Wardrobe detox: the 4 jeans styles I’m keeping (for now)

I'm keeping these 4 jeans styles for fall. Denim update.

Last week’s Instagram chat and post about detoxing our wardrobes fired me up, and I spent several hours over the weekend doing an even deeper dive into my closet. Including my jeans section. 🙀 I decided to focus on 4 styles to wear now and into fall, and put the rest into storage.

4 jeans styles I’m keeping for now (and fall)

I have to confess, I’m a bit of a jean-a-holic. Except for the hottest days (and sometimes even then), I live in jeans. I’ve worn just about every style except wide legs (just can’t make those work for me). What I’ve culled and set aside are:

  • the last couple pairs of skinnies I was hanging onto
  • super dark washes
  • cropped flares

The fab four: jeans styles for fall

What I’ve mostly been wearing are ankle(ish)-length, mid-rise, straight-leg styles (slim to relaxed) in a medium to light washes. These are what suit my shape and style and feel most current, and I plan to stick with those for now and into fall. Here are the four styles that made the cut:

AG Ex-Boyfriend. (Similar wash) These are the most relaxed cut of the four. I’m actually keeping 2 washes in this style (medium/distressed and light) because they’re the most comfortable when it’s warm. Here’s a pair that’s included in the Anniversary Sale.) They run TTS, and have a mid-rise. (I wear size 27.) See how I wore them HERE.

J. Crew 9″ Vintage Straight. Mine are the white with gold stitching (off-white, actually). This particular wash is “final sale;” I have no idea why. There are several other washes available in this style, in Classic, Petite, and Tall lengths. (I wear 27 Petite.) See how I wore them HERE.

AG Prima Crop. (Similar wash) This is as close to a skinny as I’ll wear these days. The cut is sometimes referred to as a “cigarette leg.” The difference between this style and a skinny is that it’s cut straight from the knee down, rather than tapering or narrowing toward the ankle. I find these easy to style, and they work with just about any shoe. (I wear 28 in these.) See how I wore them HERE.

rag & bone “Dre.” This is a new pony in the stable.🐎 During a pass through our local Nordstrom to check out the Anniversary Sale merchandise, I tried these on and loved how they looked and felt. The fit is slimmer through the hip and leg than the AG ex-boyfriend style, but still quite comfortable. You’ll definitely want to size down on this style; I’m wearing a 26. (I’m thinking of having these hemmed just a bit so I can wear them uncuffed.)

Susan B. wears a Vince Camuto top, rag & bone dre jeans, Sofft sandals from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

earrings | necklace | top | jeans | bracelet | shoes

I styled the rag & bone Dre jeans here with a few other Nordstrom Anniversary Sale pieces I found. This Instagram reel shows more detail on the accessories:

I highly recommend these sandals for comfort and looks! They run TTS.

How to care for your jeans to make them last longer

Good jeans can be an investment, but should last a long time with proper care. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years.

  • Unless you’ve fallen in a mud puddle, hold off washing your jeans for several wearings (if at all). It took me a long time to get comfortable with this, but often a spot clean and good airing is all your jeans need. If you’ve been snuggled by a (clean) wet dog 🐶, you can always use a freshening spray.
  • If you must wash, turn inside out, use cold water and a shorter wash cycle. (Delicates, if you have it.)
  • Line drying is best. If you have to finish in the dryer, keep the heat low. (Here’s a trick I use to reduce drying time and save energy: throw a clean, dry towel into the dryer with your clothes.)
  • Some people swear by putting their jeans in a bag in the freezer for a day or two to remove odors. (I haven’t tried this yet.)
  • OK, and use this sparingly: if your jeans have stretched out and need to be reshaped, put inside out in a dryer on LOW heat for 15 minutes.

What jeans styles are you planning to wear this fall? Will you be trying any new silhouettes?

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20 Comments

  1. Pat La Ferrara
    July 19, 2021 / 4:11 am

    Hi Susan, I myself feel the same way about jeans… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them…. I usually wear AG jeans and Citizens of Humanity… I usually do wash them in cold water and put in dryer for a couple of minutes before hanging them up…. they are a big investment , but I do love them…

    Thanks for sharing and always read your blog.. I have found many items reading your blog and have never been disappointed.

    Regards,

    Pat

  2. July 19, 2021 / 4:55 am

    I wish we were the same size and lived in the same country. Then you could do the hard work of finding the right jeans and I only would have to click the link.
    Alas.
    I have good jeans. Like you I am a total jeans addict. But I “need’ to find a pair with these requirements: midrise, not too dark, not too light, fitting a little loser than skinny. Preferably long and in white too.
    Sigh.
    Greetje

  3. Kari
    July 19, 2021 / 5:02 am

    I’m not a huge fan of skinny jean but I think a pair is necessary if you plan to wear a cowboy or over the knee boot sometimes.

  4. Kelly
    July 19, 2021 / 5:24 am

    Also a jean fanatic! I wear them all summer in the hot southeast in cropped and thinner weight styles. This year I embraced two “vintage” high waist, wide leg pairs from my own closet (circa 1990s ). I cut them off for a raw hem just a bit above the ankle and get compliments every time I wear them. So much more comfortable on a hot day. I only have one pair of skinnies that I’m keeping for the winter to wear with longer bulky sweaters.

  5. Rose
    July 19, 2021 / 5:32 am

    Love your outfit. You’re having such great luck finding your colors. Can you shed some additional sizing information regarding your top? Usually I take a petite 6 or petite small and since this is a regular size, I’m not sure what to order. I’m not familiar with Vince Camuto since he doesn’t carry petites. Since it’s a 3/4 sleeve that shouldn’t be a problem. What about the overall length and roominess through the hips?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 19, 2021 / 6:02 am

      Hi Rose, thanks! I’m 5’1″, usually a size 4-6 on top and am wearing the regular XS. I think the top has a slight A-line shape, and is roomy (but not too full) in the hips.

  6. MaryInMaryland
    July 19, 2021 / 5:49 am

    Which of these jeans is the highest rise? I am close to your height and size, and I prefer my jeans to hit slightly higher than belly button. Thanks for real world input.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 19, 2021 / 5:58 am

      Hi Mary, the J.Crew have the highest rise. If you prefer a higher rise, I’d also suggest trying Madewell “stovepipe” jeans.

  7. Mary
    July 19, 2021 / 6:00 am

    I need a jean that I can dress up–usually I’ll get that in a darker wash, but it might come in a fun raw hem or perhaps a flare/bootcut. And, as others have noted, in my mid-west snowy weather, I need a skinny to tuck into knee-high boots. Yes, usually I’m wearing straight legs (favorite is NYDJ Marilyn). I heard Annie say two pairs of jeans, but it simply won’t work for my lifestyle–unless I garden and paint in the same ones I wear out to dinner. So maybe 3. Or 4. And that’s the blue ones.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 19, 2021 / 6:34 pm

      Yes, I was thinking that Susan likes a light wash because of the LA climate. Most of my jeans are black, one a very dark denim, another forest green. I don’t wear white or pastels, but this is in Montréal. My favourite jeans are what she and readers call stovepipe. Also because they are nearly 100% cotton. In torrid weather I wear skirts.

  8. Eve
    July 19, 2021 / 6:59 am

    I just want to find jeans that I don’t know I’m wearing for a full day. Total comfort with high waist, straight leg or boot cut, no flares, no floaters. Not in my jeans. Now I like those other styles in light weight fabric like linen, rayon, seersucker for summer. Elastic waist or draw string. But jeans! Should be cowboy style, old fashioned horse riding pants. I wear jeans year round. Fav winter colors are olive, maroon, sage, brown and charcoal. I save lighter colors for spring and summer. White, beige, stone, pale grey. Purging jeans rarely happens because it hard to discard well worn jeans.

  9. Lee
    July 19, 2021 / 12:59 pm

    Susan, I’ve never tried on AG jeans before, so I’m wondering about the fit on the ones you showed. I have a few pairs of Madewell stovepipe style, to give you an idea of the stretchy fit I prefer. Just wondering if you think I’d find the AG boyfriend style similar? Thanks!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 19, 2021 / 2:03 pm

      The AG ex-boyfriend has a lower rise and usually are a bit “slouchier” than the Madewells. The weight of the fabric varies by wash…just check the fabric composition. The higher the cotton percentage, the sturdier the fabric tends to be. Hope this helps!

      • Lee
        July 19, 2021 / 2:12 pm

        That helps—thank you!

  10. Louise
    July 19, 2021 / 1:39 pm

    Thanks for the helpful post! One question – is a dark wash out of style?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      July 19, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      I don’t think dark washes are out of style, but I find a medium to lighter wash is more comfortable in warmer months, and works better in a summer wardrobe. I think darker washes will be back in a big way come fall.

    • Kathy Larson
      July 19, 2021 / 2:54 pm

      Hmm-this is a thought-provoking post!Time to look over my jeans…
      And who is the singer in the included Instagram?

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        July 19, 2021 / 5:09 pm

        Thanks! It’s a French group,”Autour de Lucie.” Vocalist is Valérie Leulliot.

  11. Judy B
    July 19, 2021 / 5:52 pm

    Susan, I, too, live in jeans, and although I have several pairs of skinnies, lately I prefer a high rise and straight legs. I’ve been wearing lighter washes in summer and darker washes in fall and winter. I’ll probably set aside, at least temporarily, kick flares, cropped flares, and those with styling details like staggered hems. I love your outfit featured here and on instagram—looks to me like a great example of casual chic, with the combination of jeans with silky blouse in a beautiful color!

  12. Robyn
    July 20, 2021 / 3:04 am

    I love jeans too. They don’t show dirt or muddy paw prints. In the summer I don’t wear jeans as much but the other seasons I do. This fall my main shopping focus is to go in store and try on a lot of jeans. Having grown tired of skinny jeans (a long time ago) I’m ready to see how the newer shapes fit. Why JCrew has the vintage jeans final sale is beyond me too? I love them. They are a sort of middle road jean for me.

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