For Montreal shoppers in the know, Mile End-based Jeans Jeans Jeans is hands down the best place to buy denim in the city. I’ve been meaning to post a review of it for a while. So today, after paying them a visit to pick myself up some new jeans, I thought I’d do this post as a good way to kick off 2018.
The unique shopping experience
Jeans, Jeans, Jeans belongs to a bygone era of specialty warehouse-type stores. This is not a chic boutique with piped-in music and fancy displays by any means. No, quite the opposite: This huge semi-basement warehouse has open racks, basic curtained dressing rooms, and handwritten display tags.
They have a staggering amount of jeans in the place. Most of them are on sale for around 30% below retail, though there are sale racks with even less expensive jeans, too. They carry a huge variety of brands, including basic ones like Levi’s, Joe’s and Mavi, all the way up to premium denim brands like 7 For All Mankind, AG, or Citizens of Humanity. Some local Montreal brands are stocked, too. The store carries both men’s and women’s jeans. And while they definitely have more offerings in straight sizes, there’s a decent selection in plus sizes as well.
Owners Leroy Fridman and Borys Richardson are practically institutions in this city. They know their inventory inside and out, and have a magic ability to almost instantly size up a customer and figure out what will look good on them. They and their army of sales associates shout numbers in code back and forth, and often throw the jeans through the air to save time.
Customers are welcome to browse. But I’ve found that the best thing to do is to immediately approach one of the salespeople and let them know what I’m looking for. They know their product inside and out, and can make short work of trying to find just the right pair of jeans in my desired size, style and wash.
Sometimes I’m looking to buy or replace a specific pair of jeans, and I’ll ask for them by name. Other times, I may have something in mind but not be exactly sure. And that’s where Jeans, Jeans, Jeans really shines, because they are absolutely committed to helping you find the pair of jeans — no matter how many styles you have to try on to get there.
This shopping trip, I walked in to get another pair of my trusty Mavi Alexa skinny jeans. These jeans have pretty much been my daily drivers for months. I was hoping to buy a second pair so I could alternate.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the ones I wanted in stock in my size — which occasionally, though rarely, happens. But I decided to use the opportunity to try on different brands to see if I could find something I liked even better.
The helpful sales associate recommended a couple of styles, and sent me off to the dressing room. But that’s where the fun begins.
The salespeople at the dressing room are on call to examine, critique and give feedback on every pair of jeans you try on. That’s why there are no mirrors in the dressing room stalls: They want you to come out so they can take an honest look. And honest they are — I definitely get more comments on my butt in this store than anywhere else in my life.
After each pair, the sales associates take it upon themselves to decide that I need to try a size up, size down, different style… and the jeans just keep appearing. And piling up. And piling up. At one point today, I think I’d tried a good twenty pairs, and still the salesperson was convinced I could do better. Their mission isn’t to sell jeans; it’s to match the right pair of jeans with the right human.
Ultimately, I ended up falling in love with a pair of these Fidelity Belvedere dark-wash ultra-slim jeans. Fidelity is a premium denim brand, and the jeans — even discounted — were more expensive than I’d originally wanted to pay. But they just looked and felt so good that I couldn’t resist. What the heck: Good jeans are an investment, right?
Free hems while you wait
One of the things that makes Jeans Jeans Jeans so petite-friendly is their onsite tailoring. Every pair of jeans you buy will be measured by one of their sales associates on the spot. Then, while you’re getting dressed, their speedy and skilled professional tailors will cut, shorten and hem your new jeans for you — for free. In a lot of US stores, free tailoring is standard. But it’s pretty rare here in Montreal, and one of the best things about this store. Usually they’re so quick that the jeans are done and waiting at the cash by the time I get there to pay. And they know what they’re doing, too: They’ll replicate the original hem and stitching almost perfectly.
Now, having said that, I still recommend that petites look for jeans with shorter original inseams. Jeans, Jeans, Jeans sadly doesn’t carry many petite-length 29″ or 30″ inseam jeans. Most their jeans vary in length from 32″ to 36″, sometimes within the same brand or style. The salespeople don’t pay a lot of attention to the length, because they figure they’ll be hemming them anyway. But in my experience, some styles — particularly skinny, shaped or flared ones — will have the rise, leg opening, and other details falling at the right place better on a pair of jeans that was shorter to begin with. I’ve tried 32″ and 36″ versions of the same style and found that the 32″ ones fit me a lot better. YMMV.
Other items for sale
Jeans, Jeans, Jeans really just focuses on denim, and it’s a business they do well. They do carry some other clothes — tees, sweaters, jackets and shirts — mostly made by the denim brands. However, none of those items are available in petite sizes. I’ve tried on the occasional top there, but I’ve never had much success in finding sizes that fit.
The bottom line
I don’t usually laud such praise on a store. But Jeans, Jeans, Jeans is a Montreal institution for a reason. It’s been written up dozens of times, by Smart Shopping Montreal, La Presse, Flare, and TheMain.com, among other media outlets. And it gets dozens of enthusiastic customer reviews on social media.
I’ll also give them a shout-out for having excellent customer service. One time, I let myself be talked into buying a size down from my usual size since the sales associate was convinced that they’d stretch out. When, a couple of weeks later, I returned to buy the next size up (since, as I’d suspected, they turned out to be too tight), Borys insisted that I return my jeans for a full store credit, even though I’d already washed and worn them, and hadn’t even asked for one. That’s the kind of service you don’t see in many places anymore, and one of the reasons why I’ll keep going back for jeans.
For us petites, here’s what it comes down to:
- Huge variety of denim in all shapes and sizes
- Prices consistently 30-50% below retail or even less
- Free onsite hemming — particularly useful for petites!
- Excellent service by the owners and sales staff
- The owner’s dog may come by and pay you a visit
- Little to no stock of 30″ or below inseam jeans (though the onsite hemming makes this less of an issue)
- No petite sizes in their tops, jackets or other non-denim items
- Limited selection of non-standard or plus sizes
For a petite woman like me, who finds it frustrating to buy almost any item of clothing, it’s nice to have a place like Jeans Jeans Jeans in my city. It makes the process of buying denim relatively painless, so I can focus my attention elsewhere. And really, what more can a girl ask for?
Jeans, Jeans, Jeans is located at 5575 Casgrain, just north of St-Viateur, metro Laurier. Like all reviews on my site, this one is 100% my honest opinion. I did not receive any payment, discounted product, or remuneration of any kind for this review.