Fashion Advice: The Fake Debate Continues- Designer Jeans

Dear Budget Fashionista,
I’m a petite woman who would like to try some Joe’s Jeans, but they’re out of my price range. I often see discounted pairs listed on eBay, but I have no idea how to spot a fake. I know you’ve addressed copies of high-end handbags, but what about denim? Are three-digit jeans really more flattering than a quality, $70 pair?

You can find real Joe’s Jeans for deep discounts at places like Last Call Neiman Marcus and Off Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenues outlet. I would also check Marshalls, Filene’s Basement and TJ Maxx, who often get shipments of some of the top brands in jeans. Sign up online for their mailing lists, so you’ll get notified when they have their special denim events.

In terms of buying designer jeans on eBay, I would proceed with caution. It’s difficult to assess online whether a pair of jeans are the real thing or a knock-off. I think your best bet is to try and find them at the stores mentioned above.

There’s not much difference in terms of quality of fabric (and often construction) between a higher priced pair of jeans and a lower priced pair. For example, Faded Glory jeans at Wal-Mart and Mossimo at Target are thought to be as good, if not better, than many of the higher priced lines sold at Neiman and Saks, You’re often just paying extra money for the name brand.

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    Also check Anthropologie, if you have one near you. Last time I checked their sale rack (in the Philadelphia store), they had Joe’s jeans marked down to 75 or 80 bucks.

    While I do think triple digit pricing of jeans is ridiculous and that the bulk of the markup comes from buying the “brand”, I tend to gravitate toward these jeans because often they are made in the U.S.A. or Australia or Europe. As Budget fashionista points out if one is resourceful they can get their hands on authentic premium denim at a great price and that’s the best way to go in my opinion.

    Much lower-priced mass market denim such as those found at Target or Walmart are more likely to have been produced in a sweatshop-type environment where labour is exploited for a phenomenal profit. So yes the consumer benefits from these items and yes they can be as good as the premium lines (not always) but at what cost?

    EBay presents a similar problem as there is tons of counterfeit products being sold as authentic. Counterfeit products are getting harder and harder to discern from the original and some estimates claim that 85% of all handbags sold on EBay are knockoffs. This is dangerous as money made from the sale of counterfeit product supports everything from child labour to terrorist organizations.

    If I’m not mistaken there is currently a class action suit against EBay by a group of fashion houses concerning the sale of counterfeit product. It will be interesting to see what the courts have to say.

    I realize that jeans go through some expensive processes before they hit the racks but triple digits are over the top. I found some Womyn jeans (made in the USA) at Ross that fit great. The best jeans are those that fit and flatter and make you feel like a million bucks.

    I’ve worked at boutiques that sell designer jeans and have had a few pairs of Joe’s Jeans myself, and I will say that they are very nice jeans.  The tailoring is flattering, the washes are slimming, and the denim is very soft.  When the first designer jeans like Seven and Citizens came out, I think they were leaps and bounds more flattering than your average department store jeans, but that gap has closed over the last few years.  I buy all my jeans from Old Navy now, $25 a pair, and while they aren’t quite as soft or thick as my Joe’s jeans, they are flattering and so much more affordable!  I’m not going back to designer denim, even $80-$90 for a pair of Joe’s seems a little ridiculous to me now.  They all wear out regardless of price!

    Before, designer jeans were out of the question, but when I noticed that (most, not all) looked, FEELED, and fit much better than the lower priced ones, I switched completely to designer jeans. The cuts are also much flattering. Althought there are some exceptions. I find that Mossimo fits well and is very slimming too. One thing I don’t like about some lower priced jeans is that they’re not true to size. For example, a size 24 or a zero in Seven For All Mankind fit me perfectly, but a size 24 or 0 in Express are actually 2 sizes larger. Hmm, trying to make the consumer feel skinnier, eh?

    OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!! I just noticed a grammatical error. I meant FELT FELT FELT…..not feeled geez…..

    2 years ago I got a pair of 7 jeans at Express for 9.99!  I think Express sold them for a short time.  Anyway, I also got a pair of Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans at Marshall’s. (29.99)  If you are petite, beware-these designer jeans are extremely long!  Sometimes when you hem them the lines are just not there any more-ie the boot cut portion of the jeans gets lopped off in the hemming process.  This has not happened to me, but sometimes you spot a bad hem job on the street.  A good tailor can also reattach the original hem, for a small extra cost!

    I feel as though an extra finger was typing for me as I accidentally misspelled “although.” Thanks for understanding, Ms. B.

    I am a designer jean addict, but I NEVER pay full price.  I, just like the previous poster, have switched only to designer jeans. 6 years ago I bought my first pair of Paper Denim’s on a fluke.  After that, I was hooked!  My source are: Loehmann’s- my favorite place for designer fashions.  They have awesome brands and with a Loehmann’s card, you can get GREAT discounts.  Diesel’s are only $30 or $40- not even on sale!  The others are around $59-$119 depending on brand.  Marshall’s has been getting in great brands- People’s Liberation, Diesel, Paper Denim, Earnest Sewn, Antik, Joe’s, Seven FAMK, They start from $39 to $119 for Antik.  Scour the sale rack, you can find them priced down to $20!  Amazing!  Much better routes to take than ebay- I write the popular brands off as fakes on ebay.  I think the lesser known brands are not yet being copied, so it’s probably safe to buy them on ebay.  In my opinion, if you see hundreds and hundreds of listings for a certain product on ebay- it is being counterfited, so stay away!
    I live near LA so I get in on the good jean sales such as The Warehouse Sale or Underground Denim.  Awesome deals at these sales prices can be from $40-$100 for jeans.  Also go to warehouse sales held by the brands themselves.  I think I heard People’s Lib. was having one this weekend!
    Good luck!

    How about via online sales? Not just places like Revolve or Nordstrom or even Nordstrom Rack.. How about where I scored a 200 dollar pair for less than 80 dollars! Now that’s a deal
    They have some name brand jeans on their sample sale online but you never know exactly what till the day of the sale. You also need to move fast and buy immediately but still,  I bought 3 pairs of Oligo Tissew jeans at one of the Planet Lulu Loft sales at a price of 3 for 100 dollars
    worth checking out


    I have several pairs of Joe’s and really love them.  Bought three pairs for full price and have never regretted paying that much for them.  I did buy two pairs of Joe’s online at eBay and knew right away when they came out of the package that they were fake.  The vendors wouldn’t believe me or take back the jeans so I stopped using eBay.  Last year I decided to try a different brand called Paige.  I paid $195 plus tax for the jeans and I have to say they are not as good as Joe’s.  They stretched just like the 7s.  Hint:  Don’t dry your jeans in the machine if you don’t want them to stretch.  My rule is that I’ll buy a pair of jeans, regardless of price,  if they fit well and are known for their good reputation.  The cheaper brands have disappointed me since they are not as well made.

    Sorry KateZzzz.

    It is true that there is VERY little difference in terms of fabric and often (but not always) construction between lines like the faded glory line at wal-mart and the higher priced brands. For example, Uniqlo has excellent premium quality jeans made from the EXACT same material as some of the higher end jeans for less than $50.

    Ask any knowledgable manufacturer regarding jeans and they will tell you’e mostly paying for the name….


    A pair that costs $60 to make retails for $300.

    Actually the analogy you used with Honda vs Mercedes is a bit off, because according to Motor trends Honda is the most bang for your buck when compared to a merceds. Mercedes are great cars no doubt, BUT you are also paying for the name as well.

    Have you ever tried faded glory jeans at Wal-mart? If so, what was your thoughts?

    Ok… Not to be rude or anything, but comparing Faded Glory Jeans to Joe’s Jeans is like comparing a Honda to a Mercedes.

    They are both cars, so they both do the same thing, right???

    Wrong.  You get what you pay for, plain and simple.

    There is a difference between economy and luxury.  Unfortunately, I have owned Faded Glory jeans in the past.  I have also owned Mossimo jeans.  I would never wear them again, after wearing True Religion, 7 for All Mankind, Paige, etc.
    My analogy came from the fact I have owned three Hondas in the past; I now own a Mercedes.  There is simply no comparison.  Hondas and Walmart jeans are more popular than their higher end counterparts because they are more affordable. But how does a product’s low pricetag make it a superior product as you have claimed? Is Wet and Wild brand make up better than Chanel?  Are sardines better than caviar?  Is a canoe better than a yacht?
    When you buy cheap jeans (or cheap cars), you may be getting a decent product made from similar materials.  But, when you buy a LUXURY product, besides paying for the name you are paying for added details and quality that just don’t come with an economy product.  Premium denim looks, fits and feels better, because there is MUCH more attention put into detail and quality. 
    At the end of the day jeans are jeans, but your claim that Faded Glory jeans are superior to Joe’s shows gross ignorance and lack of research on your part as a so called “Fashionista.”


    are you really saying the difference between a canoe and a yacht is comparable to the difference in two pairs of jeans. Taking it a bit too far? And just fyi .. Mercedes owners, usually don’t trade in Hondas, nor do they tend to lecture on and on about the quality of their jeans … someone indeed is showing some gross ignorance.

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