How Many Pairs Of Jeans Do You Actually Need?

One staple item in all our wardrobes is the humble and hardy pair of denim jeans. No matter your size, style, or personal taste, you most certainly own one or many pairs of jeans. But do you own too many of them?

In 2016, research conducted by Fashion United revealed that while 1.25 billion jeans were sold annually around the world, women had seven pairs of jeans on average, and men had six. That is quite a large number for a single garment that professes to be easy to style and is versatile enough to be worn in many different ways and therefore lends itself well to frequent repetition.

That being said, three pairs of jeans are all you need, according to Max Wong, a part-time denim trader via Wise Bread. If you are used to stocking up on a large number, this opinion may surprise you at first. However, you should be able to narrow in on three pairs that will serve several needs. In the process, you will save your hard-earned money and make more room in your closet.

Why cut down on the number of jeans you own

We understand how tempting it is to keep adding to your jeans collection every time a new denim style is trending on and off the runway. We are also aware of the realities of life where changes in body size dictate fashion choices. However, there are also many reasons for reducing the number of jeans you own.

As bulky items, denim jeans tend to take up extra space in one's wardrobe. Those that aren't the right size or trendy fit tend to languish in wardrobes for months, if not years, before seeing the light of day. Plus, most importantly, the manufacturing of denim requires tons of water and chemicals that may have long-term polluting effects on human health and the environment. While the jury is out on what it really means when denim is sustainable, you should earnestly reduce the number of jeans in your wardrobe. If three is the magic number that works for an expert like Max Wong, it most certainly can work for you too.

The rule of three

When picking out your three pairs of jeans, stick to some rules. "Starting with three pairs will establish some 'style pillars' to go off of, and you can quickly build from there once you get a sense of which styles you're wearing more of," Tara West, fashion stylist and blogger, told InStyle. She separates the three pairs according to their washes and recommends that everyone own a pair of dark and light wash denim and a colored pair, which could be white. If, however, you enjoy experimenting with different styles, the three you own could vary from one that has a wider leg, another that is high-waisted, and a third one that is cropped or follows a different style altogether.

On the other hand, Max Wong's mantra is even more simple. After identifying a pair that suits and fits her well, she buys a new pair of the same kind every year, simultaneously retiring the pair she bought two years ago in that style. "By rotating my jeans on this three-year schedule, I ensure that I always have a pair of jeans that are like new looking for work, but at the same time have a rugged pair of pants that I can hike in," she told Wise Bread.