As I have mentioned before (here, here, and here) my working life started in denim, and while my career has changed my love for it has not. I live in jeans and in my experience selling, writing about and modeling them I have learned a few things along the way.
Let me get this out of the way right now, I know premium denim is expensive. I did not grow up buying them, or having them bought for me. Getting a pair was truly a special occasion. In college, or the lull between retail experiences, I did not buy premium denim. I went to the GAP. Post college when I was modeling denim, I was paid in jeans and so the hurt of the premium price tag was avoided.
This weekend I fell back into the GAP. I admit I was lured in by their 1969 promotion of buy 1 pair, get the 2nd pair for $20. I haven’t purchased jeans for a long time, but I have a pretty specific idea of what I like. My tips for tackling a wall of denim:
- If you’re unsure about the fit, which I was – as a I know they have been updated overtime, start with the wash. What often separates the premium from the basic is the quality and color of the wash. You’ll see the difference in the details and the finishes. Well done GAP so far we’re off to a great start.
- Next, look for the fit. I know the fits that I like and I gravitate towards a skinny jean for everyday wear and bit of a retro flared look for night and the fall.
- Remember sizes vary by brand and by store. In most premium brands I am a size 27, some brands run slightly smaller, and some practice vanity sizing (ie: call a size 6 a 4 and everyone feels good, win-win). At the GAP they seem to practice vanity size. Try multiple sizes to find the right fit.
- Denim is made from cotton and it stretches. If the size six is comfortable in the store, please, please, please try on the size 4. It might feel a little snug at first and you have to do the denim dance to wiggle in, but when you buy jeans they should feel snug, and should fit your body. They will give to your curves, I promise.
- When you find the right pair, don’t let it go. Similar to the perfect bra or swimsuit, finding a great fitting pair of jeans can be a struggle, so if you find a pair you love and your body loves, buy it twice. Maybe in different washes, maybe one pair you hem for flats and other you leave long for heels.
Long live denim, that’s how I’ll be living. And to my new GAP jeans, please make friends with J and Paige, and Earnest in the back – they’ve been go to me, too!
P.s. wondering why so expensive? It’s because when they came on the scene (7 for All Mankind was first) they used Italian and Japanese woven fabrics, the cuts are often better, but not always, and the fabric is treated, typically by hand, for that perfectly sleek/perfectly vintage/perfectly rugged/etc look.