Building a Denim Wardrobe: The Upgrade

By Ann of Holier than Now

So I don’t know about you guys, but I always spend the last days of the year cleaning out my closet, throwing things in bags to sell or donate, and generally having a think about what I need (and what sartorial mistakes not to repeat in the coming year).

In 2011, I started writing for Eat Sleep Denim, and since then the denim stylings of Jennine, Taylor and the many featured bloggers has deepened my love for all things jean – but to be honest, it’s also opened my eyes to investing in designer denim.  For 2012, I’ve decided I’m going to stick to the basic silhouettes and styles in my “core” denim wardrobe (as shown above) – but I’m going to stop buying jeans I’m not totally in love with and start saving up.

Too many not-quite-right pairs went in my giveaway bin this year – and with all the sales going on right now, it would actually be more sensible for me to spend a little more for a pair I’ll wear non-stop. (This is true of the rest of my wardrobe too … I really had to stop and think if I’ve even worn any of my cheap “trendy” mall pieces more than once).

To this end, I’ve created a little “wish list” … some I know I’ll never own unless they drop to 70%+ off, but others I’m budgeting for now!

1. Upgrade my everyday tan pants to Theyskens Theory (these Pepper Werner Pants are $206.50 – 30% off).  My go-to black works pants are Theory, and I’ve had them for SEVEN YEARS (!), so this seems like a good move.

2. Switch from a black skinny jean to a black leather skinny.  A girl can dream!  These are Rag & Bone/Jean Skinny Leather Pants ($693- 30% off). I’m sure I’d wear them for years, break them in until they fit me perfectly … sigh.

3. I kind of live in my Gap 1969 bell bottoms, but I’d like a lighter pair for Spring/Summer and I love the lacing detail of these AG Adriano Goldschmied Lula Flare Jeans ($225).

4. My everyday blue skinnies are from a brand so no-name that I took the tag off and honestly … they don’t really fit me : ( Too much eggnog.  Anyway, I’ve heard so many good things about Rag & Bone denim that I might try The Skinny Jeans ($198).  After I finish this glass …

5. The polkadot Quiksilver jeans were seriously the sleeper hit of my entire wardrobe this year.  Definitely feeling the floral denim as my print for Spring and I think these Citizens of Humanity Mandy Floral Roll Up Jeans ($189) would make a fine addition.


What’s on your dream denim wish list?  (Let’s pretend money is no object!).


Image by Ann Colville Somma



  1. January 2, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    I saw a preview of what Madewell has coming up for Spring Summer 2012 and I am really dying for a pair of the lemonaid jeans. LOVE

  2. Lisa
    January 2, 2012 / 3:18 pm

    I met a girl wearing a pair of super sexy white patched jean hip huggers this weekend, I LOVE THEM. Its a new brand from San Francisco called Sonas Denim, I just checked out their website and their collection is amazing.
    They are on my wish list.
    Happy New Year
    Lisa 🙂

  3. January 2, 2012 / 4:50 pm

    I adore every single item you put on the wishlist, all must haves!!

  4. Marguerite/@chicspace
    January 2, 2012 / 10:45 pm

    Love this post! I love the idea of a core denim wardrobe (duh, why haven’t I thought of that?) and I like that most of these, while stylish, aren’t blatant trends. AG’s are completely worth it (my go to). I clearly need to pick up a pair of black denim, and I do love those polka dots…. Theyskens is changing its sizing this spring to standard Theory sizing (it’s totally random sizing now) so you might want to wait.

  5. A Reader
    January 3, 2012 / 11:57 am

    Great post!
    As for me, I plan to keep on keepin’ on with my Diane Gilman jeans from HSN. Not at all what you’d call “upscale,” I know, but dig this: they are made with a real woman’s body in mind! They fit! They look great! I don’t have the figure that the fashion world seems to dictate — boy in the back, Dolly Parton in the front — and I had given up on jeans until I discovered these. They cost between $40 and $80/pair, which allows me to (mostly) buy whatever I want without breaking the bank. I simply cannot bring myself to pay $200 and up for a pair of jeans. (No judgment if others do, but I just can’t.) And no, I don’t work for them, I’m just a very happy customer.

  6. lazypadawan
    January 3, 2012 / 10:09 pm

    Paige Verdugo Ultra Skinny in Mint. Mint is going to be a huge color for spring.