The right pair of blue jeans can make you look and feel great in seconds, but it’s not easy to master one of the world’s longest enduring wardrobe classics. Plus, it’s almost impossible to think of denim and not consider the hidden cost—it can take upto 6,800 litres of water just to grow the cotton and produce a pair of jeans, according to Fashion Revolution. No to mention the added chemicals, synthetic dyes and pollutants released with every wash, So in 2021, it only makes sense to make every purchase count. Conscious decisions about the size, fit, cut and care can elongate the life of a new pair, and increase the chances of rewearing. Here is a handy checklist of common mistakes you’re likely making (whether you’re shopping online or in-store) plus easy ways to fix them.
Here Are 6 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping Jeans
1. Ignoring the hem
As a general rule of thumb (but never the criteria), skinny jeans should hit at the top of the ankle, straight-leg jeans look best when they fall just below it, and boot cut denims should fall nearly above the ground to accommodate the flare. For most people, it’s easier to go for long-ish length that can be easily nipped and tucked where required.
Bonus tip: Knowing what shoes you’re likely to pair with your denim can help you better assess what length and cut should be.
2. Don’t buy jeans without paying attention to the composition
If you can, check the material composition of your all-time favourite pair of jeans before you go shopping. For instance, having at least three per cent lycra or spandex helps skinny jeans retain their shape. The higher the cotton content in composition, the more likely they will be to shrink with each wash.
3. Don’t shop jeans only from the sales section
…and compromise on fit. While there’s nothing wrong with shopping from the on-sale section, never settle on purchasing a pair with an almost-right fit, or simply because they’re cheap. Denims are something you can wear most often from your wardrobe, and make the base for any standout pieces. If you’re having second thoughts about investing, consider its cost-per-wear.
4. Forgetting that denim stretches
Don’t buy jeans you can barely button, but also remember that the denim takes a few hours to take the shape of your body, and will soften around your frame with time. Bonus tip: Move around while trying on a new pair. Don’t just stand in front of the mirror—sit, squat, jump around. Can the jeans keep up? If moving and sitting is uncomfortable around the waist, keep looking. When have you ever only stood perfectly still in a pair of jeans?
5. Not checking the care instructions
The aftercare of your denim is just as important as your initial choice. Denim is a fabric that gets better with age, and frequent or inappropriate washing can damage its look and lifecycle. It’s easy to forget that warm water will accelerate fading and shrinking, as well as jeans can lose some of their colour along sharp creases when folding.
6. Washing them too often
…Or not laundering them on the correct setting. Denim is a hard-wearing and durable fabric, which doesn’t need to be washed as frequently. Once a month with spot cleaning with a damp cloth or dry brushing to dust is best to retain the shape and stretch as long as possible, according to a Levi’s expert.
Bonus tip: To avoid shrinking and prevent fading, the best practice is to air-dry the jeans by hanging them inside out or laying flat. If you’re in a crunch for time and must put them in the dryer, do so on the lowest heat setting.
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