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Brittany Henderson

The Fashion Editor's Guide To Buying Vintage Denim

The marie claire fashion team share their secrets to finding the perfect vintage (or vintage-look!) jeans.
"Finding the perfect vintage jeans is like finding a boyfriend, so shop around!" laughs fashion assistant Monica Russell. "It might take a moment but it's worth trying on tons of pairs until you find your match. Don’t buy for the sake of buying - I know from experience and have a drawer full of vintage jeans that just don’t quite work for one reason or another."

Image via Instagram @redone

"Don’t rush the process," agrees editorial coordinator Ali Carey. "Try on as many cuts, sizes and washes as you want before making your final choice. Remember vintage denim often has less or no elastane compared to a new pair of jeans, so keep in mind that they will wear differently and age well, but - at the risk of getting 'saggy bottom' - buy them as firm fitting as you can. Also, don't be afraid of a men's jean- sometimes with a little bit of altering they can work in your favour."

"My advice is if you find a wash or cut that you like, buy them even if they're a little big," adds market editor Tara Morris. "I've practically had all my Levi's altered to fit me right since the cuts seem to change quite a bit." 

Would they buy vintage denim online? "If all the measurements were listed," says Morris. "And if there's an easy returns policy," says Russell. 

But if you're not quite ready to dive in, consider reconstructed denim - brands like Re/Done take vinatge jeans apart at the seams and re-tailor for a more modern fit - or seek out Levi's throwback styles or washed-out colours like the below.

shop this Style

Cult Straight Leg Jean

Cult Straight Leg Jean

Buy Now $385
Alexander Wang
Bessette Jean Shaded

Bessette Jean Shaded

Buy Now $219
Nobody Denim
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