$econdhand First Class

A thrift store fanatic shares her shopping secrets

Jeans, Glorious Jeans

Shopping for jeans at a thrift store

Jeans can be a great
value at a thrift store

Jeans, the staple of most wardrobes. Jeans, the symbol that it’s time to have fun and relax. Good news! You can find jeans of all types, styles, and stripe at thrift stores. A huge benefit to buying thrift-store jeans is that they are preshrunk (if they have been worn and washed). Unlike the person who plunks down cash for new jeans, takes them home, tosses them in the wash only to pull out a pair that would fit a poodle, if the jeans fit the first time, they’ll fit every time.

But, before you snap up those cropped cuties, you’ll want to give those jeans a complete check-up.

  • Zipper: Most zippers lock at the top. If that lock fails, your zipper slides down, and you’re showing more than your good taste. Zip that zipper to the top and press the tab down. Then tug on each side of the waistband. If the zipper holds, you’re good. If not, move on. While you’re on the zipper, check out the fly. Make sure the fabric on the flip hasn’t twisted to the side.
  • Button: A button’s job looks easy but sometimes the buttonhole stretches out and sproing! Apply a similar test to the buttons. Button them, then see how they stand up to the pressure.
  • Snaps. Press the snaps together, and then see how much force it takes to get them apart.
  • Stitching. Most jeans have top stitching which makes them very resistant to ripping. But sometimes the sewing machine needle is on a coffee break and misses a few stitches. Check the areas of greatest wear, usually the fly, the crotch and around the pockets.
  • Leg seams. When you hold up the jeans, check the leg and the side seams. Do seams stay straight or do they twist around to the front of the jeans, so the wearer looks as if he is doing the hokey pokey? This means the fabric wasn’t laying properly when the pattern pieces were cut. No amount of ironing will set those jeans straight.
  • Holes. Some holes say I’m edgy and original. Some holes say my mother should choose my clothes. Whether you want holes or how many is up to you. Where the holes are, say, the crotch, can be a matter of public decency.
  • Fabric. Generally, the more cotton the better. Rayon doesn’t hold its shape as well as cotton and cotton/polyester blends fade and wear out faster than all cotton.

Whatever style you like, be it relaxed, boot-cut, or skinny, you’ll find jeans that flatter you and don’t flatten your wallet at a thrift store.

Happy thrifting!

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