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Would you pay $600 for dynamite denim?

We ask people on the streets of Chicago what they would (and wouldn't) spend on their jeans.

Ellen Warren

June 1, 2012

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Sure, you can pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of jeans. But would you?

For many of us, jeans are the absolute workhorses of our wardrobe, the single go-to when it's time to get dressed in the morning.

But how does that translate into cold cash?

To answer that question, I stopped more than 60 people — many of them wearing blue jeans — and asked them to give me a number, the absolute maximum they would be willing to pay for their denim. Those surveyed ranged from 14 to 72 years old and their top price went from $20 (a 15-year-old girl who shops sales at Marshall's and T.J. Maxx) to a high-rolling 27-year-old fellow who said he'd pay as much as $600 for jeans that were just right (although the most he's spent so far was $300).

(See the photos HERE.)

Of those interviewed, only two — a warm-weather fanatic from Hawaii, who only wears shorts, and a 71-year-old woman who proclaimed, "I'm too old" — said they do not wear jeans.

I was surprised that the men were willing to spend more (an average of $117.52) than the women ($98.61). Overall, the average top price that people were willing to spend on a single pair of jeans was $108.06. And then there was New Yorker Denine Pappalardo, 46, who said, "Honestly, I would pay anything for the right pair of jeans."

shopellen@tribune.com