Alexa Chung once said that finding the perfect pair of jeans can be a lifelong endeavor sullied by frustration, awkward fittings and a burden of decisions about what looks good and feels good for you. And we all know that sometimes those two things – looks and comfort – may never be mutually harmonious.
Sometimes looking good just hurts. Or does it?
That’s why it pays to hunt for the right pair of jeans. After all, they are an absolutely essential part of anyone’s world – and they will be the most worn part of your wardrobe.
But what to buy?
Did you know that denim has been a part of the Thomas’s world since the late 60s? Michael Thomas who ran the store from (dates to come) remembers when denim jeans first arrived in NZ:
“You could actually almost straighten out the legs and stand them up. And they would stand up without anybody in them because the denim was so thick and so stiff. And I thought, ‘How are people going to wear these?’ And initially, they weren't a great success, but over the next couple of years, things adapted and the fabric got better.”
Some things to consider and latest trends when buying a new pair of jeans:
For some it is much more convenient to order jeans online and try them out in your own bedroom than to go to a store. It also means that you can consider your purchase a little more carefully. Sit down, walk around, and really get a feel for your purchase in the comfort of your own home.
Others may like to come into a bricks and mortar store and try on a variety of styles and sizes. Your retail friend should be able to point out if the jeans have been pre-washed (so there are no shrinking surprises when you wash yours) and also tell you if the fabric may stretch to a size or a size and a half after being worn for a while. Make sure you have a good pow wow with your retail buddy before purchasing.
"That's important," says Hamish Thomas. "And people need to understand that denim's a process where you need a staff member to help you. There's so many skews, there's so many different fits."
"Go to a jean specialist. Go to someone who knows what they're talking about and seek that person out because if you do that, you'll find you'll get a colored pair of jeans where sometimes you go into stores, there's just denim everywhere. There's no one really there to help you. There's different fits. People find it overwhelming and then turn around and walk out the door."
SO WHAT'S IN RIGHT NOW FOR DENIM?
"Flares," says Hamish. "Sorry, skinny jeans are out! They are gone. Don't freak yourself out, but go for a higher waist with a straight leg."
"Also, coloured denim is back in big time. We are seeing the return of natural denim and colours - and away from black. Much more old school and traditional."
And nowadays Hamish says it pays to take a look at how the jeans are being made, since historically denim production has been harmful to the environment.
"So, you're now seeing brands who are moving away from old ways of washing denim because it has caused major issues around the world. You had chemical water that was going into sewers that were choking the natural waterways. It's not fair on those people that live and work in those conditions.
"And so, we've gone away from that as a store. We care about where our denim comes from. Brands like Neuw, have done a campaign and it's called ZERO. So, that's zero use of water. Everything's recyclable. They're recycling their denim, taking old jeans, chopping them all up, making new jeans out of old denim, which is really cool. G-Star has done exactly the same thing."
So there you have it folks. When you shop for denim there is so much to consider - and not just how they feel and look. But the quality and production as well.
Make sure you spend the money on a quality product. And always seek the advice of a knowledgeable retail expert. They will point towards your denim dreamland.