Make Your Own Jeans dot Com (makeyourownjeans.com) is a company that will allow you to type in your measurements in a form, and get the company to make them for you. They then send the jeans back to you in the mail. If you have a pair that fits you perfectly, they also offer a 'clone my jeans' option - you just send your beloved pair to them, they make accurate measurements, and replicate them exactly.
The Quest for the Perfect Pair of Jeans
When I was 3, I started wearing jeans. I continued doing that until I was 16, when I abruptly decided that I hated jeans. I guess the main problem was that I was growing quickly. The last pair of jeans I bought before I stopped buying them was 28 waist, 32 inseam, I think. Any idea how hard it is to find those?
Anyway, I hated them, and I started wearing chinos, cords, or trousers from suits bought from charity shops. Anything, really, to avoid jeans. For 8 years or so, I never wore the damn things again, and I never missed them. Then, last year, I had to get out of the office of the company I was working for at the time for a bit. It was a stressful day, and I hadn't taken my 1 hour lunch-break for about 3 months, so I decided to make a bee-line for the nearest shopping centre and have a look-about.
I walked into random shops, and suddenly realised that I hadn't been in any clothes shops for a while - I had been using the same wardrobe of trousers for a while, and ordered everything else off the internet. Then, completely on a whim, I bought two pair of Head jeans. I tried both in the fitting room, and sorta-kinda liked them. Over time, it transpired that one of the pairs totally didn't fit, and the other one was a Perfect fit. Seriously perfect. I loved those jeans. But of course, I wore them a lot, and wore them out within 7 months.
Ever since, the chase has been on for a pair that will fit me properly, and that make me look good. It's a tall order, I know.
Anyway, a friend of mine stumbled across makeyourownjeans.com, and suggested I give it a try.
Ordering the jeans
Armed with a tape-measure and the instructions on the website, I went about the somewhat cumbersome task to measure myself, and I entered all the information into the boxes provided. From there on, you select what fit you want, what kind of cut, what type of jeans material, and various other options. If you know exactly what you want, you can give more measurements, but if you aren't too steady on the 'ole measuring or sowing, you can just give the basics, and they figure out the rest.
Personally, I ordered one pair of jeans exactly to their recommendations, and one with a slightly looser fit and longer leg length.
The company quotes delivery time as 2-3 weeks. I placed my order on September 20th and took delivery of my package exactly a month later - on October 20th. I'm not sure if they just had a large workload, or if the mail was slow, but I remain relatively unimpressed. I mean, I don't mind waiting 5 weeks for custom-made clothes, but I don't like waiting 2 weeks longer than expected. (to their defence, they now quote 2-5 weeks delivery time)
Price-wise, the jeans were on par with a pair of medium-famous brand jeans (US$39.00 per pair). The postage means that the price gets bumped into Levi's and Diesel territory, though: As the factory is based in India, shipping costs are relatively high (US$27). They take payment via PayPal, which offers a layer of safety against the products never showing up etc.
I've just tried on both pair of jeans. On first impression, both pairs of jeans seem to be a perfect fit around my hips (A little tight, but it'll stretch out, like a good pair of jeans should), tight around my bum, and loose enough for my crotch. Both pairs show off my bottom in a suitable fashion, and fit comfortably.
I'm not overly convinced about the length of the jeans though. If they are pre-washed (I think they are, but I'm not convinced), they will be of adequate length to not look ridiculous, but I really prefer my jeans to hang on the ground at the back of my shoes. The pair I specced to be an inch longer than the other seems to be perfect, and the pair following Make Your Own Jeans' recommendations are a little, eensy bit on the short side. On the other hand, I like wearing my jeans quite low, so there's a possibility the fit will become better over time, as the waistband stretches a little.
Quality-wise, there's no failing either pair of jeans. The material is of top quality, the stitching is precise and of good quality as well, and the buttons, rivets and belt hoops are all attached the way you'd expect from a good pair of jeans
It's a pricy exercise - $105 (£56) for two pairs of jeans is not exactly bargain bin, but on the other hand, these are made exactly to my specifications. Despite the high shipping price and slow shipping speed failures, the quality of the product is impeccable.
The web-site saves your preferences and past orders, so after wearing the jeans for a couple of months, I imagine I'll know which measurements need changing to make the Perfect Pair of Jeans. The ones I just took delivery of are pretty close, but not quite there. I wouldn't hesitate to use makeyourownjeans.com again, though, in the next step of my Quest.