The Best Denim Shops in Town

Happiness is scoring jeans that fit from one of the best denim spots in Seattle
Ali Brownrigg  |   September 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Best shops in seattle seattle magazine
Shop with your smart phone at Hointer in Pacific Place

Sure, jeans can be expensive, but finding a pair that fits well is worth its weight in gold. Beyond that, having a good experience while shopping for jeans is priceless. Generally, we’ve found that premium denim runs no less than $100 (even Gap jeans are $70), regardless of where you shop. So if you’re ready to drop some dime, why not choose a place that offers personalized service and complimentary alterations? Our pick for stress-free blue jean shopping is Mario’s (pictured right, downtown, 1513 Sixth Ave.; 206.223.1461; marios.com), where denim specialist Andrea Lund helps customers find the right pair from brands such as 7 For All Mankind, Hudson, Paige and Genetic ($168–$250). Mario’s offers free alterations on all regular-price and first-mark-down denim—and not just a hem; it provides waistband alterations, as well, to reduce gaps.

Also shop: While Barneys (downtown, 600 Pine St.; 888.222.7639; barneys.com) nixed its denim bar during a recent renovation, the store revamped its selection to give Seattleites a more vetted showcase of brands and styles, from labels that include Current/Elliott, J Brand, Mother and others. >> At Madewell (University Village and Bellevue Square; madewell.com), it’s all about pocket placement. Take a trip to the denim bar at this JCrew sibling for a pair of slimming jeans that features larger back pockets, placed lower, resulting in a universally more flattering look. Madewell offers hemming services, from $10 to $15, depending on the hem. >> Loyal Lucky Brand (Bellevue, Bellevue Square; Seattle, University Village; Tukwilia: Southcenter Mall; luckybrand.com) jeans shoppers raid the racks for quality denim starting at $100. The store’s wall-to-wall denim collection is set off by an Americana aesthetic of peasant blouses and boho chic. For its latest perk, Lucky recently launched a plus-size denim line, including its popular “Ginger” jeans, which come in a range of washes and styles.

Hate jeans shopping? Hointer (downtown, Pacific Place, 600 Pine St.; Wallingford, 400 NE 45th St.; 650.241.9105; hointer.com) takes jeans shopping in a totally digital—and autonomous—direction. The brainchild of former Amazon head of supply chain and fulfillment technologies Nadia Shouraboura, the experience begins with the Hointer app, which you download upon entering the store. Peruse the jeans hanging from the racks, scan your selection, indicate your size, and within 30 seconds, your jeans are delivered down a chute to your dressing room, completely forgoing any human interaction. Choose from an array of popular lines for men and women, such as Nudie, Joe’s, Paige and AG. Any rejects are sent down another chute, and any keepers are purchased directly from your phone. Another perk? If the store is out of your size, it offers free shipping, not to mention free alterations. Plus, it keeps its prices just a few bucks under those of its competitors, namely, Amazon.