Website of the week
As regular Cheryl Shops readers are aware, I've had trouble finding a new pair of jeans (see here, here, and here). Thankfully, I found several pairs, one from True Religion, plus a few from Old Navy. When I read this article in last week's Times, however, I thought, well, this would've been helpful a month ago. The article is about a site called, in which users fill out a detailed questionnaire about body type, fit preferences, and favorite brands, then the site suggests jeans for you. The site launched in August, and while their accuracy was a bit shaky at first (an estimated 20%-50% of all jeans purchased online are returned), they're now claiming a 94% success rate. (Zafu doesn't sell jeans directly; they earn a commission of 5%-15%.) So, in the name of journalism, I gave the engine a spin.

I filled out the questionnaire, and it gave me 28 jeans that supposedly fit me best, plus an additional 78 pairs that supposedly fit me well. Now, having documented my denim struggles here, I can guarantee you that there are not 106 jeans out there that fit me "well" or "best." Also, the "best" category contains such no-brainers at the Earnest Sewn Hefner, the Joe's Socialite, and the Paige Robertson, all of which fit pretty much everyone. And the "well" category contains the J Brand cigarette jean and the AG Kiss jean, both of which I've tried on and do not fit me (it does, however, recommend the Old Navy skinny jean and the Joe's Cigarette, both of which do work for me). One nice feature, however, is that you can narrow your results by rise, fit in hip, leg style, embellishments, price, and several other categories. However, I think fewer recommendations would've been more helpful--say, 6 or 7 instead of, well, 106.

Which brings me to my other issue with the site. Now, this may be a matter of personal preference, but for a site that's supposed to be suggesting jeans based on body type--and, yes, I know some jeans work for more than one body type--why are they photographing them on models? I will admit, when I shop online, I prefer to see items shot flat or on a dress form, as opposed to on a model. Just because something looks good on a model doesn't mean it's going to look good on me, and if a model's body type is totally different than mine, who knows how things are going to turn out? Case in point:

The first picture shows someone who's probably a regular model and either has an hourglass or slight pear-shaped figure (I'm a "ruler," so this doesn't really help me). The second picture features what the fashion industry calls a "plus-size model" and what the rest of the country calls a "size 12." Again, that doesn't help me and, to be honest, I don't think the jean looks very flattering on her either.

So, while I admire's efforts, I'm not so sure that the perfect pair of jeans can be found through a generic questionnaire. Like dresses, when it comes to jeans, I'm a straight-up advocate of the traditional trip to the department store (or the mall, or your favorite boutique, or whatever). Finding the perfect pair isn't a science--it's an art.

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