Usually in the past when I’ve bought new jeans it hasn’t been because my old ones are worn out, but because the hem is frayed. I’m average height, but the back hem usually drags a little, which means the hems get worn out long before the jeans are. See exhibit A:
I can’t stand the ratty look, so I used to buy new ones once the hems were shot. This, of course, usually required hours and/or days of psychological torture as I went to store after store trying to find a pair that didn’t make me feel fat, fall off my hips, fit everywhere but in one spot, display the color of my underwear (or worse) whenever I sat down, have strange bedazzling/rips/acid wash, cost a fortune, give me a muffin top, pool around my ankles, look dated, give me camel toe, or require liposuction. This search usually ended with me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of a dressing room on top of a two foot pile of rejected jeans, weeping like a baby.
Last year I decided something MUST be done to stop this cycle, or I was going to need serious therapy. So I tried an experiment and was surprised how well it worked: I used clear nail polish to paint the very tip of the hem. It binds the fibers together and if the hem drags now it rubs on the nail polish barrier instead of wearing down the fibers. It works great! You only need to paint the very edge–don’t make it too thick or the hem will be stiff. I re-paint it on every few months if I see it’s wearing off, and it is making my jeans last so much longer! Jeans are usually one of the most expensive clothing items I buy, so I’m thrilled that mine are lasting longer.
These are the maternity jeans I bought last year. I wore them for about six months, and they look almost as good as new!
When I come up with a solution for having to buy new jeans because of weight gain/loss and jeans going out of style, I’ll be sure to post about that, too…
Update October 20, 2013: It is now almost exactly two years since I first posted this, and this same pair of jeans has been through two pregnancies and two “postpartum-nothing-fits-yet” eras. And behold, the hem!
Still in great shape two pregnancies later! Now the shape of my stomach…that’s another story for another time. *wink*