Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? The ones you reach for no matter what, and you kind of have to convince yourself to give your other pairs a chance from time to time? I definitely do. It's a pair of Levi's 501 Japanese denim that look vintage but aren't, which means I can buy another pair and I'm probably going to. I love them because they hold their shape, look better the more I wear them, are just the right length for me, and they're the perfect fit somewhere between boyfriend and slim. But they don't work for every outfit. They're not super high waisted which means I have to recruit some other favorites from my closet when I want to wear a more cropped top, and they're definitely casual so they don't work when I need a sleeker pair. There are certain categories of items in our closets where the collection just has to be solid. The things you wear every day - your neutral tees, your jackets... but your jeans are the most key and we often overlook them or get overwhelmed at the thought of shopping for them. When your jeans are good, the rest of your outfit has an easy path to success. And when your jeans are bad, you're bound to feel off no matter how great the rest of your outfit is. So today I wanted to share with you a few key tips to assessing and updating your denim collection, and some of my favorite pairs out there to buy right now!
To start, I would encourage you to take out all of your jeans, including the ones you just straight up pretend aren't there, and try them on. Really look at how they flatter your body, see how they feel, and how they're fitting. Do this at a separate time from the rest of your closet because jeans take the most energy. Ask yourself these questions about each pair:
1. Does it fit me? Like... actually? This is the hardest one but it's the most important. If they don't fit you, especially if they haven't for a long time, get rid of them. If they washed horribly after several uses and now get super bunchy in the knees, you're never going to love them. I get wanting to save your favorite pair for when you lose the baby weight, but be realistic. I once had a pair of jeans that literally fit me for ONE WEEK at my skinniest while I was doing the South Beach Diet (remember that?? Me neither). I saved them for years after that and they only depressed me when I came across them. It was liberating to finally part with them when I got real about the situation. Remember, any hole you create in your wardrobe leaves room for new better things to come in.
2. When was the last time I wore them? If style has evolved greatly since you last wore them, it's a good time to part with them. I recently got rid of all my low rise jeans including ones I used to LOVE and it felt amazing.
3. Do they add or subtract from my look? If putting them on makes you just feel blah, they don't deserve to be here. They should add extra oomph, confidence, and spring to your step.
4. Are they showing wear in the RIGHT places? There's a difference between worn in and worn out. If the fabric looks worn in a bad way (this especially happens with cheapy elasticy ones), is saggy and thinned out in the butt or knees, they should go. If they are faded and frayed and looking vintagey and yummy, KEEP.
5. Make sure you have some "dressy" ones too. There's always a need that pops up for jeans that are more elevated - date nights, a lunch meeting, girls nights where you want to wear a cute top with jeans for a nicer bar, etc. For me, it's this pair.
6. Note the current trends. The cool part about the current denim trends is that there isn't really a right or a wrong, and you don't have to spend $200 to get a good pair. BUT if we have to name a few, here are some to add to your collection:
- High waisted (YES)
- Vintage (or vintagey). Think button fly, non-stretch, a little bit "mom jean." Levi's 501's, Wrangler, etc.
- Cropped flare
- Frayed hems
- High-low hems
- Ankle length
- Side stripe
Check out some of my favorite jeans out there right now, and keep in mind it always just comes down to fit with jeans. Be picky!!
Have fun with it, don't worry about the size number, and just focus on what really works for you. The goal is to have a stack of jeans in your closet that's only made up of pairs that make you feel like a million bucks. I promise you that with this part of your wardrobe updated and on point, everything else feels so easy and effortless!
Photography by Ashley Burns