I Think I Have A Jeans-Buying Problem, But Here's Why I Don't Want To Stop

Photo: Via @alyssainthecity.
Most all of us have that one item we keep buying over and over again. The reasons, of course, vary: the white tees you keep replacing when they turn dingy, that eyelet dress you re-buy summer after summer, or the cashmere crew-neck sweater you insist on purchasing every winter. For me, year-round, it’s jeans — and I can’t stop. Lately, I’ve begun to think about why I’ve racked up 30-plus pairs in the past year — even though I probably wear only about five of them regularly.

My first hypothesis is that my life is just one eternal search for the perfect, best-fitting pair. I’m quite petite, about 5'1", so finding jeans that actually fit properly without any alterations is somewhat of a miracle. Even if the waist fits perfectly and the butt isn’t saggy, you can bet good money that they’ll be a least a foot too long. So whenever I enter a fitting room and come across a pair with an inseam that actually hits where it should, I tend to jump on it. First, the search was for that wear-every-day pair of skinny jeans. More recently, it’s the hunt for a pair of cool cropped flares with a raw hem (I know — specific), which leads me to my second hypothesis.

Denim trends are always changing. I’ve written about them numerous times for this site alone: Just in the past few months, flares made a valiant return; boot-cuts somehow became acceptable again; and wide-leg, cropped denim culottes showed up on fashion blogs left and right. And working in the fashion industry doesn’t help things. The pressure to keep up with new styles is real, no matter how silly it sounds. Sometimes they last, but most of the time they don’t. But if there’s a new denim trend, you bet I’m trying it.

👻 #afterpartyvintage

A photo posted by alyssa coscarelli (@alyssainthecity) on

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Remember when vintage Levi’s seemingly blew up overnight? All of a sudden, everyone from Instagram to Williamsburg was sporting a perfectly imperfect pair of high-waisted vintage jeans with that famous Levi's pocket design. And again, it wasn’t going to be easy to find a pair that worked for me. It took me about five thrift-shop-turned-DIY fails before I succumbed to buying a pair from Re/Done. Yep, I ended up spending $250 dollars on the perfectly reworked vintage pair — and then had to have the version with the cute patches when those dropped, too. Next thing I knew, I was $500 poorer, but at least I had two killer pairs of jeans, right?

Then there’s the cost-per-wear justification. I wear jeans more than anything else in my closet, and that’s just one of the ways I justify every single one of my denim purchases. I have high hopes for each pair I buy — that these will finally be the pair to replace all my other mediocre, not-quite-right pairs. But instead, I just keep racking them up, never giving any away. I might want to wear this dip-dyed ombre pair one day, I’ll think to myself — meanwhile, they’ve been sitting on the shelf unnoticed for more than six months.

thoroughly enjoying how many strange looks this Frida Kahlo tee is getting me 👀

A photo posted by alyssa coscarelli (@alyssainthecity) on

My jeans are my safety net, my comfort zone, my go-to when I feel like I’ve got nothing else to wear. Typically, I'm that girl who plans her head-to-toe outfit the night before. But when that's not realistic, the first thing I do is reach for the denim. I know I'll always feel both confident and comfortable in them, unlike those days when I wear something more trendy and realize how itchy and cheaply made it is halfway through the day, or kick myself for wearing the wrong shoes.

New denim trends may be coming up every few months, but unless it's something totally insane, I know that no matter the silhouette or the quirky detailing, they'll always make me feel cool without trying too hard (unlike so many other trends I subject myself to). Buying a new pair of jeans just feels less risky than splurging on a statement coat or high heels, because there's so much less of a chance for that I-wore-this-only-once disappointment.

Each pair has its own purpose, its own perks, and its own stories — the ones I wore when moving to New York, the pair I wore on my last day of college, and those I wore when I broke up with my ex. In my hardest moments, I don't want to be fussing with something that's ill-fitting and distracting; I want to be wearing a garment that's a second skin, and that's what jeans can be — comforting without having to think about it.

trying to make bermuda shorts happen

A photo posted by alyssa coscarelli (@alyssainthecity) on

And, in early high school, I never thought twice about my body or felt like I had anything to flaunt — I was flat-chested and had the hips of a 10-year-old boy. But I'll always remember how confident my Abercrombie jeans made me feel.

I don't always get emotionally attached to my clothing — truth be told, I often give things away far too quickly in order to make space for the next great must-have. But with jeans, it's a different story: It's something about the way they wear in over time and get better with age. While the rest of my wardrobe quickly turns over as I get rid of things to follow the trends season after season, my pile of jeans just keeps growing and growing.
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