Jeans are a staple in my wardrobe. I love dressing them up more than anything. What’s sexier than a great fitting pair of jeans and a pretty top and dressy shoes? Or following in the footsteps of Chanel: pairing a great feminine jacket with a jean and adding pretty jewelry. Or, another favorite of mine is wearing a military style jacket and a simple tee shirt with a rolled up jean and a platform sandal. Jeans offer so much!
A jean is great for travel. It’s hard to make it look lived in or dirty. As much as I love a white linen trouser, I have to be really careful or I may be sending it to the cleaners within two wearings!
Jeans are great for me during the week and on the weekends. I can wear a slim, dark jean, a silk top and a fitted jacket to work. I can wear a boyfriend jean and a tunic top around Sonoma while strolling through the Farmer’s Market on Saturday or while enjoying a latte outside in the garden at the Sunflower Cafe.
So when I was trying on jeans with my daughter Erin at TJ Maxx the other day while my car was being serviced right next door at Sonnen Motors (isn’t that convenient?), I was looking at myself in a pair of Joe’s Jeans in the dressing room mirror. Standing right next to me was Erin who said, “They look good but do you have this base covered already?” Good question! I bought that pair of Joe’s Jeans and took it home to meet the rest of the crew. A couple of days later, I called a meeting with all of my jeans.
“Jeans,” I said, “A question has come up about your relevancy in my wardrobe life. I’m going to do a top to bottom review of the jean situation and there may be some cuts before the end of the day.” I used my CEO tone of voice.
I established my criteria for staying or going. I want my jeans to fit well, be great colors (different shades of blue), and 100% useful to me, without exception. While I don’t have any super low-rise jeans in my wardrobe, I do have some mid-low-rise jeans. If I’m telling the truth, they’re kind of a pain in the ass. They want to slip down. I have to add a belt to keep them sitting where I want them to but I don’t have a flat stomach so they still slip and slide even with a belt.
The rise in jeans is getting longer and the newer styles fit me better. I’m realizing this. So now, even though I might love the color, wash, or the style of a particular jean, if wearing it frustrates me, I’m ready to admit it’s just not working out for us.
So my mantra as I tried on my jeans was “If it’s too low, it’s gotta go.” I reminded myself that I want ease in my wardrobe. I don’t want to struggle. Only the ones that are “just right” can stay.
I eliminated five pairs of jeans that I truly love for many reasons, but loving them is not enough. I solemnly put them in the wash and then hung them up to dry on the clothes line in the back yard for the last time. (I never tumble dry my jeans.) And now they’re in the car and Erin has promised to find them a new home at a consignment store near her house.
Even though it’s hard to do, sometimes you just have to make some cuts in your wardrobe in order to make the whole wardrobe culture thrive. If you’re in this position, I can offer this advice: Wear your CEO hat when you’re telling them to clean out their pockets and head on out the door. Being sentimental at a time like this isn’t going to be useful. Good luck!