Like the housing market which at one time soared to incredulous heights, and inevitably came crashing down, so has the denim bazaar. The old additive is indubitable: what goes up, must come down. Today's New York Times article by Eric Wilson explores the at one time astronomical price tags of some leading jean labels, and how they have corrected themselves in wearing economic times.
I admittedly cannot go 2 days in a row without a pair of jeans. These days, there are very scarce occasions where one cannot appropriately (and stylishly) suit up in denim. Many offices allow (some even encourage) fashion forward ensembles that often involve a pair of perfectly fitting jeans as a crucial element of the overall look. (Of course, I'm not talking about law firms or financial capitals, I would not be so bold as to attempt to transform those force fields into chic, of the moment agencies that embrace denim as work-wear. But I would insist on breaking the black suit barricade.)
Though in my vast free time during unemployment I have come across a plethora of affordable jeans, I have tried very hard to resist the urge to buy, given 1) my lack of income, 2) lack of a designated job with a specified dress code, 3) the size of the closet in my studio apartment, and most importantly, 4) the 13 pairs of perfectly good jeans currently hanging that closet. But I have done my homework to offer educated advice on how to score a pair of perfect jeans that will be so comfortable, you will put the leggings back in the closet on weekends (hopefully under enough other clothing so they get lost and can't be found again).
I have always loved Seven jeans. I am happy to hear they have come down in price, but I still have a hard time shelling out $150 for a pair these days. An alternative is the 'sexy boot' at the Gap. They have a touch of spandex which makes them a comfortable, suitable alternative to the sweat pant (though I suppose anything is a an appropriate alternative to those). As I've said before, I really love the J.Crew 'matchstick' jeans (I suggest trying these on in a few sizes, because the sizing is slightly different in this cut). The matchstick is also a good cut for anyone who likes the modern straight jeans, but wants an alternative to the difficult 'skinny' cut. Old Navy has a bountiful offering of jeans in many different cuts, at very compelling price points ($22-$29), so if your budget is very tight but you love the trill of the purchase (who doesn't?) you can pick up a new pair for Halloween weekend. Always try on jeans, and check the rear view first, as this is what most people will see, and its a deal breaker on many pairs.