This is my lower half clad in A.P.C. Rescues. The Rescue is A.P.C.'s largest cut of selvedge denim. As you can see, the fit in the thighs is quite tight (and this is well after the well-known "APC stretch" over the first week or so of wear).
Perhaps this gives you some perspective on exactly what I'm dealing with. I seriously could not even consider putting on a pair of New Standards or New Cures (/shudder).
There have been several indications that even the Rescues are too small for me. Since A.P.C. is vanity sized, I sized down three sizes (I usually wear a size 33 or 34 and I went with a 30). The waist ended up stretching out quite a bit and I would now estimate it at 34. However, the thighs are still very tight.
This past summer, while getting down on the dance floor at a local party, I ended up blowing out my right leg's outside seam. About eight inches of seam just tore because of the pressure contained within. I easily repaired the jeans. My pride however; not so much. Anyway, the search is still on for a better-fitting, high-quality raw denim option for my giant thighs/butt.
Before the A.P.C.s though, my love affair with dry denim was born with the classic Levis 501. To the right is my first pair, pretty worn in (R.I.P.). In the world of Levi's, the 501 is the largest cut that can still be considered straight fit and not "relaxed". A very popular, more tapered cut that Levi's offers is the 514. I once tried a pair of these on at a Levi's store: no dice. The 501 is my jam.
I actually have three pairs of 501s in my wardrobe right now: two pairs of greencasts (one newer, one older) and a black pair. The relatively large rise of the 501s better jive with my lower body and naturally, these have become my standard bang-around jeans. My only issue with them is that they have a propensity for unattractive stretching of the knees, yielding what is known colloquially in the denim community as knee bags.
Whether it was shear joy at how beautiful they were or just an impulse, I recently bought a pair of Epaulet's Smith jean (pictured left). I think I was mainly drawn to them because they're made with 14oz selvedge from the Cone Mills White Oak plant in North Carolina. The production of this fabric was discontinued eight years ago and all that was made is all there ever will be.
In my excitement, I seemed to have misread the measurements on the site. They were awesome but I had to return them because they were too small. Good news came out of this gaffe, however; Mike from Epaulet informed me that they were working on a cut that was designed for dudes with bigger thighs. I'm excited to see if they'll fit me and I would definitely consider buying them if they did. We'll see.