Stretch your dollar and the life of your jeans

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Jeans are one of the most worn items in your closet, but they can also be the priciest.

Fashion stylist Wendy Patterson says price doesn't matter as long as you know how to pick the right pair and take care of them.

"Most brands now have figured out the trick to making good jeans at any price point," she said.

Patterson says fit is key to finding the perfect pair of jeans.

"I feel that's the mistake people make with inexpensive jeans. If the jean fits right, you have no idea," Patterson said.

Her advice is to find jeans with 1-2 percent elastin, lycra or spandex to help maintain the shape much longer. Patterson says many companies use vanity sizing, so be willing to go up or down a size and try different brands to find the one that fits you best.

"Definitely look at your rear-end in the mirror and make sure it's a round bottom versus flattening you out. And we have to watch that muffin top," Patterson said.

The length is also important to making them look more expensive than they actually cost. Buy them long and get them altered, but throw them in the wash a couple of times first.

"Have them hemmed touching the floor because when you take them home and wash them they are going to shrink again," Patterson suggests.

Stretch your dollar by washing and drying as little as possible. You can usually get by with wearing them four or five times, or less if the denim has a dirty wash or special coloring.

In order to keep them odor free between washes, Patterson suggests using a steamer or hanging them in the bathroom while you take a shower. You can also spray them with water or a mix of water and essential oils and throw them in the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes.

"Another unique thing you can do is fold them neatly and place them in a large plastic bag and stick them in the freezer," Patterson said. "I can't honestly say why that works, but it works well I've tried it on a couple occasions."

Once they are ready for the washing machine, adding a tablespoon of vinegar in the wash cycle can help prevent fading.

"I find washing them on cold/delicate is good," Patterson said. "If you have something on them, a special wash or embellishment, flip them inside out."

After the wash, hang drying jeans is best. However, you can throw them in the dryer on low for a few minutes if necessary. Patterson cautions against dry cleaning because it can damage the elastin or lycra over time.

Wendy Patterson's Favorite Low-Cost Jeans
- Macy's INC
- Off Sax 5th Ave - gray brand
- Charlotte Russe
- Forever 21
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