Buying jeans is probably one of the most difficult things to do when shopping. There are so many variables and so many options out there it’s a miracle that we ever find the right pair. As for most of us jeans are one of the most-worn categories in our wardrobe, choosing a pair can be daunting, so I’ve put together a little guide to buying denim in the perfect size, fit and wash and also thrown in some of my favourite brands and styles for inspiration.
There are so many options out there when it comes to fit. Low waist, high waist, mid waist, straight leg, skinny, flared. SO MANY OPTIONS. First order of business is considering what fit you prefer. Think of what you have been wearing the most lately, what you find most comfortable and what you find suits you best. Look at that rainbow of washes and establish what waist or cut could elevate your style, adding some excitement to your daily uniform.
Size is a tricky one. Size measurements vary between brands wayyy too often. Vanity sizing is real and with some brands you may have to size up or down. If you have a measuring tape, measure out your waist and use that to compare to the sizing chart offered by that particular brand. I usually just go with my standard size, but always make sure to check return policies online in case there is any variation. If you are unsure, popping in store to try on different options is always an option.
Different washes tend to create different aesthetics. Consider what your style and aesthetic you embody, or would like to expand into, then see what you are missing. Mid-washes and light coloured jeans tend to have a more summery aesthetic, while indigo and dark wash jeans look amazing with an oversized coat and a chunky jumper.
This is a big one for me. Establish what composition you’re after. The composition of denim vastly impacts its look, feel and structure. A higher elastane component will typically result in a thinner more malleable construction, causing the pair to stretch out faster. These types of jeans are comfortable straight off the rack, however they will last you less time overall. My personal favourites are jeans made of 100% cotton. They are more sturdy, structured, with a classic look and more sustainable. These types of jeans may be less comfortable to start off with, however over time they will mould to your body and be your perfect fit. It just takes a little dedication for the perfect pair that will last you forever.
The range of prices for jeans on the market is huge. You could be spending $60 at Topshop or $300 on Agolde. It is up to you to establish what is reasonable for you and be able to balance cost with quality. Figure out what the best fit/wash/fabric combo that can be achieved within your budget is and start there.
Order online. If you enjoy going to shop in store or you feel that you need to try on different sizes thats fine. I, however, find shopping online much easier as the return process is usually quite efficient, not needing to trek it into store every time you need to return or exchange an item. Plus, being able to try things in the comfort of your own home, away from the dreaded cubicle and neon lighting is always a bonus.
LEVI’S 501 CROP JEANS in LOST CAUSE
The 501 Crop Jeans by Levi’s are the iconic original in a cropped length. The style features a high waist, straight leg, button fly, leather patch, blue wash and 100% cotton fabrication. One of the better pairs I’ve had from Levi’s. Typically the waist is a little too big, but these fit well and are a perfect pair of everyday pull on jeans. Also the button fly is a big yes in my book.
WEEKDAY ROWE HIGH WAIST JEANS in WIN BLUE
Weekday is one of my absolute favourite brands to buy jeans from. They are of decent quality and priced very reasonably. The Rowe jeans are a straight fit with a high waist, tight around the waist and bum and loose through the leg. They are also made of classic non-stretch 100% cotton denim. The classic indigo wash gives them a vintage feel while staying modern.
WEEKDAY Lash Extra High Mom Jeans
Weekday strikes again. Lash jeans are a mom fit that sits very high on the waist (my absolute favourite kind of jean) while still leaving some space in the thighs. The leg is tapered and very comfortable. Made of 99% organic cotton and 1% elastane.
WRANGLER HI BIRKIN JEANS
THESE are my favourite jeans ever. I’ve had them for about 4 years now and have worn them to death. I have had to handsew the belt loops back on twice now as the denim has ripped from me pulling them up and I just wont let them go. Going to keep wearing them until they rip on me completely. They are inspired by the 70’s and the icon that inspired a generation, Jane Birkin. I chased these down for about a year as they kept selling out in stores, then found them at a warehouse sale for $30. (!) I wish I could buy another pair for when these get ruined, but sadly they’re nowhere to be found anymore and nothing else that I try seems to quite capture the same allure. If you have any suggestions please do let me know!