Alright. I have a confession. I had never been to Jeans Jeans Jeans before Saturday. When asked my opinion about this crazy denim outlet in the basement in the heart of the textile district, I always had to spew out second hand information: "I hear it's a good deal" or "I hear they're really helpful" which always illicited a "You haven't been?! But you...you've shopped every store in this city!"
Thanks to my friend Nancy's need for jeans, I had the perfect excuse to check it out on a beautiful spring-is-in-the-air-Saturday. Which apparently was the thought everyone else had in mind, though I think it is safe to assume that Saturday afternoons are always chaos and confusion at Jeans Jeans Jeans.
Let me tell ya, nothing prepared me for the experience. Not even running into friends who had gone in and left due to sheer overwhelm. As we descended into the denim abyss and were confronted by the 30-person change room line up, Nancy began to panic and suggested it'd be better to return another day. I thankfully had my shopping wits about me. "We're already here", I insisted. "And I bet the line up is shorter at the changeroom in the back". It was. (Smart Shopper Tip: Use the most remote changeroom in a store to avoid a lineup) And we did. And here's what I think...
Customer Service. 5 stars
We squeezed into the tiny aisles with everyone else and headed for our favourite brands. Everytime we grabbed at a pair of jeans and started to find our size, a friendly girl would pop her head in and ask "What size you need?" and get it for us, even if her arms were full and other salesgirls were calling her name. "I'm busy!", she'd yell across the floor in the direction of her name. "Find me a Parasuco skinny in a 29 with diamond bling back pocket!" Some floor girls even took the time to explain the colour codes for sizes, though I couldn't ever find the navy blue hangers and ended up looking at tags anyhow.
The staff at the changerooms are even more helpful, if that is possible. If they can't flag down a floor girl for your bling pocket whatchamacallits in whichever size, they'll go get it themselves. And they will not hesitate to tell you when a pair of pants is perfect for you - their method for assessing this is to tell you to turn around so they can see how your bum looks while the line-up looks on.
When I noticed that I was still holding a pair of ill-fitting jeans with some seriously bad backpocket bling instead of my perfect fit Second Yoga Jeans, (I had accidentally dumped the wrong pair on the reject pile) my changeroom girl disappeared for ten whole minutes and didn't return until they were located. That is customer service.
Doesn't end there: they also offer on the spot tailoring, 20 - 30 minutes wait time! She does it right in front of you, squeezed between racks of denim. Even the guy who cashed us out was a stand up comedian and somehow got Nancy to offer to take me for coffee at Olympico! What a prince.
Staff Knowledge: 5 Stars
Though I like to stay on top of which brands design for which body types (don't worry I'll write about that soon enough) there is no need to go in there with any idea of what jeans you want/like/need/fit - they are experts on what brands and fits suit flat bums/booty/small calves/big calves/hips/bellies and on. They can also tell you if something will shrink/stain/retain/loosen and soften. I was informed that my Second Yoga jeans have a four way stretch. Fascinating.
Selection: 5 Stars
Obviously, Jeans Jeans Jeans is reknowned for its selection. But my biggest doubt about Jeans Jeans Jeans was whether they would have a conscious consumption selection. Would it all be made in China brands? Oh my, were my fears put to rest! Not only do they carry our homegrown Guido and Mary (yup, made right here in Montreal!), I found other brands, like the pair of Seconds I purchased, that were made in Canada as well!
Price: 4 Stars
I should probably give them 5 Stars, but I still haven't come to terms with the exorbitant price of denim today. Seeing as most of the jeans are under $80 when they're $120 everywhere else, perhaps my 4 Stars is harsh. I don't know how much the tailoring cost but I imagine the convenience is worth whatever they think is reasonable to charge. They also have a bunch of sales racks (I got a pair of skinny green jeans off of those for $30) and some good Buy One Get Second Half Price deals.
Hours: 5 Stars.
Open from 9 - 4 on Saturday, it is a good idea to get there early! Jeans Jeans Jeans is closed on Sundays, which might inconvenience a lot of people, but they are open 9 - 9 on Thursdays so if you can, go then!
Honestly, I don't know if I'll ever buy my jeans anywhere else unless they are a special fit, or from a local designer. Jeans Jeans Jeans I say!
Jeans Jeans Jeans is located at 5575 Casgrain.