Hunting down, the perfect pair of jeans

No other item in my wardrobe has so much time; and so much care or angst lavished upon it. Of course, one can spend money on good Coats and fancy bags, but jeans are unforgiving and you can’t just throw money at them. They need to be perfect.

Knowing how to wear ones jeans can be a matter of life & death. Wear your jeans well and doors will open, wear them badly and is not just a faux pas – it is no les than fashion suicide – nothing else will look right and -No- there is no bag to save the ‘bad jeans look’.

There are no shortcuts, I take a deep breath, take the day off and prepare to try lots of pairs on. Wear the right shoes, eat something light and nutritious – stamina is essential.

skinny stretch jeans
these are now so over, that they have to go. Especially in the lighter washes, they flatter no-one and there is only so much anatomical detail one needs to see. Let this be a lesson for us all, never buy anything you cannot breath in.

boyfriend jeans
beware of anything too loose, Anyone under 6 ft just looks dumpy with a paunch, so don’t go wild with that fashion trend. if you must have boyfriend jeans, cheat and have a very small boyfriend,

slim fit jeans
These are my staples, and depending on finding your desired perfect pair, they can look boyfriend-ish, slim- ish and up to the minute-ish. Dark washes are more flattering, and always choose flattering, over fashionable. Always! Fashionable may look ridiculous in a few weeks, but flattering will remain flattering. Choosing good quality denim that won’t sag round the knees is worth some extra money. I wear mine for work with tailored jacket and a feel ‘dressed appropriate ‘.

coloured jeans
Never a good idea, not even for carefree summer pic-nics. Pastel colours are difficult at the best of times, and very few ladies bottoms can take white jeans, Harsh I know, yet it has to be said. Black or dark grey is just about ok- but I prefer more tailored styles.

ripped jeans
some mild denim distress can be tres chic, but not the ‘just been mauled by a tiger look’. I like my casual jeans to look broken in, but not so much artificially distressed. I like proper stiff denim, able to withstand heavy wear. I also like to wear them with a tailored Chanel jacket, or a delicate satin silk camisole. Something really smart, with exceptionally good grooming, so the look is intentional, anything less perfect will just look sloppy.

flared jeans/boot cut
Provided the choice leans more towards boot cut, rather that 1970’s extreme flare, these can look great. Especially with some chunky heels, (but do test you can walk in them first.) They make the legs look longer, sexier, creating an effortless, elegant look. A lot of fashion goddesses were wearing those in Paris, St Germain. High waisted are my personal preference, but again depends on body type, so do try a few on.

cropped jeans
Love the cropped jeans look for summer, slightly looser fit, rolled or frayed to show off a slim ankle. I am afraid this is non negotiable, slim, tanned ankles are a must. Puffy, pink ankles need to re think this look. Otherwise…’quelle horreur’!

So to summarise, I avoid extreme shapes, and look for flattering fit. Producing denim is one of the most polluting fabrics on the planet. Artificially distressing it and acid washes make it worse. Jeans become comfortable when they are old, good friends, so worth considering longevity in design or even scouring second hand shops. ( which is very time consuming.) so I want my jeans to last for years and years…who would want to go through that ordeal on a regular basis?



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16 thoughts on “Lady Sarah’s guide: Finding the perfect pair of jeans

  1. Archana Paladugu

    I wish I read this post a decade ago when I bought my first pair. I had to waste a lot of money and time to arrive at the exact conclusions.

    Skinny ankle length jeans with less than 3 percent elastane. Period.

    P.s : I am still keen on getting my moneys worth out of my black skinny stretch jeans and wear them as hiking pants. Instead of yoga pants in public.

  2. Susan

    When looking at the models you show in their jeans, they are all wearing jeans with a long zipper in the front. I find this elongates the look. Very attractive. Much more attractive than the short zipper, and the waistband sitting on the hip. Notice the various shoes that each model wears with their jeans. Also the long suit jacket over a white shirt and jeans (beautiful). All very well put together. Susan . .

  3. dottoressa

    Lovely post and photos!
    I am curious what brand did you choose in the end?
    And it is so true,so hard to find the perfect pair.
    I have Closed black and navy slim,ankle lenght literally for more than a decade. How did they know 12 or something years ago the right cut?
    Skinny was never my choice,slim,straight and bootcut yes! Even cropped flares or distressed,but only for the summer and casual. And my secret is always adjusting at the seamstress,they always seem to be too wide in the waist-even now when I have a couple of pounds to loose (from the waist area!)
    I am sure that you are right about white jeans,but they are my summer basics for years,straight as well as bootcut (together with white and black linen trousers- I don’t mind a couple of wrinkles during the summer -and I have worked in the uniform,so I was neat at the work–)

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      So you are the special lady that looks good wearing white jeans! Good for you, when they look good they are amazing. I think you are right about the seamstress adjusting making all the difference as well. I have five pairs of jeans in total, all from different brands. The latest is M&S Eco friendly ozone wash…

      1. dottoressa

        Mirror,mirror on the wall…..Possibly not any more,but I still feel good :-)! We often do not see the real image of ourselves !
        And it must have something with climate….
        Thanks for M&S-they had really amazing things last time

      2. lady sarah in london Post author

        I think it has a lot to do with climate, white jeans can look very glamorous, on the right bottom😃. M&S has great things, definitely worth trying and maybe adjusting a little bit with your seamstress. I found someone here for alterations, but very expensive.

  4. missfrankiecat

    I am completely ‘out of touch’ re jeans. Nothing to my mind looks more ridiculous and less flattering, even on the young and perfectly proportioned, than the ripped/distressed jeans currently in fashion. I think white jeans (but they have to be good quality denim and very white) look really good on most women. Most of all, I disagree with the almost universal maxim that jeans look better after multiple washings – no matter how expensive/good quality, I have found jeans need to be replaced with depressing regularity to look good.

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      Yes very distressed, tornjeans are impossible to carry with success. I like old jeans though, but only if they are proper denim, Levi’s, wrangler or similar, they get softer and wear better. Most “designer” or fashion jeans are not proper denim, they are an elastane mix which inevitably looses its shape after a few wears.

  5. Nina2000

    LOL – very funny dear Lady Sarah! Also curious to know what you bought in the end. I swear by current eliot…though perhaps i need to expand my horizons and spend more time trying them on.

  6. Virginia

    I have given up on a great fit for my challenging shape; dark wash with some stretch, boot cut and (ahem) elastic waist is all that I can wear. 👖 As I am an inverted triangle/apple shape I need a fit large enough for my middle, and then I take the legs in a bit. I adore colored denim, but it limits your top color choices. In my past, I loved white denim, but its impossible to keep white! Too much effort, better to go with a bit of light denim for summer! 😄

  7. Monica

    Sorry to say my ankles will never be tanned. I intend to look adorable in my cropped pants anyway. 😉


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