Mar 12, 2015

Jeans: My top picks for splurge and save


I was shopping with a client yesterday, replenishing her jean collection was her top priority.  When we went through her closet, she showed me several pairs she had bought inexpensively, but was now unhappy with the fit.  The primary complaint?  They don't hold their shape.  Because skinny jeans are a staple in her wardrobe, for casual or dressy; she felt ready to make an investment purchase (rather than continue to throw money toward cheaper pairs that aren't quite right).  

While the price of an investment pair of jeans usually sends one's head spinning, we did talk about cost-per-wear, of which I am a solid believer.  I would rather see a wardrobe with fewer pieces that fit like a glove and are actually worn regularly (and make the wearer feel amazing), than a closet jam-packed with ill-fitting clothing.  If you spend the money on something you love and will wear for years, it will end up owing you nothing.  But investment pieces require some research and time.

Her concern with the jeans bagging out couldn't be avoided with the ones she had in her closet.  In order to avoid that problem, the elastane/lycra content of the fabric should be no more than 2%.  This allows for some stretch, but will not relax as much as those with a higher percentage.  Most of the higher end jean companies, seem to follow this formula.  Several inexpensive lines also use 1 or 2% lycra, but it is worth taking the time to check.

When you are ready to invest, it is good to go to a store that carries plenty of brands and styles so there will be lots of selection for your body type.  We headed to Holt Renfrew where they have an incredible wall of jeans and fabulous service, but you can also find many of the same brands at Hudson's Bay (or if the dollar was better...Nordstroms, Macy's etc).  

She tried on a variety of brands all which looked terrific:  Rag and Bone, J Brand, Citizens.  But, the pair that ultimately won out was a pair of dark wash skinnies by Paige Denim.  When we chatted with the salesperson about our concerns with the perfect fit, she said we had to try Paige's new TRANSCEND technology.  This fabrication is soft, luxirious, and apparently features an innovative formula that will not stretch out.  There is even a guarantee.  

These look and feel unbelievable.  She went for the Skinny Skyline style which am showing here, but the TRANSCEND technology is available in various styles and washes.  These are worth the splurge.  It took everything in me to resist trying on and getting a pair myself.  When I am in the market for a new pair of jeans, this will definitely be my go-to.  

As amazing as these jeans are, we are not cookie-cutters.  It is always important to ensure that every aspect of the garment fits to perfection for you.  Almost every element of these worked for her, but she still perferred them tighter around the ankle than how they were sitting on her.  Solution?  We asked for the in-house tailor who was able to show her how they could be taken in a titch so they would be the perfect custom-fit.  Tailoring is essential at any price-point and makes all the difference.  


As we move into spring/summer, in addition to our black or dark-wash denim, it is nice to infuse some lighter hues into the rotation.  This is where you will want to look for a save - and I think I have found the perfect steal - the Old Navy Rockstar reg price under $45 and currently on-sale for $30 (and the lycra content is only 1%).  These come in a variety of washes, rises and styles.  If you want to infuse some white, pastel or distressed into your wardrobe for a season without breaking the bank, these would be my top pick.  Maybe you are contemplating giving the on-trend '70s inspired flare a whirl at $30 these will hopefully owe you nothing and could make a fun style statement!