Right now, as I stand in front of my jeans collection, I struggle to find any that I’ve had for longer than 5 years.
For a long time, jeans weren’t my thing. Decidedly fixed on comfort only, my early years included combat pants, pants with elastic, and even leggings. Remember jeggings too? I remember wearing those for a while, until it started falling apart soon after wearing them tirelessly.
And so came the start of my 20’s. And with that the start of my real jeans collection. Right now, I have more than I can count on 1 or 2 hands. The colors I’ve picked so far have been fairly unadventurous, and the brands? Well they vary a lot too.
From my early pairs of New Look high-rise super-skinny jeans and my first Topshop skinny stretch jeans, to my first mom style Levis, my little jeans collection has quite a good mix of shapes, colors and fabrics. But what things have stood the test of time in my pieces?
I may have switched up the sizes or styles that I wore, but one consistency is the use of the more neutral or shade tones such as black or white. These colors have always had a presence in my outfit choices, but putting them into my pairs of jeans have helped in making them more timeless.
You see, neutral tones work so well over time because they pair up with pretty much anything you want to wear. Neon tops? You’ve got it. Pastel blouses? That too. You don’t even have to think about it when you’re wearing you favorite black jeans. They just always go.
Too Much Elastane
Okay, so when I first bought a pair of jeans from Topshop, it was my absolute favorite. My new favorite shade of mid blue, it was figure hugging and seemed very flattering, and my inseam was just spot on. Nothing could go wrong with these jeans.
Then after a few wears, they started stretching at the knees a bit. Well that was okay, because once I put it in the wash, it would spring back to normal shape again. After another few wears, it began to do this again.
After a few years of owning these jeans, I’m starting to find issue with it. The stretch, caused by the elastane in them, was great at first, in accommodating me in them, and providing some breathing space around my waist.
But after a while, the elastane started to cause my jeans to lose their shape, only because the elastane was actually losing its elasticity ability. And that is why my jeans keep getting these knee-shaped gaps between washes.
So before you buy a nice pair of stretchy jeans, check the percentage of elastane in them. Any more than 5 to 10% maximum might start to present a risk for it losing its elastic abilities.
Going for Cotton
The original of all denim pieces stem from its humble beginnings as pure pieces of complexly woven cotton. These threads are so strong, as they are made of nature’s finest heavyweight, plant materials. It’s strength, once woven, makes it a more undeniable force for being able to stay in its best shape for years.
Recently, I bought my first pair of proper Levi’s. I bought this pre-loved for a very good value, and the description of the product was as follows. The condition was used, but not worn at all for a good few decades. Because of this, it should be in mint condition.
And it was one of the best purchases for jeans so far. It is made of 100% cotton, and its weave is so thick and strong that its ability to retain its original shape for years to come is no surprise at all.
Not everyone love a solid pair of cotton denim jeans. Most of the time, this jeans are also stiff, because of its lack of flexibility. Its a natural fiber, yet it restricts my movements so unnaturally.
So if you want the kind of fabric that will most likely last, while giving your legs the choice of 360 degrees of direction (even if that’s not possible) you could try another fabric blend.
Cotton & Lyocell
Now this combination is new to me. Only within the last year have I got a pair of jeans with this hybrid. When I first picked them out, it was only for 2 reasons; they were so so comfortable, even when I sat down and had eaten, and I loved its fresh pop of color it provided.
Yes, it was my pair of baby pink jeans. And the more I’ve worn it? The more I have got to love this blend. I never knew that a pair of jeans could be so comfortable, so beautiful and so breathable! I was a very new experience but I am so glad that I found them. So I would never rule this one out for my new classics.
The Straight Leg
I can’t think of a style more flattering and yet popular for how good it feels to wear. The straight leg is the ultimate timeless pair of jeans to wear ever, and they are here to stay.
The straight favors those that want to stay comfortably in the middle. It doesn’t have to be so tight that your legs feel like they are losing circulation.
They a re not too big or flashy in a kind of style that makes you admire it one year, then detest it only months later. No, I’m in it for the long game.
My pair of straight leg jeans are the go-to style for most kind of occasions. Smart casual? Casual? And yes, I’m going smart with my pair of black straight leg girlfriend style jeans from GAP.
Because they hit me at the ankles, they have a very clean and smart silhouette, and in comparison to the skinny or overly complicated shapes of other jeans, this pair scream ‘I know what I want’. It’s that simple.
Well there it is. Some styles just stand the test of time itself, defying what we didn’t know could happen. But retro is also pretty cool, and just think about the kinds of timeless jeans that even your parents were wearing in their youth. Chances are they’re not much different to the ones you wear now.