T.K. Brady / Lantern photographer
Hunting for the perfect pair of jeans can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Pairs are too tight, too long, too loose, too short – the list goes on and on. However, your struggles can become infinitely easier if you know what it is you’re looking for.
Kevin VanOrder, general manager and buyer for High Street Denim at 761 N. High St., has been fitting clients for the perfect pair of jeans for more than 30 years. His clientele includes European opera singers, New York City slickers and Columbus locals. Here are a few of his tips for finding the perfect pair.
Know your shape: Before you even attempt to sort through the stacks of jeans, you should know what body type you have. Curvier women will want a pair with a higher rise, while those with more petite bodies should look for lower rises, VanOrder said. “Jeans need to get over the booty,” he said. You’re looking for a pair that fits a bit snug because premium denim will stretch. So be prepared to do the “pants dance.”
How do you want your butt to look?: “It’s all about the butt,” VanOrder said. Jeans are about making your backside look great and that comes down to pocket placement. Higher, smaller pockets will make your derriere look rounder, while lower bigger pockets will take away from your rear. So if you already feel like you have too much junk in the trunk or not enough, jeans can give your butt an instant makeover.
Pick a wash: “You can wear white jeans all year round,” VanOrder said. Wear white with more colorful shirts and shoes for the summer and spring months and pair it with neutrals for the colder months. You should also look for white jeans in a straight or skinnier cut, VanOrder said. If you’re looking for a classic blue wash, think about your lifestyle. For college students, VanOrder advised looking for something you would wear downtown or to a tailgate. He also said darker washes tend to look crisper, but you can definitely dress-up a lighter wash too.
Be brutally honest: Jeans are expensive and premium denim, which has a higher percentage of cotton and lower percentage of spandex than lower-quality denim, is sure to cost you a pretty penny, so make sure you absolutely love your pair before you buy it.
“People see (jean shopping) as a challenge, so they feel like they need to buy something as a reward for their efforts,” VanOrder said.
Don’t do it. If you buy a pair of jeans you’re not totally in love with, they will sit in your closet and get very little use.
Don’t be afraid of a tailor: So you found the perfect pair, but it’s a little too long. Buy the pair anyway. Hemlines can always be altered. Many boutiques such as High Street Denim that sell premium denim can hem the pants and send them to the tailor for you. This will ensure that you get the perfect pair every time.
When shopping for anything worth your money, it’s important to make sure you walk away happy. Premium denim might not seem worth the investment, but to VanOrder it’s not about the price tag, it’s about finding a pair that you love.