A Good Pair of Jeans Will Change Your Life
I don't know about guys, but for girls, shopping for jeans is almost as painful as shopping for a new swimsuit. I sometimes refer to jeans shopping as "Proportions: Impossible" because at 4'10, jeans are never the right length and -- more often than not -- the placement of the knees, and the rise, are ridiculous; yes, even in the petites section. I know the same goes for my tall friends. It seems like the perfect pair of jeans are the sartorial equivalent of the unicorn: beautiful, much-desired and totally fictional.
Maybe not totally, but it can feel that way as you discard pair after pair over a fitting room door. Too long, too tight or too loose in the wrong spot, crappy zipper, ugly wash, funky cut that makes you look too dated -- a myriad of things can go wrong when you are shopping for jeans. So here are a few tips that can help it go right. Or right-er.
You probably already know some of these rules, but they bear repeating:
• Dark wash is your friend: There is really nothing wrong with light wash jeans, but the fact is a pair of jeans in a dark wash is going to give you more bang for your buck. They are simply more appropriate, for more occasions and more venues. • Straight/trouser cut is universally flattering: Keep one pair of these jeans in your closet (again, dark wash!) and you will reach for them time and again. • Read the label: Sure, jeans are made of durable cotton, but treat them nicely, as the manufacturer intends. If you have the budget, dry cleaning keeps them in the best condition, but hand-washing is another option; machine washing, inside-out to preserve color, is yet another option. Hanging to dry and ironing your jeans? Yep. Or dry in the dryer until damp and then let them air-dry the rest of the way. Lucky Jeans has an extensive care guide with tips for caring for your (well, their) denim.
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So how about what jeans to buy? Good jeans don't really come cheap, unfortunately. The problem with inexpensive jeans is that even if you find a pair that looks great in the store, they are going to lose their shape and color more quickly, especially if you don't plan on dry cleaning your $25 Old Navy dungarees every time they get dirty. Here are three pair of jeans that get high all-around marks.
Gap Long & Lean
A pair I've purchased several times over, the Gap Long & Lean line is great if you are long and lean or if you are engaging in some aspirational dressing. The most affordable pair on the list, they retail for $59.95-$69.95; they come in a variety of colors and washes, including a gray that I covet.
Tie: J.Crew and Banana Republic
J.Crew is a little pricier, but they have more options in terms of modern cuts and washes; Banana Republic offers less expensive jeans, but they have the ever-elusive trouser jean in a dark wash that short gals covet. Decisions, decisions!
These prices might make you gulp, but can you really put a price tag on a piece of clothing that you will wear over and over and over again? With proper care, jeans can last for years and years, and end up costing you a few dollars -- or pennies! -- per wear. At least, that's what I tell myself when I splurge.
Joe's makes jeans in every shape, size, color, material and pattern, so if you *need* a pair of skinny windowpane jeans in blue and burgundy, they have you covered. If you are only going in for one pair, these Curvy Bootcut ("The Honey") in a dark wash with antique silver hardware are gorgeous.
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