How you feel about clothes shopping can divide a room (well, not dramatically like Brexit or how Sex and the City holds up in 2019, but still, opinions are divided). Personally, if budgets allowed, I would happily find a little time in my week for a date with the high street, even if it’s simply to gaze longingly at something that costs more than my rent and signal with intense eye contact: In another lifetime, we would have been great together. I try to do this without shedding actual tears or trailing my fingertips down shop windows wherever possible!
Unlike clothes shopping, though, I’ve yet to meet anyone who said that they actively enjoyed jeans shopping. And my own experiences with denim have led me to believe that finding a good pair of jeans is so fiendishly difficult that most of us aim to only ever have to do it once. Essentially, you find something that doesn’t cut off circulation to your waist or hips, and which neither cuts in or flares out anywhere undesirable. If all seems well on all fronts when standing up, you may then find yourself doing your own squat challenge in the changing room in a bid to ensure that your jeans also hold up to the demands of sitting down while preserving both your comfort and modesty (a very real concern for those, like myself, who loved a low-rise jean in the noughties!)
This week, the Next team extended an invitation to their denim pop-up event at the Arndale centre (which they’re running until Sunday). I was joined there by some women who seriously know their stuff when it comes to fashion, including celebrity stylist Martine Alexander (who is well worth a follow on Instagram: @MartineAlexander) and Nic Spindler, the founder of ParentFolk. Plus the Grazia fashion team, who were hosting the pop-up were on hand to talk all things denim – from trends to their own experiences with jeans shopping. The perhaps not so surprising takeaway? That even women who really know and love fashion get a tad nervous about jeans shopping.
Happily, the fact that none of us were quite in our comfort zone trying on jeans ended up making the whole experience of choosing new styles to try (with a little help from the Next and Grazia team) loads of fun. I ended up choosing a skinny mid-rise pair of jeans (for £22) in a lovely soft denim with a little stretch. However, had I been a tiny bit braver, I would’ve chosen the Black Hypercurve Skinny Jeans (£48). I paused because they’re the first properly high-waisted jeans I’ve tried, but I’d urge you to give them a go, because they’re ridiculously flattering and make your legs look longer.
If your jeans collection is ready for an update, I’d highly recommend a trip to Next’s pop-up because their range is extensive, the prices are very reasonable, there’s advice on hand and they manage to tread that fine line of being on-trend, but also flattering and easy to wear. Plus there’s the option to personalise your denim with an embroidered detail, such as your initials, for a premium touch without the price tag.
You may also enjoy: What I learnt about sleep at a press event with a difference.