I wasn't always obsessed with denim. There was a time (not long ago) when I could go days without wearing a pair of jeans. But in the past few years, my denim obsession has grown substantially, which I think is a result of discovering so many cool denim brands and styles. It all started when I began trading in my typical skinny pair for new styles like cropped flares and straight-leg jeans. And as my denim obsession grew, my denim collection grew. However, through this process, I found that other areas of my wardrobe were getting neglected (i.e., actual pants) thanks to my habit of reaching for a pair of jeans every day. Which is why I decided to embark on a self-imposed "denim detox" for a week. (And I must admit, it was harder than I'd imagined.)
I have much less trouble taking a break from jeans when the weather is warm (thanks to my pile of denim shorts), but the week of my denim hiatus happened to coincide with a strong cold front. My reaction? Ugh. It seems silly, but I was actually dreading this hiatus. Of course, I take days off from wearing jeans and try to mix things up as much as possible, but for multiple days in a row? I didn't know if I was going to make it. But I did—without a single cheat day—and my hypothesis was admittedly contradictory.
On one hand, many of the alternate pant styles I wore were much more comfortable than the 100% cotton jeans I typically favor. On the other hand, I came to the conclusion that I should wear jeans if I want to. My reoccurring thought as the week went on was, This would look so much better with jeans. I'll admit that I think my style temporarily suffered by the end of the week, especially at its lowest point when I resorted to wearing leggings for two days in a row.
Contradictory hypothesis aside, the weeklong denim detox I endured had a positive long-term effect on my style. I realized that I'm clearly in need of more options in my wardrobe, which will make me more willing to step out of my sartorial comfort zone in the future.
With that, keep scrolling to read about the three stages of my denim detox. Then shop non-denim pants that just might make you want to ditch your jeans more often too.
This was my "eagerness stage." I was looking at the detox with an optimistic mindset and wore a pair of cropped corduroy pants I scored for $20 at J.Crew months earlier. They were warm, cozy, and comfortable. I decided to embrace the retro vibe that day. Things were off to a good start.
See? There are plenty of other pant styles in the sea beside jeans.
The post was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
This was my "leggings phase." I'd already worn all my casual favorite non-denim trousers at this point. What I was left with was either too fancy or not warm enough. In fact, I spent the entire length of a shower on Thursday night thinking about what pants I'd wear the next day, only to come to the conclusion that I would just wear leggings again. (Not that I have anything against leggings—they're of-the-moment—but wearing them once in my denim-less week was enough for me.) Two leggings days in a row made me miss my jeans even more.
This was my post-detox "recovery phase," during which time I felt more like myself than I had in days. I felt accomplished armed with the newfound knowledge that not wearing jeans won't necessarily improve my style, but it will probably keep me from adding to my denim collection for the time being. (That way I can add a few new pant styles, dresses, and skirts to my lineup.)
To sum things up, my biggest takeaway was that the best way to discover what your wardrobe is lacking is to stop wearing the thing you wear the most.