Jean Scene

Photograph by Cybelle Codish

This spring, fashionable legs will be skinny and big. Well-dressed gams will still flaunt slim jeans, which have become a staple in Midwestern wardrobes. But wide legs, flares, and vintage-inspired washes will also be stepping out, says Lennon Caruso, general manger of Caruso Caruso in Birmingham. Caruso, whose father, Frank, has owned the trendy downtown store for 27 years, grew up steeped in the business. Today, he travels the country in search of jeans. Between scouting and selling, he shared these thoughts on some common pitfalls of buying denim.

Common mistakes
1. People buy the wrong size. “All the [premium] denim cotton has been washed down, so that it allows for no shrinkage,” Caruso says. The jeans won’t shrink from the size you purchased at the store.

2. Constantly washing and drying jeans is another mistake. “The constant wet to hot heat just destroys the cotton and the stretch,” Caruso says. He suggests turning your jeans inside out before washing and avoiding the dryer, unless you’re trying to get the wrinkles out.

3. Another error is buying jeans because of the brand, not because of the fit. “We sell a lot of jeans to people who just want the name,” Caruso says. Buy jeans that flatter your body.

4. Make sure you shop where you’re guaranteed good service. Someone should be guiding you and helping you figure out what brand fits your body.