Trouser jeans: A dressier option

After asking for trouser jeans in several stores, it became clear that not everyone knows what they are. Trouser jeans typically have the small flap style pockets in the back, may or may not have any pockets in the front or an exposed button closure. Imagine your cleanly pressed, flat front khaki pants in a denim color and, voila, you have trouser jeans.

My body type is: Very slightly pear shaped. My hips are a little bit out of proportion relative to my waist, which makes jean shopping difficult. Trouser jeans are a good solution for people like me because the rise is typically higher. Low rise jeans and I do not get along.

Lucky Brand

High Rise Trouser

Fit: Before I looked in the mirror, I was totally sold on the comfort. They have true trouser pockets which made me a little nervous. There are no big pockets to distract from my rear being in full view. I was also advised to buy the pair that was snug at the waist, even if they were tight around the thighs. I'll need to alter the length in order to wear them with flats.
Texture/color is:
A perfect soft denim called Super Stretch. They almost feel like pajamas, hence the discussion about pajama jeans with the sales staff that followed.
Make me feel: Sophisticated.
Would wear to:
A school meeting. These aren't your sexy jeans. Pair them with heels and a sweater set and you'll look downright professional. The salesperson handed me an antique looking button up sweater to pair with them. I couldn't bear to leave either in the store.
I'd recommend to: Any age, really. However, I think women in their 30s and 40s would do well with these.
I feel the price is:
A splurge that's worth it. I have other pairs of Lucky jeans that were far less than this $168 price tag. However, Lucky stores have friends and family sales on occasion. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and then execute, if price is holding you back.

True Religion

Dana Bugsy Gold Trouser Jeans

The salesperson at my local True Religion store pulled these as their current version of trouser jeans. On the hanger they look bootleg or flared, with big pockets in the front and the back. I broke out my phone to verify this on the internet and, indeed, they are considered trouser jeans.

Fit: I was sold the second I snapped the button. The material is soft and stretchy. I looked thinner. I was advised that the pair you should buy should barely close at the waist, meaning buy the tightest possible pair you can tolerate. They will stretch out quickly. You will likely need to have these altered as the inseam is 34.5" which, even on my 5'9" frame, is too long with high heels.
Texture/color is: Pure black or indigo (AZ Midnight) stretch denim. The black jeans fit slightly tighter. Both colors could easily be dressed up or down. I like that the logo on the black jeans is stitched in black, making it less obvious.
Make me feel:
Trendy. It's hard to miss True Religion jeans with the huge logos on the pockets.
Would wear to: Preschool drop-off or out at night with heels. These jeans are multi-purpose and very popular in my neighborhood.
I'd recommend to: People who like designer clothing.
I feel the price is: A splurge that's worth it. Sadly, at $200, these jeans are less than many other pairs of True Religion jeans. I temporarily felt like they were a bargain, but then circled back to reality.


Elephant Bell Flare Jeans

I could not find a true trouser jean by Levi's. With the help of the internet and the Levi's store in San Diego, these jeans (despite the flap pockets in front) fit similar to other trouser jeans I tried on.

Fit: These are not your childhood Levi's. They fit nicely through the waist and hips, showing curves without it being overkill. I love the flare at the bottom, which is not as large as the "elephant" in the name implies.
Texture/color is: Stiffer texture due to thicker denim. Prairie is the only color these come in and it's probably the medium indigo color that comes to mind when someone mentions Levi's to you.
Make me feel: Vintage. You could really go bohemian with these, if you wanted to.
Would wear to: Running errands or whatever I'm up to during the day.
I'd recommend to: Moms who are young at heart. You can bend over and pick up your child wearing these jeans without having to either pull them up or pull your shirt down to cover you know what. They are considered high rise, but not in that retirement home kind of way.
I feel the price is: Possibly a little steep at $98. Standard Levi's are in the $50 range, which is probably why I have a hard time stomaching this price. However, they are a great option if Lucky Brand or True Religion are out of your budget.


Mid Rise Trouser

These feel more like trousers than jeans, which is totally fine. I wasn't advised by a salesperson (because they were super scarce at my local JC Penney), but I would buy the pair that fits now. These trousers have stretch in them, but it doesn't seem as giving. The inseam is 32" so I would not have to alter these, which is a huge bonus.
Texture/color is: The texture is stiffer than I prefer, but I love the indigo color.
Make me feel: Preppy, though I would still wear them.
Would wear to: Something business casual. They were hanging on a rack with other khaki trousers, away from the jeans section even though they are denim looking.
I'd recommend to:
My mom, perhaps.
I feel the price is: Great at $54. This is a nice pair of pants and it is refreshing that they are logo free.

My two favorites are the True Religion and Lucky Brand trouser jeans, mainly due to the softer denim. The Lucky Brand jeans are dressier while the True Religions are trendier. I honestly can't decide which is the winner so let what's already in your closet dictate which one you choose.

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Katie Dillon writes, a lifestyle site covering parenting, travel, cooking with kids, home management and local happenings in her seaside community. She has also written an eBook about flying with kids and is a member of the Yahoo! Mother Board.