Yup, I’m all about full disclosure on this blog! I violated the unwritten rule of sewists everywhere and bought a pair of ready-to-wear jeans today. From the Gap. I’ll wait while you get over the shock.
I had been lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any skinny jeans and how that’s kind of sad since they’ve been in fashion for quite a few years now, and I finally decided to just go ahead and buy some already. (I have never claimed to be fashionable and am usually many years behind!) While I was in the dressing room trying them on, I took off the jeans I was wearing to check what size I had bought in the past, and I noticed that they were from fall 2006. Seven years ago. WOW. Here’s what I’ve learned from this little revelation:
1 – Apparently my size in jeans hasn’t changed in the last seven years. Am I smug? Maybe. : )
2 – Apparently I hang onto my clothes as long as possible. Another confession: I still have (and actively wear) 3 thermal tops that I got in 1994. Yup.
3 – This pair of J.Crew jeans has lasted through seven years of washing and wearing, and they’re actually in fantastic shape with very few signs of wear, just some fading. Holy crap, that’s impressive! I’ve bought and tossed a few pairs of less expensive jeans since then, which didn’t hold up nearly as well.
This last point is particularly interesting to me, especially now that I’m trying to make most of my own clothes. I paid about twice as much for this pair of jeans as subsequent crappy pairs, and they lasted more than twice as long. Does a higher price always equate to higher quality? No, but I do think there is a general correlation.
Over the years I’ve been discovering that in order to get a high quality version of whatever I’m looking for (clothing or otherwise, everything really!), I have to seek out a store that specializes in that particular thing. I often pay more, but I generally get my money’s worth. I’m willing to pay for a good quality product that will last a while.
This translates well to sewing. If you splurge a little and buy high quality fabric and spend a little extra time on construction details, it can make a big difference in the life of the finished garment. Of course we can’t always invest that much time and money (I’m a poor grad student, after all!), but it’s something I’m going to try to keep in mind. I want to be wearing my handmade garments seven years from now. : )
Any guesses how long my new Gap jeans will last? I give them 2 years, max!