Jeans have been staple in my wardrobe. More than anything I love dressing them up. 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, now as it gets colder, wearing a cozy sweater with them and adding a cool coat. Jeans offer so much!
A jean is great for travel. It’s hard to make it look lived in or dirty.
Jeans are great for me during the week and on the weekends. Sometimes I wear a slim, dark jean, a silk top and a fitted jacket to work. I wear a boyfriend jean and a tunic top around Sonoma while enjoying a latte outside under the heat lamps at the Sunflower Caffe.
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 Mothers 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 decided to take them home to meet the rest of the jean 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 place in my wardrobe life. I’m going to do a top to bottom review of this jean situation and there may be some cuts before the end of the day.” I used my CEO tone of voice.
Why a jean leaves the building
I established my criteria for staying or going. I want my jeans to fit well, be great colors (even if that means 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 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. I don’t have a flat stomach so they still slip down otherwise.
The rise in jeans is getting longer and the newer styles are fitting me better. So even though I might love the color, wash, or the style a jean I possess, 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.” Only the ones that are “just right” are going to stay.
I eliminated five pairs of jeans that I truly love for many reasons, but love is not enough. I put them lovingly in the washing machine and then hung them up to dry on the clothes line in the back yard. (I never tumble dry my jeans.) And now they’re in the car and Erin has promised to find them a new home at her and her sister’s consignment store, Sax, in San Anselmo.
Even though it’s hard to do, sometimes you just have to make some cuts in your wardrobe to make the wardrobe culture thrive. It helps to wear your CEO hat when you’re telling them to clean out their pockets and head on out the door.
Do you have some jeans that aren’t working out? What will you do with them?
Cathy D.November 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm
Thank you for another interesting post. I too have gotten rid of jeans because they were too low cut and tended to slide down… how unpleasant that was!
I’m wondering if sometime you would do a more general post about jeans. For example, how can you tell whether a new pair of jeans is going to stretch out and bag after a few hours of wear, what styles of jeans should we all own, what’s the best way to launder jeans, why do we have to wash brand new jeans before we wear them (shouldn’t the manufacturer do that), and what length should they be (to roll or not to roll)… and so much more.
I have a problem with skinny jeans that cannot be unique to me. They may appear to fit well when I first try them on. Then I sit down and they ride up in the calf, and possibly in the thigh. Then I stand up and they do not slide down. I have to bend over and pull them down. Am I the only person with this problem? I think my legs are fairly average in shape and size.
Sorry if I’m asking too many questions. It’s only because I’m sure you have the answers.
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:34 am
Asking questions is fabulous! I’m putting these ideas into my blog journal where they will start collect there thoughts so I can give a proper answer. Bring on the jean questions! Thanks, Cathy! Stay tuned!
La semaine d'une gourmetteDecember 1, 2016 at 4:46 am
Nice post. I can’t wear low-rise, so I’m really happy about the high rise return we see nowasays!
Cathy D, I have the answers for 2 of your queries (we’ll see if Brenda agrees :-)) :
1) what styles of jeans should we all own
Women are all different, there’s no one style of jeans everybody should own. Buy what fits you, what makes you look and feel good.
2) why do we have to wash brand new jeans before we wear them
Actually, it’s best to wash anything that will touch your skin before wearing it. Tha’ts because all garments are sprayed in all sorts of pesticides in order to keep the pests away in the warehouses. I assure you, you do NOT want to know what kind of horrid chemical stuff the pari of jeans you just bought contains…
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:35 am
Thanks for starting my jean blog post!!! I quite agree with #1 and I agree with #2 and will add to that as well. Oh, I can’t wait to spill the beans on jeans! Thanks for getting the solutions started!
Ann GDecember 1, 2016 at 5:09 am
Thanks so much, Brenda! There are several pairs of uncomfortable jeans hanging (in the back of) my closet. They’re going this weekend.
For people like me, with a small waist and fuller hips, the new “curvy fit” styles are perfect. I usually wear a size smaller in this style. However, like Cathy D, skinny legs ride up and have to be pulled down. Any advice would be appreciated!
Love your posts!
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:39 am
I love this community!!! You’re all helping each other! I think I’m going to have to write this post and plan to publish it next week! All sorts of things are gurgling up for me. I’m going to wear my skinny jeans and see what it is I do. I have one tip about skinny jeans: there are skinny jeans (super skinny) and then there are skinny jeans. My skinny jeans are far from jeggings. I want to wear them in public without feeling funny so I go for skinnies that still have some room to move…usually, my latest burgundy ones are an exception. I will study them tomorrow and get back to you. Thanks, Ann!
HollyDecember 1, 2016 at 6:27 am
I had given up on jeans since putting on some weight and finding my shape changing at 51, but I found some looser boyfriend jeans this past summer that I love and I can finally wear jeans again. I really want to find a pair of dark jeggings, as I don’t like bulky buttons & zippers. I’d love if you could post a jean guide for shapes/ages/comfort/style.
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:41 am
I will Holly. For starters though, have you looked at the brand Jag Jeans? They have a smooth top without the buttons or zippers. You pull them on. Many of my clients own these. For a dark jegging, I go to the lingerie department. Hue has pull up jean style jeggings in all kinds of colors. We’re getting this jean party started!
ChristineDecember 1, 2016 at 7:02 am
I’m always afraid to let go of jeans that haven’t been worn for a season because….shape changes. When I’m more active, I put on few pounds of muscle and some pairs fit better. When I’m less active, or eating differently….other pairs fit better. So, the jeans section of my closet tends to be a bit large, even if I currently only have 3 pairs in rotation. Conundrums!
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:44 am
This is so true! Oh, I have a solution for this too. Let me put it in my notes. I’ll tell you more about how I use it but it’s called the Instant Button. It’s for jeans. I’ll have a link in the soon to be jean guide and an explanation. I hear you, Christine! You are not alone!
PatDecember 1, 2016 at 7:40 am
Sooo timely, Brenda……I have -0- pairs of jeans in my closet. Being a casual retiree I would love to have a pair of jeans in my wardrobe….however….waistline is in between sizes, size down create muffin top, size up baggy bottom and legs, rise is too short, etc. Color, darker denim too heavy for my smallish, warm tone coloring. Light denim too casual for a polished look….on and on, and on. Any and all suggestions from you and the beautiful women that hang on your every word, like me, would be greatly appreciated.
A faithful fan,
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:45 am
You will have a robust guide soon! You are all inspiring me! I’ve got some work to do here. And I will do it while whistling!
Your faithful Brenda, with upcoming ideas for you! Thanks, Pat!
AndreaDecember 1, 2016 at 7:56 am
Ugh! I love jeans but am ready to throw away every pair I own (donate, really). Size up? Too big. Size down? Too small. Every pair grows as the day goes on. Muffin tops! Shrinkage makes them too short (I’m almost 5’10”). I’d buy more expensive brands ($200, yikes!), but I’m not convinced they’d work out any better and would have the same issues. How can you buy a pair that works when they change as the day goes on???
BrendaDecember 1, 2016 at 8:51 am
Andrea, this is an issue. I will consult my crystal ball and produce some answers. I’m thinking about what everyone has said already and honestly, there is help on the way. I’m loving these wide range of questions. Let me get my thoughts together and get back to you. It’s very true that some jeans grow while others behave. I don’t think I have growing jeans in my jean wardrobe so I want to investigate. Is it the brand? Is it the amount of spandex in them? I will check. In the meantime, if you are near a store with a big selection try some Paige Hi-Rise jeans on. They are go-tos for me. When buying jeans that you’re not sure of, buy them at a department store like Nordstrom. Even if they seem promising in the store if they bag out at home, you can take them back and get your money back. This happened with one of my clients and I said, “Back it goes!” Sometimes it’s even a fluke because that had been a trusted brand. Thanks for sharing what’s going on for you. This is so helpful!
Kande HallDecember 1, 2016 at 11:18 am
You are just so cute and I love your smile. My favorite is the gray and beige coat and booties. Thanks for the outfit inspiration.
BrendaDecember 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm
You bet! I’m happy you found it inspiring!
DianeDecember 2, 2016 at 9:04 am
Great post!!! Had some giggles while reading it. Enjoyed your CEO side! I’m a Midwestern jeans girl. I currently must have 50 pair in my closet right now. Not all are my favorites and I need to say good-bye to many of them. But, yes, the fit can be a problem. It seems there are so many factors to consider when trying to achieve comfort with a jean. I also have the problem of skinny jeans not slipping down over my calves after sitting. So annoying!! What brand of jeans are you wearing in the third picture down? They look super comfy. My perfect jean would have some stretch, a higher rise, not fit like a jegging but have a little roominess in the leg while still being straight or slim, not ride down during the day, and be a soft denim. Is it possible to find such a pair?? Oh, and be offered in several washes and even colors. Not asking for much. LOL! Can’t wait to read your blog addressing this topic.
BrendaDecember 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm
W-e-l-l, you may be asking for a lot! But a girl can request what she wants, right? That third picture down jean is by Current/Elliott. It’s probably been in my jean wardrobe the longest. And I mean LONG, like years. It’s so very comfy. I always look for jeans that don’t fit like a jogging too. Too much trouble and too much to worry about. Hmm, my jeans like that that fit that category (stretch, higher rise, roominess but still slim, soft) is … just a moment … still checking … Eileen Fisher! I thought it was going to be something else. Eileen Fisher has done fabulous jeans and then she’s put out jeans that stretched like crazy and I brought them back for my client who purchased that edition of them and got her her money back. I’d love to see your collection! I bet I could help you weed them out! You know, I’m a Midwestern girl too, not that that has anything to do with jeans! I heart the Midwest!
Penelope Chandra- ShekarDecember 2, 2016 at 10:27 pm
Love this discussion and look forward to more.
Those Jag jeans that I thought would be a solution to tummy bulge haven’t worked out for me. After wearing them a while they start to slide South and I am constantly tugging them up. They had to go.
BrendaDecember 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm
Gosh, this is great feedback. And now I’m remembering a pair of Jag white jeans I had purchased years ago and that happened to me too! They were one of the pairs I let go off but it was mainly because they were awfully thick and I wanted thinner white jeans in my wardrobe which I found at Chico’s. Thanks for sharing!
RenaDecember 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm
fabulous post and a great reminder to always be mindful of that the wardrobe is a living thing and needs TLC in order to thrive.
BrendaDecember 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm
You said that beautifully, Rena! Yes, bring on the TLC.
Susan StreetJanuary 18, 2018 at 11:07 am
You are correct Brenda, sometimes the love affair is over, and there is no turning back. I recently took five shopping bags full of like new jeans, tops, and coats as well as a bunch of shoes to the local high school. Many kids were wearing shorts to school this winter (if they even showed up) because they didn’t have anything else to wear. A couple of female students who are Seniors this year started the ‘Caring Closet’ so that those kids can discretely get the clothes and shoes they need for free.
BrendaJanuary 18, 2018 at 11:10 am
What a great source for recycling your past love affairs to someone new. Thanks for sharing this. It makes me want to find other sources as well.
Linda SOctober 5, 2019 at 3:29 pm
Brenda, I love the hat you are wearing. What style is it?
BrendaOctober 17, 2019 at 10:46 am
I think I’d call it a beanie. A floppy beanie! It’s not super tight at all. Hope I’m right on the name of it!
Kathie AdamsOctober 14, 2019 at 6:38 am
I came across this post about a month ago and it gave me permission to admit that a couple pair of my jeans just weren’t cutting it anymore! One of the good brand skinnies went to my granddaughter! She wears them everyday. And the other went to GW. I had not changed size, I just didn’t like the way they felt anymore! Too snug, too low cut. So, I shopped & found a couple of replacements that seem to be much better. Smooth tops, love them! Sometimes we just need to reevaluate.
BrendaOctober 17, 2019 at 10:14 am
You’re so right. I get to practice reevaluating every week with my clients. It’s amazing how some things we didn’t wear just don’t cut it anymore and other things come forward and take the spotlight for a season even if you didn’t wear it last year. Clothes have personalities. Sometimes they wait for us to catch up. Enjoy your evaluations!
KayNovember 3, 2019 at 3:02 pm
I find it difficult to find jeans that are small enough in the waist while getting them to fit comfortably in the hips, so I’ve used this trick in several pairs. On the inside back of the waistband, cut 2 small slits, one on each side, about where the belt loops are. Feed a piece of elastic through the waistband to gather it in slightly. Stitch both sides through the jean fabric and elastic. . I think it’s better than wearing a bulky belt.