer than 3 years old.
Although I never had a job where I wore jeans except for "casual Friday's", I've been following the same sequence for years - dress jeans to hanging around jeans to yard/dirty work jeans. I actually write the "in service date" (month/year) on the label when I get them so I can keep them straight. I doubt I've gotten 20 years out of any, but 12-15 is common for me. My "go to" brand is L.L. Bean.
Fridays are jean day at my office. I have a single pair of jeans, they are about 15yrs old and there is no real visible wear. They are Levis.

covepatrol
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by covepatrol » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:11 am

Go with higher end. Once you have owned a pair of Joe's or Hudson or similar you will never go back.
These can be bought for 50-80 at Nordstrom Rack. (normal price = 200)
This guy is an engineer and people are suggesting $10 jeans?
Also only wash them twice a year! Jeans do not need washing more than this. If they need freshening throw them in the dryer for 5 minutes.
When you do wash them don't put them in the dryer!

SoDakJeff
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by SoDakJeff » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:26 am

The only jeans I'll buy are Eddie Bauer. Blue stonewashed or gray. Well-made, they wash up nice, last for years and years. And unlike other brands, I can order them off the catalog or online in my size and they always fit. They can be a little pricey - around $65, but Eddie frequently has sales at 40% and 60% off, which is when I grab them.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Cycle » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:30 am

I currently have 5 pairs of colored Lee jeans (Men's Lee Regular Fit Straight Leg Jeans), which are pretty cheap from Kohls. I'm an engineer at megacorp, and jeans are fine at the office. I own no slacks.

Washing them definitely degrades them, quite fast. Wash them inside out. Wash them as infrequently as possible, for me this usually means wearing them 1-3 times between washes. Since I bike to work, the jeans usually get drenched in sweat in the afternoons during the summer, luckily its winter here half of the year. I stopped wearing slacks because they didn't provide much insulation, so my long underwear threshold for winter biking was a bit higher with slacks.

They'll last as long as you want, but since I wash them so frequently, I'll probably be replacing these every 12 months. I'm due for a change over now. THey start to look warn with frequent washing after just a few months, so I'm not super happy with them. Fit is great though.
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TxAg
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by TxAg » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:37 am

I wear Wrangler jeans to work with a dress shirt and boots or nice shoes. I've worn Levi's and Lucky but have settled on Wrangler.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by lazydavid » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:06 pm

I've been wearing Levi's (primarily 560 and 569) for decades, but the pairs I've bought over the past 5 years have self-destructed so quickly that I'm giving up on them. Based on a previous thread on this forum, I'm going to give Texas Jeans a try.

Also had good luck with Kirkland (Costco) in the past.

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Horton
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Horton » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:13 pm

I wear Levi's 505 and 513 exclusively at work with button down shirts. If I have to "dress up" for a meeting, then I wear chinos with a button down shirt.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:15 pm

Levi's. Dark colors work well with dress shirts and (optionally) sport jackets.
Newest Jeans are worn for work. As they age they move into work-from-home and weekend-wear.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by DanMahowny » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:19 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 am
Lowest cost of ownership for jeans? really?
This was my initial thought as well. HAHAHA.

Jeans last a lifetime IMO (assuming the owner remains the same size).

Anyway, I own both Levi's and LLBean jeans. Would recommend both.
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Socal77 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:23 pm

B4Xt3r wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:23 am
Hi All,

I am engineer that supports high-tech manufacturering. Its not uncommon for the other engineers to wear button-down w/jeans. I'm interested if someone can recommend to me a manufacturer of men's jeans that are "nice enough" to pass in a work environment but that have the lowest average cost of ownership (i.e. tot $/ tot year(s) that they last).

Thanks!

-B4xt3r
Maybe overthinking this. Jeans were used by gold-miners. Any decent pair should best your preferred metric for jeans value. And more so in an office environment. Maybe they will best your jeans metric by 6 standard deviations. Just my .02. :-)

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:23 pm

Wow. Such a thread, on jeans. Who would have thought. So many replies. Decision making on trivia and the BH forum is the place to go.
I think maybe we are all jaded and bored with posts about TLH a and posts about stay the course and rebalancing and the market drop.
Now a concrete problem. Jeans. We grasp it with gratitude.
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Buy jeans that fit and are comfortable. You can annualized the price per wear days over the year. A $20 pair of jeans will cost you 40 cents a week if you work 50 weeks a year.
Don't agonize on it too much.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by bottlecap » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:15 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 am
Lowest cost of ownership for jeans? really?
lol. Yeah, I thought that was odd. But hey, we're talking about an engineer, so I let it slide...

JT

livesoft
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:24 pm

The highest cost of ownership might be buying any jeans that don't fit and/or that you don't like, so you don't ever wear them. I know lots of folks who tend to do that with many of their clothing items.
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:46 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:15 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 am
Lowest cost of ownership for jeans? really?
lol. Yeah, I thought that was odd. But hey, we're talking about an engineer, so I let it slide...

JT
If your time is worth anything, the cost put into the analysis is more than the cost of owning some jeans.

I find jeans overall to be quite durable. And it sounds like they are being worn to an office, not while doing manual labor. I'd try to find something that fits well and looks good, which isn't always easy. I buy designer jeans at discount stores and like 7 for Mankind, Hudson, Joe's, etc. They retail for around $200, but I can usually get them for $40-$50 at Marshalls or a discount store like that.

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Gort
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Gort » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:54 pm

LL Bean. Mix it up with different colors. I always liked black jeans. Get flannel-lined ones for colder climates.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by mnnice » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:26 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 am
Lowest cost of ownership for jeans? really?
The OP is an engineer :D

I am personally have the best luck with thrift store finds. Older stuff has better quality denim. Grab darker, plainer styles try on a bunch buy the pair with the most flattering fit. This probably works because I am female, average sized, time affluent, live in a fairly affluent area, and patient.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:35 pm

Hand me ups from my son who has grown taller and bigger. Wearing his "old" Levis Signature jeans. So cost vs him putting them into a donations box puts it at about zero.

Normally, I'd get Wrangler relaxed fit at K Mart for $12 but after seeing the post above for them being on sale at Wal Mart for $5, I'll have to check there.
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by GlacierRunner » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:45 pm

SoDakJeff wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:26 am
The only jeans I'll buy are Eddie Bauer. Blue stonewashed or gray. Well-made, they wash up nice, last for years and years. And unlike other brands, I can order them off the catalog or online in my size and they always fit. They can be a little pricey - around $65, but Eddie frequently has sales at 40% and 60% off, which is when I grab them.
This is what I buy for my computer programmer/engineer spouse. Eddie Bauer will do custom inseams (tall or short), which is a must for good looking jeans; stores don't always carry the right size. Go to the store, try the different styles on and then buy online. We buy 2 - 3 pair every 5 years or so. I also like their wrinkle-free button ups; very durable and good looking.
bungalow10 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:13 am

Skip the Old Navy and similar "soft" denim, it's comfy when you get it, but doesn't hold up. Don't buy anything with whiskering, light colored stitching, pocket designs, or any fraying. Make sure they are slim or straight fit, don't go with relaxed or wide leg styles. Definitely no stretch. Always wear a belt and make sure your shoes are high quality.
This is good advice, though everything my dh wears is relaxed fit. It is more comfortable for those days when he is doing his own IT work. He has also received complaints that he is bringing up the dress standard (from death metal t-shirts/hoodies), so relaxed fit is okay in his environment.

Invest4lt
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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by Invest4lt » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:16 pm

I’ve had good luck with Lucky jeans. They have many different cuts and styles to fit different age groups, body types, etc.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by stimulacra » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:03 pm

Probably Levi's, Lee's, Wrangler's if you go with their tried and true styles and cuts.

Gap, Banana Republic, and other brands are also offer pretty good value. The question for me with more niche brands is that the style and cuts are more prone to seasonal changes. Sometimes subtle, sometimes very drastic. Sometimes the quality goes way down as they switch suppliers.

Get the darkest rinse blue jeans possible, they will be the dressiest of the color options (you could wear them with blazers if paired with nice dress shoes) and as they break in and fade over time you can demote them to your causal Friday rotation and eventually weekends-only pile.

For me, I buy dark rinse Levi's 501's once a year. It's gotten so I don't even need to try them on. If there is a selvedge (raw denim) option available, I will opt for that, otherwise I just get the shrink to fit version at any department store. The time saved on not having to shop around or futz around with fit and color season to season is really the value of finding a go-to make and fit.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by gmc4h232 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:25 pm

Find some by Duluth Trading. Once you try their ballroom jeans you won’t be able to wear anything else without smashing your berries. Very well made with durable material and triple stitched seams. They will last a long time - much longer than levi’s.

Levi’s knees will blow out in a year with any kind of regular bending. Their quality sucks.

Buy the Duluth’s on sale and they will give you a very low cost of ownership.

Disclaimer- I would not consider the ones I have to be “dressy”, but I’m sure they have something that will suit your needs.

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Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by schwank » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:40 pm

Techie here, jeans and polo / button up is standard wardrobe at AMZN, even meeting with customers. I wear Lee and Levi's bought online. Also have some Gap bought with delayed luggage funds. None are particularly high quality but wear reasonably well with low replacement cost. Definitely not the same construction as older pairs from 15-20 years ago.

No thanks to selvedge, I like my clothes clean.

adamthesmythe
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:13 pm

Just buy the same thing every time so you don't have to think. It's the time spent thinking that is worth saving.

I recently discovered cargo pants, about the same time I got a cell phone. The great thing is having a place to put the cell phone where it won't break.

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