Jeans are a versatile staple in many wardrobes — and any woman who’s ever shopped for them knows finding the perfect pair is no easy task. So that’s why, according to a new study, many tend to hold on tight to their favorite pair and wear them again and again until they’re worn out.
Unfortunately, that same research, conducted by CollectPlus, proposes that those age 53 and older should ditch those pants — and stop wearing jeans altogether.
Yet even the company behind the results, a British parcel delivery and return service, doesn’t necessarily agree with its findings. Catherine Woolfe, marketing director at CollectPlus, told the Daily Mail, “It’s surprising to see our research reveals that many people think jeans are the reserve of the younger generation, suggesting that we should all put denim back on the shelf at the age of 53.”
There are so many disheartening aspects to these study findings that it’s hard to wrap our brains around them all. The majority of the 2,000 participants in the British study (the median age of the participants is unknown) admitted that finding the ideal pair of jeans — when you consider fit, material, and style — is a herculean task. It can take four days for men and about eight and a half days for women. One in 10 people try on six or more pairs of jeans in their pursuit of the perfect pair.
Yet our denim-driven journeys get even more heart-wrenching. Almost a quarter of participants admit they have not yet found their perfect pair, and another 29 percent have given up the quest completely. A brave 6 percent admit to being reduced to tears in their search for just-right jeans. However, once the just-right jeans are found, most don’t let go. One in five participants admit to hanging on to their prized pants for up to five years — and 5 percent say they won’t shop for a new pair for up to 10 years.
As celebrity stylist Alex Longmore tells the publication, “It’s disheartening to see how hugely overwhelming and seriously stressful finding a pair of jeans to fit can be.” It’s a daunting task, to say the least.
To boot, once sartorial soulmates are found, many will wear those beloved jeans practically anywhere, with 33 percent of respondents feeling comfortable enough to wear denim to the theater and a quarter of individuals to a dinner party. A bold 5 percent of study-takers even confessed they would wear jeans to a job interview. Now that’s dedication.
And that’s why it’s so hard to believe that the majority of people who took the survey feel that — after a lifetime of honing the craft of finding the perfect pair of jeans — jeans have an age limit. As Woolfe noted, “Denim is such a universal material, and with so many different styles available, it’s a timeless look that people of all ages can pull off. This is highlighted by the fact that 55-year-old George Clooney came third in our list of most inspirational male celebrity denim-wearers.”
Also on CollectPlus’s list of the most stylish denim-donning celebrities are David and Victoria Beckham, Rihanna, Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake, Tom Hiddleston, and Kate Middleton. Yes, the list of most stylish jeans-wearers consists of celebrities all under the age of 53 — except for Clooney, of course. So why the stigma? And are we allowed to at least wear “mom jeans” and “dad jeans”? So many questions.
Plus, the study does not even give suggestions as to alternative bottoms for older men and women. What are the “acceptable” go-to wardrobe staples once it’s time for 53-year-olds to hang up their jeans for good? Leggings and yoga pants are certainly not options, according to one very vocal and discriminating Rhode Island man. So, is it just elastic-waist pants and pleated slacks? What about just going naked?
Perhaps the solution is this: Everyone should simply wear whatever makes them feel good.