Steve. I love Steve. My hips are hugged like they've never been hugged before. I feel warm and protected, inside and out. And, no, Steve isn't a man – he is my favourite-ever pair of jeans. You need him in your life.
Steve comes courtesy of the LA-based label J Brand and, unbelievably, I bought him online – I didn't have to try him on, I just knew. And I was right. I've barely taken him off since. The dead straight leg, the dark denim (confusingly, Steve's wash is called Clyde), the way he fits perfectly on the bottom. Steve, then, as any-one who has regularly worn this style of jeans before will understand only too well, avoids all the pitfalls of the cut and boasts – nay, positively glitters – with its devil-may-care, relaxed-and-proud advantages.
Steve has none of the Club Tropicana lunacy of overly faded/distressed competitors. He doesn't taper at the ankle in an Eighties club night/Ronaldo kind of a way, or sag like an elephant from behind. He's even the perfect length. You can wear him turned up or au naturel, in which case his hemline – in flats – just hits the floor. In fact, Steve is sometimes described as 'cropped' although that maybe only applies if the wearer in question is a baby giraffe. Finally, Steve doesn't stretch. He's made out of classic washed denim that gives slightly when you wear it straight after washing, but never falls down. Old-school perfection.
The bad news is that Steve has proved irreplaceable. Having sold out of my size everywhere in this country – a friend has also searched for Steve for me in Barneys New York and Saks Chicago, to no avail and, apparently, a certain bewilderment on the part of sales staff. "They don't know who Steve is here," she texted me from the former store. "Can you send me his picture?" Turns out that not everyone is aware of the fact that Steve is even called Steve – he's just a serial number to them. They don't know him like I do, clearly.
In desperation I bought a second pair of boyfriend jeans – not Steve but a nameless impostor – in the sales. Also by J Brand and swiftly attaining cult status in my ward-robe, these are not quite as brilliant – a tiny bit stretchy, very slightly tapered; but a suitable substitute on the odd – unavoidable – occasion.
This style is described in the blurb on the website I found them on as "not the most flattering style in town" – which is a bit like saying, "Buy this ugly cardigan" or indeed, "How can you resist these uncomfortable shoes?"
I wear them when Steve's in the bath.