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Where to buy jeans in Charlotte? Try these 9 shopper-recommended places

South End boutique Blue Hem specializes in designer jeans for men and women in a wide range of fits, styles, sizes and colors.
South End boutique Blue Hem specializes in designer jeans for men and women in a wide range of fits, styles, sizes and colors.

Why is finding the right pair of jeans so hard?

Maybe because for most of us, they’re the backbone of our casual wardrobe - and one that has to work hard practically all year long.

And it’s tough to imagine another piece of clothing that so clearly makes the point that every woman’s body is built differently.

We asked women across Charlotte where they found their favorite jeans, at a variety of price points and locations around the region Charlotte. Some are local shops that source smaller denim labels; others are national chains with a variety of brands and styles.

Do you have a favorite that's not on this list? Leave a message in the comments, or email cbolling@charlotteobserver.com

Blue Hem: Jeans are the bread and butter of this South End shop, where you'll find 14 brands for men and women, from popular ones like Joe's to harder-to-find ones like New York-made 3X1 and Fidelity, a Los Angeles brand. Expect to pay between $99 and the high $200s (depending on brand), and helpful owners will guide you through the stacks and racks. (For the month of June, bring in any gently worn pair to donate to Crisis Assistance Ministry and they'll take $50 off your purchase.)

K-La: Women flock to this local boutique (two locations, in Park Road Shopping Center and Blakeney) for their jeans' softness and hold-their-shape stretch. Their Just Black Denim line runs $90-$100 (in a variety of washes and styles: ripped, flared, etc); a lesser-priced Just USA line runs in the $70s and the JBD brand is aimed at juniors, with prices in the $50s. Sizes range from 0-13 or European sizing of 24-31.

Avalilly’s: This boutique in downtown Cornelius is a go-to for women looking for high-end designer jeans at reduced prices. (Everything Avalilly’s sells is at a steep discount, because owner Emily Haggart has relationships with high-end boutiques and clothing manufacturers to sell their overstock – often within the same season.) You’ll find jeans from brands such as Citizens of Humanity, Joe’s Jeans, Habitual, Derek Lam, Hudson, Paige, AG and J Brand. (Prices can be about half of retail; for example, Paige jeans that retail for $325 were recently selling for $179 and Citizens of Humanity jeans that retail for $189 were $130.

Carolina Denim Co. (previously known as Straight Stitch and Co.): For the jeans enthusiast who takes denim seriously and craves locally made goods, owner Stan Fraser and his team make both men’s and women’s jeans and other denim goods right where you buy them, at 601 S. Cedar St. Suite 205E, in the shadows of Bank of America Stadium. Ready-to-wear jeans in the company's Anarke brand run $179-$239; bespoke styles (custom designed to fit your exact shape and preferences, from grommets to pocket placement) start at $400.

Revolution Clothiers & Co.: If high-end novelty denim is what you crave (think unique colors, camo, fringy hems and even the occasional local artist in-store to paint on pairs), this Dilworth store brings it, with names like Hudson, Boyish and DL1961. Prices start in the mid $100s and go into the $200s.

Loft: This national chain (with locations in SouthPark, Northlake and Blakeney) takes denim seriously, with a range of styles, fits, colors and sizes (24-34 in many styles, but petites and plus are also available). Sales are frequent and often deep, but if you must pay full price, jeans typically run between $70 and $80.

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack: Women who shop here are fanatical about the vast selection of designer brands. Salespeople at Nordstrom at SouthPark can guide you. You're on your own at Nordstrom Rack, but you'll save a bundle — prices are often half or more off brands like Hudson, 7 For All Mankind, Kut from the Kloth, and Rag and Bone.

Clothes Mentor: If you're willing to spend some time in the racks, you'll find a huge mix of designer and mass-market brands at discount prices at this clothing reseller's two Charlotte locations on South Kings Drive and the Arboretum. Prices start below $20. (We've spotted brands like Lucky and Pilcro for $22 and Citizens of Humanity for $28; ones from Old Navy and Target go for under $20.)

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