I wear a lot of ripped jeans, and anytime I’m in some and you see me (on stories, in photos on the blog), “Where did you get those?!?” is always one of the most asked questions from you guys. So, the time has come to talk denim picks here. Being the distressed denim enthusiast that I clearly am, I am always on the lookout for the next best pair of torn-up denim goodness to throw on my body. The go-to jeans that I do have, like these Levi’s I got from Urban Outfitters and the Moussy jeans (below), I seriously wear all. the. time. I simply just love a GOOD, quality pair of jeans that are durable and versatile. They’re edgy, “cool” (is saying cool uncool?) dress down floofy, boho tops that I tend to love and, in the more relaxed cut I normally get, are frankly just so comfortable for being on set, running around town, or mom-ing (when I have to look like a real-life human outside of my home).
I’m VERY into Japanese denim right now, which is typically made on a short old-school loom (called a selvedge loom) and “denim enthusiasts” herald this stuff above everything else. Being selvedged means that the edges of the denim are finished in a different way that means they will never fray, and in general are more durable. Plus, the older looms are slower and less precise, which makes for lots of variation in texture and color which is EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT in distressed denim.
But, like my favorite Moussy jeans (which are um…over $300), really really great jeans (especially Japanese denim) are often a splurge. For me, I justify it because I wear them A LOT, so I think it’s worth the investment (especially if they are from a brand that uses sustainable practices which a lot of denim brands are doing now). I realize that dropping three Benjamins on jeans isn’t realistic for all (most), but HOLD THE PHONE because I’m here to share with you one of my favorite durable/quality denim shopping hacks for much MUCH cheaper jeans than you’ll find at standard retail prices. Here it is: All over Etsy, there are TONS of vintage Levi’s that are just begging to be bought, worn and loved again. They are the vintage jeans that a lot of fast fashion brands base their styles off of AND since they are used (aka recycled!), this saves so much in waste that comes with producing a new pair of pants. WIN WIN. But, finding a great pair that actually fits is similar to scouring Craigslist for the perfect credenza so here are a few tips to try:
1. Search for vintage Levi’s + your size (501s are my favorite but there are lots of other great styles, too). Note that this type of denim normally goes by waist size, not your standard 4, 6, 8, etc. So try something like Levi’s 501 28.
2. Make sure you look in the product description and check out the measurements. Sizing can be tricky so best practice is to take your measurements and compare to the product measurements.
3. If you see a pair you really love but it isn’t your size, click through the Etsy shop it’s sold from. A lot of these shops have a wide range of Levi’s in different sizes.
4. You can always size up and get them tailored to fit you perfectly. (In general, tailoring is ALWAYS a great option for getting a great fit, which automatically will make you love and want to wear something so much more, plus properly tailored clothes generally LOOK better and more “expensive” because there are no awkward fitting issues.)
Another hack before I go and leave you to your Saturday shopping is to check out The Real Real for a huge selection of second-hand high-end jeans. They consider themselves luxury consignment and a lot of the products are OVER 50% off the original price, and the stuff they have is seriously good. I have been trying to buy more second hand (in home and in fashion) so any other suggestions you have please leave in the comments below.
OKAY, now let’s get to some of my favorites (plus a few vintage picks we found on Etsy, too):
1. Premium Cigarette Jeans | 2. Classic Straight Jeans | 3. Stella Skinny Jeans | 4. High Rise Skinny Jeans | 5.Levi’s Wedgie High Rise Jeans | 6. Maggie Mid-Rise Straight Leg Jeans | 7. Ripped Ankle Straight Leg Jeans | 8. GRLFRND Distressed Jeans | 9. Curvy High Rise Skinny Crop Jeans | 10. Vintage 505 Distressed Levi’s (size 32) | 11. Ribcage Straight Jeans | 12. Vintage 716 Levi’s (size 28) | 13. Rag & Bone Low Rise Jeans (size 23) | 14. Levi’s 501 Taper Jeans | 15. Vintage Levi’s 501 (size 32) | 16. Vintage Levi’s 501 (size 29) | 17. Rag & Bone Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans (size 23) | 18. Vintage Levi’s 501 (size 27)
1. Mother Denim Tomcat Jeans | 2. Nobody Denim True Jeans | 3. Cynthia High Relaxed Jeans | 4. Moussy Vintage Wide Leg Jeans | 5. The Billy Jean | 6. Good Legs Jeans | 7. Rivet & Thread High Rise Slim Boyjeans | 8. Current/Elliot Vintage Cropped Slim Jeans | 9. High Rose Stove Pipe Jeans | 10. Vintage Levi’s 501 (size 33) | 11. Good Curve Jeans | 12. 90’s Mom Jean | 13. Re/Done Distressed Levi’s 501 (size 27) | 14. The Billy Waterfront Jean | 15. Nobody Denim Frankie Ankle Jeans
Alright, that is all I have for you today, folks. Comment below if you have any sustainable denim suggestions or other ways you find affordable quality jeans…and HAPPY SATURDAY.
***photography by Veronica Crawford for EHD