Like finding true love, finding the perfect pair of jeans doesn’t just happen. It’s the culmination of being in the right time and place, lots of sifting and sorting, a couple bad mistakes you live with (only until better options come along) and that angels-come-down-from-heaven moment, when you just know you’ve found “the one.” Therein lies the beauty in a great pair of jeans. One wise purchase and suddenly a multitude of fashion predicaments have been averted, with your new favorites quickly becoming the quiet genius behind PERFECT outfits. On the other hand, a bad pair of jeans has the ego-deflating ferocity of a zit attack on prom night. So choose wisely.
Imagine the perfect Friday night. Miraculously you’ve managed to gather every single item needed for a supermodel’s night-out ensemble, replete with to-die-for leather boots, a perfectly lacey Victorian top (vintage find at a futuristically astronomical price), that darling cropped blazer you bid like crazy for on eBay and some choice chic accessories. Then you complete it with your mom’s lightly acid washed favorite denim – the high-waisted, full-bottomed ol’ standbys with tapered-legs. Of course, there’s a select (very select!) few who may be able to pull this off, but as a rule – you’ve just massacred your perfect outfit and your night out has turned more bag lady than supermodel. Don’t believe it? Check out Marc Jacobs Fall 2005 collection and ask yourself honestly – if runway models can’t pull off eastern European fashion circa 1990, do I even want to try?
Of course, your denim woes would never be so extreme but here are some tips on finding your new favorite partners in crime. First of all, take a good look at your wardrobe and know what you need/want before you start shopping. This season’s variety of washes, cuts and colors means lots of options but also lots of room for $200+ regrets. Your jeans should be a compliment to your personal style. If boho’s not your thing, don’t force yourself into a pair of hippy jeans. They’ll end up matching nothing in your closet. Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans are an excellent choice for classic cut denim; versatile enough to wear dressed up or down. With just the perfect amount of light distressing, their super low, blue fusion jeans may just be The pants jeans dream of becoming when they get grow up. An added bonus is they’re unbelievably soft which guarantees them reaching “old favorite” status instantly. If you plan on cuffing your pants, opt for a slimmer fitting boot cut version.
However, if you’re drawn towards jeans with more individualized accents, True Religion has a huge selection of stylishly tattered denim. Heavy distressing, a more flared cut and button flap pockets are common on every pair and some sport a unique twisted inseam that makes for a flattering and distinctive fit. So many details are ideal for making a stand-out first impression but also pose a risk of looking outdated later. Nevertheless, until that fateful moment comes, you’ll be at the zenith of fashion. Their jeans are known for creating memorably good-looking backsides (think Cameron Diaz), so feel free to strut.
No matter what fit you’re searching for, hit stores that carry many pairs of your favorite brands and don’t be afraid to try on pants in every size. Don’t bother buying too small on the caveat that “you’ll lose weight” – you won’t anytime soon and the temptation to wear new clothes will mean a too tight waistband creating even more noticeable bulges. Bend, sit, stretch and twist and get a good feel of how the jeans fit. If they require constant tugging and adjusting to stay in place, ditch ‘em. Remember, it’s easy enough to hem long pants but too short or too pinchy can’t be fixed. Once you think you’ve found your perfect match, ask for a second opinion but don’t always trust it. If you can picture you and those jeans doing EVERYTHING together for the rest of your life and the thought thrills you, you’ve probably found “the one.”