How Much Should Jeans Cost?

There is no “should.” It’s different for everybody.

Photo via Flickr

A fun thing I like to do when feeling weird about the state of my wardrobe is to wander into a store and try on jeans. “Fun” is relative here; sometimes this activity is actually enjoyable, because every single pair I try on fits like it was made for me. Usually, a few pairs are duds, and out of the armfuls of denim I’ve grabbed, I maybe leave with one pair. I don’t spend a lot of money on jeans only because I feel like they shouldn’t cost a lot of money. I wear them out every winter and replace them in the fall, as part of my seasonal wardrobe replenishment strategy.

The quest for the “right” pair of jeans is eternal. This is why every time I see something on the internet that purports to sell me on the universality of just one thing, I click.

As per The Cut, one pair of jeans to rule them all exist. A real life Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants deal. Also, they cost $218. Excuse me?

That feels like a lot of money to pay for a pair of pants. According to my brief survey of the folks here at the Billfold, the Awl and the Hairpin, the most money paid for a pair of pants is $140. Not bad, especially if they work for you. The least is a cool and reasonable $18. The jeans I am wearing right now cost me $36 at full price, from H&M, a purchase that I hemmed and hawed about before just plunking down my debit card and doing it.

How much should jeans cost? How comfortable are you with spending the equivalent of a fancy cable bill on a pair of pants? Is there any actual rubric for what is appropriate to spend on this item of clothing one ostensibly wears every day? Judging other people based on the choices they make with their money is not my bag; I’m genuinely curious. How much do you pay for jeans?