Jeans, Uniforms, Etc

November 15, 2023

Kae noted today that skinny jeans are dead based on her informal survey of looking at UW undergrads.

Well, I have done my own informal surveys (patients! high school kids walking around! middle schoolers including my very own) and yes, I agree. Honestly, good riddance. Were they ever really all that comfortable (other than the really stretchy kind)?

I switched to “Perfect Vintage” cut ~2 years ago and haven’t looked back. I do want a pair of wider leg jeans too and have been ogling the Agolde Lana jeans (but also apparently there are some great Abercrombie dupes out there!).

AGOLDE Lana jeans (not me; Shopbop’s pic!)

My rather boring non-work uniform is: Madewell Perfect Vintage jeans, t-shirt (usually one from Marine Layer), Birkenstocks or Altra sneakers that are supremely comfortable

My current work uniform is: FIGS scrubs most days; sometimes Marine Layer Allison pants + a button down with shoes that have a low heel. 2020 is when I saw a solid percentage of physicians in my organization switch to scrubs even though there was never any professional memo that it was okay. Honestly, I feel like well-fitting scrubs are not a bad uniform! At the same time, sometimes I feel a bit guilty about not wearing real clothes.

My going-out-and-looking-halfway-decent uniform is: button down denim skirt (I have one, in black) or a dress. (I am pretty lacking in this arena but my life is not terribly exciting so . . . it has been okay).

Whenever I go anywhere cold, I wear my precious precious Jenni Kayne cropped cashmere cocoon cardigan and/or my Patagonia down sweater.

What would I love to add to my wardrobe? Hmmm . . . if a random lump sum dropped into my lap OR I was recruited to participate in a What Not to Wear revival (that would be so awesome):

  • More modern cut jeans in both blue + white/cream (and maybe black)
  • Cute sneakers like these (Lani-approved!)
  • More dresses including some long-sleeved options for the 2 months of “winter” we get
  • Updated short boots (or booties) bc mine are olllllldddd.
  • Updated low/mild heeled shoes that are comfortable for work
  • More Allison pants
  • More buttondowns
  • Some jewelry that is minimal but looks luxurious (which reminds me I need to replace my titanium earrings, one fell out and now they are no more. Good thing they are not terribly expensive.)

None of this really fits into my allowance at the rate I’m purchasing running shoes etc but one can dream. (On that note, a few new running tanks/shorts would be great too!)

Aaaand, this is all why I (sadly) need an allowance. I do kind of love nice stuff.

What are your go-to jeans these days?


  • Reply KGC November 15, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    OMG please let them bring back What Not to Wear. Team Stacy and Clinton forever! (But also, Nick was the better hair stylist than the guy at the end)
    I have found that Joe’s Jeans in mid-rise fit me best…I am already short-torsoed, despite being tall, and high rise of any flavor look ridiculous because they are SO HIGH and I lose my waist entirely. But mid-rise is actually hard to find now that high-rise is all the rage!??! I mostly go to Nordstrom Rack every so often and see what I can find there. I haven’t had the same luck with Madewell that others have.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 15, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      Don’t forget Carmindy!!! Loved her!

    • Reply Sue November 15, 2023 at 3:23 pm

      I am petite and very short waisted and madewell delivers with their mid rise perfect vintage Jean! It is so hard to find mid rise these days!

  • Reply omdg November 15, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    I got some Uniqlo wide leg jeans for $50 and I LOOOOOOOVE them. For sneakers I have some New Balance 990v4s which are also fabulous. Uniqlo has some dresses and sweaters that I’ve liked too recently that are not terribly expensive. I have been very much lacking on nice going out dresses, but it is hard to care too much. I also found some Levis cargo pants on Amazon for about $50 that fit great.

    Lucky Jeans has mid rise straight leg that were my go-to for years, but I’ve really been enjoying my wide leg pants probably because I have gained 10 lbs. Oh well.

  • Reply LM November 15, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    I’m older than you Sarah, so take this with a grain of salt. I’ve never worn skinny jeans and think they are not flattering on most people so I’m glad to see them go. I’m NYDJ bootcut all the way. I would love to see What Not To Wear come back!

  • Reply Kelsey November 15, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    What Not to Wear!! I have such nostalgia for that show. Chris and I used to watch in the rental house where we first lived together, often with take-out pizza on a Friday night after our work weeks…way back in 2008 as the economy was crashing all around. I learned many great tips from that show. Remember how Carmidy would always say, “You’ve got great eyes…let’s bring those out.” Haha.

    And clearly great minds because we talked about this exact topic on GND today! I also love the Madewell Perfect Vintage Jeans! I also have the stretchier Stovepipe which are close to skinny jeans but not SO skinny. The thinner fabric and stretch works well for the AZ climate and chasing a toddler.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 15, 2023 at 2:43 pm

      Will totally be listening on the way home!

    • Reply Grateful Kae November 15, 2023 at 2:56 pm

      When I saw the GND topic this morning I laughed out loud, because I swear the Universe is sending me ALL the clothing things right now! This topic is following me around. 😅 I already listened during/after my shower and it was such a great, fun episode, Kelsey!

      • Reply Kelsey November 15, 2023 at 7:26 pm

        Thank you, Kae! Yes haha apparently jeans/clothes are really on the minds of 40-something women lately!

  • Reply Sue November 15, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    Sarah, I just bought 90s straight jeans in petite, vintage canvas (cream colored). On sale for $95. I LOVE them and will probably wear them three times a week!

    • Reply Sue November 15, 2023 at 3:26 pm

      Oops- madewell!! Forgot to include that

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 15, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      I was going to ask!!!!! Ok very good intel!!

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns November 15, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    Well I am team skinny jeans for life. They can still be quite comfortable if there is some give to the fabric. I will NEVER wear wide legs pants. Ever. I guess I am of an age (42) where I don’t really care if my preference for jeans or pants is in style or not. My legs are one of my best features so skinny jeans work well for me. But I know they are not for everyone.

    • Reply Brooke November 16, 2023 at 12:27 am

      Team skinny jeans. I need my tops to be loose, and wide leg pants just don’t work with that (at least on my body. My Liverpool pull on skinny jeans are life – I love them!

      • Reply Chelsea November 16, 2023 at 5:39 am

        I have a pair of the Liverpool pull on skinny jeans and I feel the same way! I’ll wear them until they physically fall apart. They are sooo comfy and definitely work well with flow-y tops.

    • Reply Alyce November 16, 2023 at 6:38 am

      There’s really something to be said for buying the jeans that work best for your body type and sticking with them even as trends change. What look good on you never goes out of style. It’s everyone else who was wearing the style simply because it was the predominantly available cut who need to move on. If you like skinny jeans, nows the time to stock up on a few pairs because who knows when they’ll be back in style and purchasable again. That’s my official advice, as someone who has always loved wide leg pants but hasn’t been able to buy them since college, roughly 15 years ago.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 16, 2023 at 10:17 am

        great points!!

    • Reply Erica November 16, 2023 at 1:53 pm

      Team skinny jeans! While boot cut jeans (also probably out of style now) are my favorite, skinny jeans are so much more practical.

      Skinny jeans fit *under* boots, which means they don’t get covered in slush all winter. They tend to be made of stretchier material than other jeans, so I find them more comfortable than other jeans. And while catalog models look very sophisticated in the perpetually-in-style tunics and wide-legged jeans, this silhouette makes me look like an unusually dumpy burlap sack.

  • Reply coco November 15, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    I haven’t wore jeans for a long time because it’s so hot in tropical countries. I still have mostly skinny/fit jeans. need to upgrade them when I move to a colder place.
    I think I haven’t bought formal/work attire since we moved to Asia. that’s over 6 years. clothes last for a longggg time. I will make another batik with the fabric a friend gave me this weekend, and that serves as formal clothing here in indonesia

  • Reply Chelsea November 16, 2023 at 5:45 am

    Alert: I just went to the Madewell site and they are having a pretty good sale if anyone wants to take action. Sarah, you need some affiliate links 😉

    Right now I only have one pair of jeans – the LIverpool skinny pull ons mentioned above – and they are sooo comfy and work well with my tops. They aren’t like legging skinny so I think I’ll just start calling them stove pipe so I can stay in style ;). I am tempted to get a pair of the mid-rise Madewell pants if I can find them. I wear pants so rarely – other than jeans – I have one pair of casual khaki pants (but blue), one pair of black dress slacks, and two pairs of Vuori joggers, and that does the job for me in Florida. For work, I almost always wear dresses unless it’s cold enough for the dress pants and nearly all of the dresses are from Boden.

  • Reply Amy November 16, 2023 at 6:47 am

    I just tried some cropped wide leg jeans from Madewell (they’re “cropped” if you’re 5’11”, but I’m between standard and petite, so I just trim the hem a few more inches and wind up with raw hem jeans), and the “slouchy boyjean” which I also hemmed. The latter are SO comfortable. Hard to dress up, but truly a breath of fresh air after a decade of constricting and revealing skinny jeans. I feel like it’s the late 90s again and I’m so happy.

    Also, I’ve appreciated that many brands will show us what a size 29 or a size 32 look like on the model, but I have to say that’s only so helpful when the models are all still 6 feet tall. Can I see what the jeans look like on someone under 5’6”?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 16, 2023 at 10:16 am

      or how about 5’1″ 🙂 ? Pipe dream!!!

      • Reply Kat November 16, 2023 at 11:40 am

        Yes short girls unite! I try to find cropped style jeans so that they are the right length on me. I used to spend soooo much money on alterations back in the day. Wit and Wisdom is my favorite brand of jeans hands down (as I commented in the BOBW patreon thread). They make all kinds of style but the key is elastic in the waistband, and they still have a button and zipper so it’s not totally pull on/maternity, but just as comfy!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 16, 2023 at 11:45 am

          I also do that – buy “crops” and wear them as pants. I’m always shocked when something is actually cropped on me!!!

  • Reply Stephany November 18, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    Team Skinny Jeans! I know they are not “in” anymore, but I just can’t do the wide-legged look. I don’t think it looks good with my body type (short/chicken legs/wider waist and hips). Skinny jeans are just so much more flattering. But I’m going to check out those Madewell jeans – mostly because Kelsey raved about them on GND and then you’re talking about them AND they’re having an insane sale. HOW COULD I NOT?!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 19, 2023 at 9:31 am

      The Perfect Vintage are still fairly slim they just aren’t “skinny” cut so might be a great happy medium for you. I didn’t realize Kelsey and I wear the same jeans but yes I also have 2 pairs and wear them almost every day I’m not working!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.