I’m by no means an advocate for a capsule wardrobe. I’ve got far too many clothes, most of which are too loud and obnoxious to pair with an array of other items. In an effort to be more sustainable, and to do what I can to cut down my carbon footprint, I am trying to be more of a cautious shopper. As much as I love fun and exotic clothing, I’ve begun paying attention to the essentials. I’ve become aware of my wardrobe staples, and what I need for interchangeable outfits to work. The one item I believe everyone needs is a good pair of jeans. Whether your preference is blue or black, skinny or flared, jeans are the item of clothing that is going to pair well with almost all other garments, as well as being the easiest item of clothing when it comes to styling.
I love denim, but I’ve often seen jeans as a little bland and basic. If I want to feel my best, I’ll rarely reach for a pair of jeans. Despite this, I know jeans are essential to my wardrobe; they’re an item I can wear when nipping to town, going to a lecture, or just pottering around the house (yes, I’m one of those people that wears jeans when I’m at home, I’m sorry!). What’s more, if you find the perfect style and fit, a jean doesn’t have to be a basic option and can be dressed up in a variety of fun and unique ways.
I’ve only got two pairs of jeans in my wardrobe. One is a black pair of mom jeans, which I wear less frequently, and generally only in the colder months. The other is a blue mom jean with frayed cuffs. I picked them up around two years ago, with a matching jacket, and they’re 100% a wardrobe essential. I’m on the hunt for a second-hand or sustainable pair of white mom jeans, but for now, these aren’t essential, and my and my blue wash are getting by just fine.
I thought I’d put together a few tips to help those on the hunt for their perfect denim pairing; what I value in an item I’m going to be wearing frequently, and what to look for before you buy.
Price is always a complicated one. As a student, I by no means have an abundance of cash to splash on clothing. There usually always a correlation between quality and price. A cheaper pair of jeans isn’t going to last as long as a slightly more pricey one. This means your jeans will decrease in quality, and eventually not produce the same look or fit as they initially did. Whereas, a more expensive pair is more likely to be made of better quality fabrics and materials, and thus remain high quality over time. Spending large quantities of money on something as basic as a pair of jeans can be frustrating, but as is frequently spending money on the same pair of cheaper, less substantial, jeans. I think as long as you’re aware of this, then it is up to you to make the distinction. Think about how your purchase will affect both your wallet and the environment, and weigh up what you think is the most realistic and viable purchase for you. From personal experience, I tend to buy jeans that are still high street, but the higher end of the high street. This is the position I am currently in and a realistic way for me to contribute to slow styling. Alternatively, I will look on second hand selling sites, like Depop, seeking out high-quality brands and clothing for a lesser price. If you’re in the market for high-quality denim at a lower price, I’d definitely recommend this.
Fit & Style
Fit and style is a huge factor to think about. If you’re planning on having this denim in your wardrobe for several years, you have to make sure its a style you’ll still love in years to come. Trends are great fun, but when buying essentials, it’s best to stick to what you know and love. Find a pair that you feel your very best in. Don’t settle for less or compromise, it’s not worth it, and means you’ll more than likely end up not getting enough wear out of them. Think, is it a colour that will suit the rest of my wardrobe? Is it a fit that I find flattering? Look at the purchase as an investment; you wouldn’t enter an investment without going over all the variables.
Fabric is of vital importance when purchasing a good pair of jeans. Lower-quality denim will result in a poor fit and appearance. Jeans that are going to last longer need to have a good memory. This means they spring back to their original shape after wearing and washing, ensuring the jeans look and feel the same over time.
As a teenager, I loved wearing skinny jeans. Now, I much prefer a mom or flared fit. Over time, I’ve become more aware of what I like, and what is a trend I’m flippantly buying into. I’ve been wearing mom jeans for several years, and so I don’t shy away from investing in a good pair. My advice is to think before you buy; try on a few different styles, search inspiring outfits on Pinterest. Make sure you’re certain of the shape and style you like best.
Denim comes in all different colours. Although I’m more inclined to say buying a pair of blue jeans is the most wearable and versatile, I know people have different styles and wardrobes. I love a bright garm as much as the next girl, but if we’re talking interchangeable essentials, my denim has to stay blue. This is why I decided to invest in blue denim, and play around with brighter/ more extreme styles with second hand, cheaper bits. Pick a colour, could be blue, black, or white, that you know will go with everything in your wardrobe, and is a simple styling piece.
That’s my go-to check-list for finding the perfect pair of jeans. People will value some things over others, and that’s fine. We’re all in different positions when it comes to purchasing and where we do it from. If you’re in the market for your perfect denim fit, I hope these tips can help you find it.