Selvedge is the champagne of denim and consequently has traditionally been very expensive. Japanese retailer Uniqlo have recently launched their own selvedge denim range and are currently offering pairs for under £35, they also offer a tailoring service to make sure your jeans fit you perfectly.
If you’re on a budget River Island offer skinny jeans in a huge range of colours and washes starting at £25. I’m fairly addicted to their skinny black jeans which are a great fit and also fantastically cheap. In terms of the top end quality selvedge runs into the hundreds as do designer jeans of all kinds. Urban Outfitters stock their own brand denim such as Indigo and Maine, along with Swedish brands like Dr Denim and Cheap Monday which are excellent options for mid range denim. For a little extra they also sell Levi’s as well as Edwin – an excellent Japanese denim brand both of which are hard to fault.
For an investment it’s reasonable to expect to pay good money on jeans but pick a classic fit. I’d suggest slim or straight leg as that’s a safe bet and also the most flattering shape. A word of warning – get the length right because taking jeans up can sometimes leave a very unsightly hem. Keep the branding as minimal as possible to ensure longevity. Raw indigo denim is the most versatile wash but in terms of looking after your jeans it’s best to wait at least 6 months before washing.
There’s a lot of conflicting information around caring for your jeans. Some people suggest popping them in the freezer every now and again to freshen them up (I’ve personally never found this to work). Dry cleaning is also a good option if you want to preserve the colour and of your jeans. The rest, my friend, is up to you – get it right and you’ll have worn in patches in all the right places and a pair of jeans that will be at the top of the list of things you’d rescue from your own burning house. Incidents involving French dressing are to be attempted at your own risk.