Let’s talk about jeans. It seems to be a topic with an endless number of aspects: trends, style, color, fit, rise, wash, etcetera, etcetera.
I LOVE jeans. I always have. They have come a long way since my high school days when, in order to have a pair of jeans that fit well, they had to be so tight after washing and drying that we had to lay on the bed in order to get the zipper pulled up. Those were the days before Lycra and jeans with stretch.
I’ve been through a multitude of styles – maybe like you: bell bottom Levis, patchwork designs, Calvin Klein straight leg, 501 button-fly Levis.
Jeans have become a staple in the wardrobe of almost everyone, regardless of age and gender. And they are acceptable attire now for every occasion from running errands to work to date night. Have you ever counted the number of jeans you have in your closet or drawers? I hadn’t, until just now. Fifteen. All kinds: colored, skinny, trouser, flared, straight, nice, knock-around, newish and older.
The Perfect Jeans
Finding the perfect pair of jeans can be quite a project. Right? No matter what figure you are trying to accommodate, it is often a challenge to find a pair that satisfies our requirements of a great fit and the perfect style. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
Each season, style magazines feature a section with titles like: JEANS! The Best New Looks & How to Wear Them, The Best Jeans for Every Body, and The Ultimate Guide to Fall’s Hottest Denim Trends. I always excitedly turn to the article, sure that on those pages I will discover the jeans made perfectly for me! And instead I find an interesting overview of current jeans styles or trends with models of different body types wearing them.
Maybe you, like me, have realized that to find a great pair of jeans there is nothing that has been able to replace the tried and true method of trying, trying, trying, until you find that perfect pair. We can learn about particular designers or brands that focus on a particular fit or body type (e.g., curvy, petite, low rise, etc.) and whose designs generally fit our shape better than others. Still, our bodies aren’t cut from a select assortment of molds, and there’s just no better way to find the perfect fit and style than putting in the time and energy and trying on multiple pairs.
Shopping for the Perfect Pair
I’ve developed some criteria that makes my jeans shopping expeditions a little less frustrating than they used to be:
- Comfortable = Stretch – Jeans must have a decent amount of stretch (usually Lycra), but not too much. I want them to be comfortable but not stretch out too much after I’ve worn them for 15 minutes.
- Not too low a rise – It’s the way to avoid the dreaded muffin top. (Muffin top: a roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of women’s tight-fitting low-waisted pants.)
- Style – I decide before I shop what particular style I am searching for.
- Length – No matter how much I want the length of my jeans to work with different pairs of shoes that have different heel heights, the best thing is to purchase jeans that are intended for one type of shoe or heel height.
- Wash/Color – Just like knowing what style I’m shopping for, it really helps to have in mind the wash or color that I’d like to find.
Keeping these important jeans characteristics at the top of my mind when I am shopping for a new pair of jeans really does help once I get into the denim jungle.
Premium and Designer Jeans
Over the years, I have noticed a difference in the quality of jeans at various price points, including the quality of the denim and the fit.
Since I wear jeans a lot and since my figure benefits from jeans that are designed and manufactured to flatter, I now usually stick to “premium” or designer jeans. I’ve decided that the extra money I spend, in the long run, is worth it. These brands fit better, have higher quality denim, and last longer. I feel like I get my money’s worth because I wear them often (I don’t save them for “special” occasions) and I feel better in them that I do when I wear jeans of lower quality. A few of my favorite brands (because they fit my figure well): AG, Mother (they are not mom jeans!) and Paige Premium Denim. Of course, you have the find what works for your shape.
Now, I don’t mind spending more on these premium brand jeans, but if I can find them on sale, it makes the purchase feel pretty sweet! There are almost always premium or designer jeans on the sale racks in most stores, and I always check sale and clearance racks before browsing the full price jeans. Another great option for finding designer jeans marked down are at consignment or resale stores – great finds are possible. Also, you might be surprised at styles and prices you can find online. This might especially be useful if you are looking for a brand that isn’t carried in local retailers or if you need special sizes.
Most of my designer jeans purchases have been for less than full price. Yay! My best luck for scoring marked down designer jeans on multiple shopping trips over the past few years have been at Macy’s and Anthropologie.
If you haven’t ventured into the premium or designer jeans category, try a few pairs on. You have nothing to lose. Make a date with yourself (or invite a friend along) to go on a “trying on” expedition – no buying!! Then you can decide whether you feel the price worth it.
If you want to go a step further and really delve into the world of jeans and denim, there are some blogs that are dedicated to all things denim. Here are a few that I’ve enjoyed reading:
Fall Jeans Trends
Every season we are introduced to a few new trends in the jeans category, and this fall is no exception. I’m not sure all of these new trends are ones I’ll try, but it’s fun to peek at what the designers are showing and fashion-forward trendsetters are wearing. Some of these styles below may be a bit out of your comfort zone, but use these trends as inspiration and interpret them in your style in a way that works for you.
It seems that I’m not alone in my addiction to jeans! Let me know what jeans work for you and your best advice for finding that perfect pair.