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    Mar 18, 2016

    Here’s What Happened When I Tried On 24 Different Pairs Of Men’s Jeans In The Same Size

    They should all fit similarly, right? Wrong!

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Hi there, I'm Mathew and I hate shopping for jeans.

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    So much awkwardness in such a tiny room.

    Unlike women's pants, men’s pant sizes are measured in inches. You would think that "measurement" corresponds to the exact size of the waist, but unfortunately it doesn't.

    I've always found men's jean sizes to be really inconsistent. For me, jean shopping involves taking stacks of different sizes into a tiny, warm, poorly lit dressing room, where I struggle to get in and out of each pair. Plus, I'm sort of picky and prefer a snug waist, but room in the legs, which is why I opt for regular rise/non stretch jeans. Oh, how I wish jean sizes were easier so I could order a decent fitting pair online.

    Consider this example: My waist currently measures in at around 34 inches, but my favorite pair of pants are labeled with a 31-inch waist measurement? Pretty confusing, right? Like, where did those extra three inches come from?

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed
    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    And how am I supposed to know which number to go with when I need to buy my next pair of pants?

    As a person who would love to find a more painless pant-shopping experience, I decided to get to the bottom of this discrepancy among sizes.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    • I’d visit as many different men’s jean retailers as possible in an afternoon, trying on the same waist size at each (32). My goal would be to look for discrepancies just in the waist size, not necessarily paying attention to length, etc.

    • I would avoid anything labeled “stretch,” and instead go for regular rise/straight cut jeans, tying to be as consistent as possible.

    • I'd try on two different washes at each retailer, ideally a dark and a light wash.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Let's start with the pants that had a larger fit.

    H&M (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    I would definitely need a belt for these dark wash H&M jeans.

    Guess (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    These fit more like a 33 or 34. I wasn't swimming in them, but there was no flattering snugness in the rear, if you know what I mean.

    Guess (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Guess's sizing between washes was actually pretty similar. I know, who would have guessed?

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Now for those that were just a little too big.

    Old Navy (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Not terribly loose, but too loose for my taste.

    Calvin Klein (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Like ¾ of an inch too much.

    Uniqlo (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Again, another dark wash that was too big on me!

    Express Men (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Starting to notice a trend?

    Levi’s (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Yup! For the most part darker washes consistently fit more loosely than their lighter alternatives.

    Calvin Klein (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Both of the Calvins I tried ran a little loose, but there wasn't necessarily a huge difference between the fits.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Here are the jeans that actually fit me!

    Forever 21 (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    I wasn't expecting that great of a fit from some of the less expensive brands like Forever 21 or Mossimo, but these dark wash jeans surprised me. The fit was fabulous!

    Banana Republic (Dark Wash)

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    Not only was the lighting good in the Banana Republic dressing rooms, but their jeans had a legit 32 fit.

    Banana Republic (Medium/Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    And the different washes at Banana Republic both fit pretty similarly.

    H&M (Medium/Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    I found the biggest discrepancy among washes of the same brand at H&M. Seriously, the darker wash jeans were huge, while the medium wash, on the other hand, fit nicely!

    Levi’s (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    The lighter Levi's definitely had a tighter fit, which was again, a trend among most of the brands.

    Express Men (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Also noticeably smaller fit than the darker wash.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Too snug for comfort!

    Forever 21 (Light/Medium Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Although the dark wash jeans at Forever 21 fit hella well, the lighter wash version was a little too snug for me.

    Old Navy (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    The difference between washes at Old Navy was almost as drastic as H&M.

    Uniqlo (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Oh no, starting to see a minor muffin top!

    Mossimo (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Getting kinda difficult to put my finger in the waistband.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Trying on these jeans did nothing for my ego.

    Mossimo (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Unfortunately both of the brands I found at Target (Mossimo and Wrangler) were super tight.

    Wrangler (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Especially the Wranglers, which I had actually thought would fit rather loosely because of their rugged reputation?

    Topman (Medium/Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Oh Topman. Such an uncomfortable experience. First of all, trying to find jeans that weren't labeled "stretch" was difficult. Then, squeezing into these too-tightly fitting jeans was not so enjoyable.

    Wrangler (Light Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    We've reached full muffin top.

    Topman (Dark Wash)

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Yikes... Damn you, Topman!

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    1. Men's jean sizes are super inconsistent. Like, even more so than I'd expected.

    Check out the difference between the snuggest (Topman) and loosest (H&M) jeans I tried on:

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed
    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Am I wrong in thinking size 32 jeans SHOULDN'T fit that differently?

    2. Even among the same brand, slight differences in washes or styles can also make a dramatic impact on sizing.

    With the exception of Old Navy, practically all of the darker washes I tried on fit more loosely than their lighter counterparts.

    The best-fitting jeans I tried on were these Forever 21 dark wash jeans, which had me feeling rather... on point.

    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed
    Mathew Jedeikin for BuzzFeed

    Trying on a good-fitting pair of jeans made me feel hot, momentarily putting my insecurities at bay. If every pair of jeans I tried on fit like this then I wouldn't dread shopping for them nearly as much as I do.

    3. Unfortunately, becoming familiar with a brand's specific jean sizing still requires dragging one's ass into their actual stores and trying the pants on.

    But I'm hoping that now, after going through this process, I'll have more success ordering jeans online.