From skinny to bootcut, boyfriend to flares, the average woman owns seven pairs of jeans. More than enough, you may think — after all, that equates to a pair a day.
But for some women they are such an obsession that their quest to find the perfect jeans is never-ending, leaving their wardrobes overflowing with as many as 100 pairs. Here, SADIE NICHOLAS meets five denim junkies who own more than 300 pairs between them…
When I’m stressed, I think about jeans!
Kato Harrison, 45, lives in Delabole, Cornwall, and owns fashion boutique Syrup and Salt in Wadebridge. She is married to Wailin, 46, who runs a surf school, and they have two children, aged 14 and 12. She says:
With 90 pairs to my name, jeans are my hobby and when I find a great pair at a decent price, I feel like I’ve won the Lottery.
My love affair with denim began in the Eighties when Levi’s model Nick Kamen made ripped denim fashionable.
Kato harrison, at home in St Minver, Cornwall with her collection of jeans. She has over 90 pairs of jeans to her name, and thinks she must have spent over £20,000 on them
I can remember being at primary school unable to contain my excitement because my mum had promised to buy me a pair of drainpipe jeans when she picked me up that day.
Over the years I’ve become an aficionado. I advise my friends to invest in a great fitting pair of jeans because you can style them with a cheap top and you’ll look well put together — it never works the other way round.
Since my teens I must have spent over £20,000 on jeans, and I still buy two or three pairs a month, selling others on to make way for new ones. I’ve paid as little as a few pounds for second-hand jeans, to over £200 for a pair of See by Chloe.
Jeans are my guilty pleasure, so if I’m lying awake at night feeling stressed about something, I put together outfits in my head to distract my thoughts.
I used a seamstress for the ultimate fit
Stylist Sam Remer, 52, lives in London with her husband and children aged 14 and eight, and is founder of fashion portal ilovejeans.com. She says:
For me, there’s only one answer to the question of what to wear each day: jeans. I have around 50 pairs, including skinnies and flares, and every shade from faded blue to indigo, as well as ‘coated’ jeans.
Sam Remer, 51, a former M&S product stylist from north London. Since 2006 she’s had her own business helping women to find the right jeans for their shape. She has over 60 pairs currently and rarely wears anything else
My obsession began when I was a fashion stylist in my 20s and had to fly out to Miami every year. There, I discovered a little shop where a personal shopper advised on the most flattering jeans, and a seamstress at the store altered them to fit my size 8-10, 5ft 2in figure. I’d fly home with perfect-fitting jeans.
I love statement jeans with detailing such as exposed buttons, frayed hems, zip embellishments or seams down the front. The most I’ve paid was £240 for a pair of Hudson jeans seven years ago, but these days I wait for the sales. I must have spent around £36,000 on jeans in the last 35 years, buying an average of three or four pairs a month. And there’s always room for more.
I was so obsessed with Levis that my work number was 501
Bex Salmon, 55, is a social media content consultant who lives in North London with her husband and two children, aged 17 and 15. She says:
My obsessioN with jeans began aged 14 when my mum gave me an old pair of vintage Lee Riders. They fitted me beautifully.
After that I coveted the perfect pair of Levi’s 501s, the iconic brand’s original design, but you couldn’t get them in this country with a long enough leg. I had to wait until I went to America aged 19. In a little town near San Francisco I found a thrift shop where I spent hours trying on every pair of second-hand 501s they had. They cost $1.96 each — less than a pound — and I filled my suitcase.
Bex Salmon, from London, fell in love with jeans aged 14 when her mother gave her a pair of her old jeans from the Sixties. Her obsession was cemented on a trip to San Francisco aged 19 when she filled her suitcase with vintage 501
When designer jeans started hitting the rails in the UK, I soon succumbed, despite the eye-watering price tags. My first pair were by U.S. label Seven For All Mankind and cost well over £100.
The most I’ve spent was £315, and since my teens I must have shelled out up to £30,000, buying a pair or two a month.
My obsession was so well known that in the Nineties my boss even gave me the extension number 501 for my desk phone, and now I post photos of all my jeans on Instagram @bexdoesdenim.
My dressing room has a whole section just for denim
Emma Worthington, 41, lives near Huddersfield. She owns a property company with her husband Rob, 46, and offers style advice via her Instagram @swoon_love. They have two children aged seven and three. She says:
My collection of jeans stands at 60 pairs. They take up so much space that I keep a third of them in storage with other clothes that I swap around each season. The other 40 take pride of place in my dressing room, with a meticulous filing system so that I can instantly grab whichever pair I want to wear.
They hang neatly on a rail starting with white and ecru jeans on the left, moving through to greys, blues and black.
Emma Worthington from Rishworth near Halifax, West Yorkshire who has a collection of 60 pairs of jeans. She keeps a third of them in storage and swaps them around each season
Baggy and flared styles don’t suit my 5ft 10in, size 8-10 frame, so I tend to wear skinny or straight styles with a high waist to balance out my long torso with my legs.
My favourites cost around £100 from French brand Sezane and have a paper-bag style tie waist. A close second are a £180 straight, mid-wash high rise pair by Agolde, which I bought at Harvey Nichols.
It’s impossible to say how much I’ve spent on jeans in my lifetime, but it will easily be more than £10,000 — my husband will be horrified! I buy between ten and 15 new pairs a year, a third of them designer, which cost around £180, and the rest from the High Street for no more than £45 a pair.
She says she likes to keep her jeans more classic and add to the style with a statement pair of shoes
I have an annual clearout, where any jeans that I haven’t worn in the previous 12 months either go to charity, my cousin — who’s the same size as me — or I sell them online if they were expensive.
But, like most women, finding flattering jeans hasn’t always been easy. My biggest bugbear is those that fit perfectly through the leg and hips but not on my waist.
When trying them on, I always do a few squats to make sure they don’t flatten my bum and have just enough give without going baggy.
Although I used to love ripped styles, there was a moment in my late 30s when I started to feel like a sausage with bits of flesh poking out of the holes.
Now, I keep my jeans more classic and ramp up the look with a statement pair of shoes, earrings or a silk blouse.
The most I’ve ever paid for a pair is around £280. But for that price, they have to fit perfectly and look incredible, whether worn with Manolo Blahnik heels and a chic blazer, or trainers and knitwear.
I’m still looking for elusive perfect pair
Chantal Bexon, 40, lives in Nottingham, and works as a head of product in the fashion industry. She says:
Chantal Bexon, 40, of Newthorpe, Notts, who owns over 50 pairs of jeans, says that she is still looking for the elusive perfect pair
Although I adore jeans and have 55 pairs — and rising — I’m yet to find the perfect pair, which is one reason I own so many!
I’m 5ft 4in and often pay a local seamstress to alter the legs, waistband or length if the fit’s not quite right, and they jostle for space in my wardrobe with equally extensive collections of bikinis, white T-shirts and jewellery.
My obsession with denim came from my beloved dad, who recently passed away and was a very stylish man. He had such an eye for fashion, and it was he who’d take me clothes shopping when I was younger, always insisting that we dressed up for our jaunts.
I remember him taking me to a shop in Nottingham that sold only jeans, which is where I first discovered Levi’s 501s and my love affair with denim began.
Since then, I’ve worn pretty much every brand going, and every style from cropped and kick flare to skinny and boyfriend. But at the moment I prefer them slim and straight, because they tend to be comfier and more flattering.
Having spent much of my career as a fashion buyer, I’d regularly travel to Los Angeles and New York with work. Back when the exchange rate was almost two dollars to the pound, I’d feel as though I was getting two pairs of jeans for the price of one.
I like to mix my wardrobe up, but when I’m not sure what to put on, jeans are a failsafe. The most I’ve ever spent on a pair was just under £300.
As for my favourite pair, it varies with my mood. Sometimes I want to look slicker in a tighter, high-waisted pair; other times I want to feel comfy so will wear a looser fit.
And my hunt for that elusive perfect pair continues…
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk