My question is simple: How many pairs of jeans should I have? I want to simplify my life, and every time I open my closet door (FN 1) and see that unruly stack of denim staring at me, I ask myself this question.
Jeans are tricky, right? Especially now. It’s never been harder to keep on top of a jeans inventory, what with skinny jeans (including ultra skinny and jeggings, neither of which I own), boot cut, trouser cut, and straight leg.
This weekend, I pulled them all out to see if there were any that it was time to let go of.
The total count: 12.
This seems excessive, right? Who needs 12 pairs of jeans, when I also have approximately more than 5 pairs of colored cords? It’s not like I can’t wash my jeans now and then. Because of course I wash them
once a month all the time. (What’s better than feeling that monthly bloat and slipping into a freshly laundered pair of jeans? Squats, anyone?)
Now, I have admitted I am a bit of a shopper, which this stack proves, but also? I am very sentimental. See those jeans in that picture? They appear in the order in which I bought them. The oldest pair: Seven For All Mankind jeans I bought on May 23, 2003, the weekend I graduated from law school. I splurged on a these jeans at Filene’s Basement (may she rest in peace). I can’t possibly get rid of those! They cost $75.00 in 2003.
Then, there are the only 2 pairs of jeans I have ever bought on a non-discounted basis.. It was April 18, 2008. I accidentally wandered into Bloomingdale’s and those two pairs of jeans–well, our worlds collided in that poorly-lit dressing room. I had just bought my wedding dress the day before, and in a spurt of pre-wedding jitters, I went out and spent a small fortune on designer denim. You can clearly see why I have to keep those, right?
From there, it’s a motley assortment of skinny jeans and straight leg jeans and my Joe’s jeans collection from Costco.
It’s a bit much, even if I culled out the sentimental favorites. I have been a little fixated on jeans in the past 10 years. Before that, I had such a hate-hate relationship with them, I literally owned only 2 pairs: both of them men’s Levi’s I bought at a thrift store. Those were not my high-fashion days. They were better, though, than my 2-year only-wear-overalls phase. I was androgynous and farm-y all at the same time, which was perfect for my life in Washington D.C.
Those twelve pairs are how I made up for lost time– all those years I didn’t think I was skinny enough or “right” enough to wear the most basic garment after the toga. I am willing to get rid of the ones I haven’t worn within the past 365 days, but I think that amounts to a single pair.
I need a guiding principle. I need your help. How do you manage your denim? Am I one pair of dungarees away from a Hoarders episode or should I just get a bigger closet and step over to Nordstrom Rack to see if I can find one more “perfect” pair?
FN: I never really shut the closet door, because JEANS, JEANS, JEANS.