Buying jeans is a minefield. Back in 1873 - when Levi's created
the first pair - that was all you could get. Now it seems there's a
new jeans brand sprouting every week.
Thankfully, those titans of luxe consumerism, Harrods and
Selfridges are both trying to address the overwhelming landscape of
denim buying. This week both stores opened new and specific jeans
The Way-In department on Harrods fourth floor is no longer.
(I've always had a soft spot for Way-In - working on the shop floor
was one of my first jobs as a teenager where I thrillingly busted a
shoplifter who was trying to nick about 30 pairs of jeans hidden
under a huge coat). The newly rebranded area is now called Fashion
Lab - and the first section to be completed is the Denim Lab. There
are 440 cubby holes clearly marked according to brand and
style, stuffed with jeans for all leg lengths (Koral works
well for the vertically challenged, whilst beanpoles will
appreciate the 34 inch inseam by Joe's).
But if you're still overwhelmed, make an appointment with one of
Harrods's 'Jean Therapists', a collection of unbiased experts
who'll sort you out according to your shape and denim dreams. And
if the fit is still not quite right, the alterations team will
fiddle about until your strides are perfect.
Cross over the park, where that behemoth Selfridges has given
over 25,000 square feet to their new Denim Studio. There are 11,000
pairs of jeans priced from £11-£11,000, a fit studio manned by a
team of 30 denim experts, a 'Jeanius Bar' with digital lookbooks,
brand information and fit guides, and a 'Denim Tailor' promising a
speedy alteration time of 2 hours.
And if you're really organized, trawl the Selfridges website the
night before, use the 'click and try' function for any styles that
spike your interest and they'll be waiting for you to slip on
in-store the next day.
Life must have been a darn lot simpler back in 1873.