The other day, someone asked me how many pairs of jeans I own.
This question sent me into major KonMari mode to get to the bottom of this question (this was easy considering I usually do a once-a-season closet purge/organization in an attempt to simplify my life and wardrobe)
1. Let’s Start with How Many Jeans People Own
2. How Many Jeans Should I Own?
– If You Wear Jeans at Work
– If You Wear Jeans Mostly at Home
A bit of background for my readers. My work attire is usually khakis or dress pants 4 out of 5 days a week; Jeans are an option with spirit wear on Fridays. Jeans are not my go-to clothes choice and I try to keep with the basic staples or essentials when it comes to jeans.
Let’s Start With How Many Jeans or Pants People Own
Fashion United in the UK and MagForWomen (US) both report that, on average, Women own 7 pairs of Jeans and Men own 6 pairs of Jeans, with about 2 pairs of jeans purchased per person per year (Source). Does this sound like the right number for you?
I think it’s actually too many, and here is why.
How Many Jeans or Pants Should I Own?
How many pairs of jeans you own should be based on your budget, lifestyle and whether you wear jeans at work or mostly at home. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, so I am going to try to help you find out the right answer for YOU.
Having less means spending less money on jeans. Additionally, it’s much easier to get dressed when I have fewer choices, so it makes sense to try to work out a solution with as little as you can.
Why You Do Not Need More than 6 Pairs
How often you wash your clothes is one of the biggest factors in deciding how many items you should own. Most people wash their clothes at least once a month. The good news is that a report issued by Levi’s in 2015 recommends washing jeans every 10 wears. Levi’s CEO even stated that he did not put his jeans in the washing machine for over a decade!
The reason is that the fabric on a pair of jeans is thicker than a T-shirt so you don’t need to be very concerned about bacteria… unless you work in a dirty or dusty environment.
This means that you could get by with 3 pairs of jeans, even if you wash your clothes only once a month.
So how many jeans you should own basically depend on how much variety in style you want in your life. You could probably get by with 3 pairs of jeans, but I generally recommend 5-6 pairs depending on how often you wear jeans at work.
If you wear Jeans at work (recommendation: 5 or 6 pairs)
If you wear jeans at work or in the office, I would recommend up to 6 pairs of jeans. When paired with the right blouse or cardigan, you can take your outfit up a notch with a more traditional pointed toe pump or dressy flat. Here is my wardrobe recommendation for how many pairs of jeans you should own if you wear jeans at work:
- Dressy Jeans (1 or 2 pairs)
Dressy jeans are great for work if you can wear jeans at work regularly. They are comfortable but still look professional. A slim or boot cut in a medium to darker wash paired with a nice top will work great for most work situations. You can alternate between your dress jeans and a black or white pair of jeans (see next for details), or even with a casual pair of jeans if your work environment is casual.
- Everyday casual Jeans (1 pair, or 2 pairs if your work is very casual)
Everyday casual Jeans are your classic blue jeans (My Friday work + spirit wear jeans). I prefer slim to boot cut and cropped at the ankle so that I can roll them up in the spring + summer with a pair of cute sandals or fall + winter with boots. When I’m not living in yoga pants, these are the jeans that I throw on during the weekend when I’m running errands in the city or meeting friends for an afternoon coffee. I try to keep it a versatile style/color so that it goes with multiple footwear and looks.
- Comfortable jeans (1 pair)
Comfortable jeans are typically the most relaxed pair and to wear around your house or in your casual local shopping trips.
- Black jeans (1 pair)
Black jeans are a wardrobe staple and versatile when it comes to dressing up or down. I can get away with wearing black jeans to work if I dress up the rest of my outfit. When picking out an outfit for running errands, hanging out or date night- black jeans are an easy choice.
- White jeans (1 pair)
You can wear white jeans on summer date nights or occasionally at work as long as you don’t work in a busy or dusty environment.
Depending on your workplace, here are two tips I recommend when wearing jeans to work:
- For a tailored work look, a traditional cut in a medium to dark rinse (think: skinny, bootcut or straight leg)
- Little to no distressing (rips, embellishments and embroidery are not appropriate for most workplaces!).
If you wear Jeans mostly at home and on days off (Recommendation: up to 5 pairs of jeans)
If you fall into this category like me, I would recommend 5-6 pairs. You probably wear jeans on days off while running errands (sorry yoga pants), exploring the city or for a dressier dinner date night. Breaking down your jeans into the following categories or scenarios is helpful:
- Everyday casual Jeans (1 pair)
These are the jeans that I throw on during the weekend when I’m running errands in the city or meeting friends for an afternoon coffee. I recommend picking a versatile color so that you can wear it easily with different looks.
- Dressy Jeans (1 pair)
My Dressy jeans are my most expensive/polished pair. These are for date nights or dressier dinner celebrations with the girls. Or for those who can wear jeans to work regularly. A slim or boot cut in a darker wash paired with a cute top, black leather jacket and a pointed toe pump is a classic night on the town look.
- Your Favorite “Chilling at Home” Comfortable jeans (1 pair)
Comfortable jeans are the most relaxed pair and straight cut, great to wear while doing jobs around the house, grocery shopping, or a weekend trip to Home depot for my next DIY project.
- Black jeans (1 pair)
Black jeans are a staple for your wardrobe and you can easily use them to dress up or down. My favorite pair have the right amount of stretch and structure that it almost feels like you’re wearing yoga pants. When picking out an outfit for running errands, hanging out or date night, black jeans are an easy choice.
- White jeans (1 pair – optional)
White jeans are a staple for any summer wardrobe! When you finally find that white pair of jeans that fits right (not too tight or see through), you can pair it with a cute tank top and sandals for a casual summer Bbq look, or with a flowy top for those summer date nights.
There is no right answer for how many jeans one should have. Whether jeans are a part of your daily work attire or just weekend casual, hopefully these tips can help you simplify your wardrobe!