Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blue Jean Blues

While in Macy's yesterday in search for a pair of jeans I was startled to find hoardes of shoppers. Apparently nobody told women there is an economic crisis because they were clamouring to buy Coach purses, leather boots by Via Spiga, cashmere sweaters, perfume and trinkets. That or they're scoffing at the soft economy, doing their patriotic bit to give it a boost with their credit cards. And nobody told me that it was dress up day at the mall--I arrived underdressed in jeans and a sweater. All around me were spackled, coiffed, curled and floofed women wearing black suits, black sweaters, black shirts, black slacks, and black stilletto heels. (Quite possibly the cosmetic department were all on break when I arrived--they all looked disturbingly alike and I could easily imagine them with white lab coats.)

I rode the escalator to the 2nd floor, painfully aware that I looked like a thrift shop reject and tapped the shoulder of the first sales associate I could find. "Can I get a pair of jeans without the spandex-y stretchy material?"


Sometime in the last 4 years (since I last bought a pair of jeans) all blue jeans made for women must have s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y material. If I wanted to wear leggings? I'd buy some. I want jeans. Denim. Durable, tough, denim. Tough shit, I learned.

Gamely I tried on the pairs proffered me and noticed two unfortunate results in the dressing room:
* wrinkles in the fabric hugging the backs of my thighs where regular jeans just hung straight down from beneath my substantial booty
* tightness in the thighs which, when I went a size up, meant a disconcerting looseness around my waist. One way or another I'd feel my fit compromised.

Just to be certain I asked a few people via cell phone. Yep, my friends who shop & know these things assured me that all jeans now were made with 2% or more spandex for better fit.

Better fit? I looked again at my rear view in the mirror. Not quite. The pockets bagged, the fabric pulled and I could imagine the effect after sitting--you know how leggings would get baggy in the knees and butt after being worn for a few hours? I fear that's what will happen in these "new, improved jeans."

I shelled out $70.00 for the least offensive pair I could find. If the butt bags or the knees sag, I'm heading back to the boys' department for a pair --Mr. T got a really hip pair of PLAIN OLD DENIM JEANS when we were back to school shopping and I swear to God if they weren't so short, I'd steal them for myself! Plus they only cost $19.00.

See how they pull and gather? NOT attractive! I know I can't be the only woman with this problem and it pisses me off to have NO alternative! I can buy any other item of clothing in silk, cotton, polyester, rayon, 50/50, you name it--but the entire blue jean industry has gone to a standard--and a crummy one at that. Do you hear me, Calvin, Levi, Donna? BAD CHOICE!

Oh Mr. T, if you weren't so small I'd raid your closet for these respectable 100% denim cotton blue jeans!

Is it any surprise that after this I still hate to shop?

I just realized that this photo may get me credit for Mrs. G's 5 K Ass Project--or did I need to start running to qualify for that?


  1. That's so frustrating!
    Check out a thrift store ~ you might be able to find some jeans there that are older and have no spandex...
    (it's my favorite way to recycle!) :)

  2. At least you have a booty. I'm flat as a board and have to find jeans with big ol' pockets to help out back there.

    I'm with amy y. Time to hit the thrift store. Or maybe gap? They have regular jeans, don't they?

  3. You need to find out where gold miners get their Levi's. I completely agree with you about the spandex business, yuck! I am as tall as I am wide, and I always cut rather than hem my pants. Cutting spandex is like cutting foil.

  4. I hate jean shopping. And when did they get so darned expensive???

  5. Have you tried L.L. Bean or Lands' End yet?

    I get my jeans from Target. Yes, they're cheap, but they hold up pretty well.

  6. I have that same ass. No, really.

    I've found Levis 515s (NOT the ones that have polyester in them, only the 98% cotton, 2% spandex version) are alright. kinda.

    Let me know if you find something.

  7. I was going to suggest LL Bean / Lands End as well. Or Eddie Bauer. Levi's did have a thing on their website where you could custom order a pair of jeans. It's not cheap, but might be worth it not to have the hassle.

    Having a giant behind and a very short legs, shopping for jeans is a hideous undertaking. My sympathies are with you :)

  8. You brave soul you. I REFUSE to go to the mall. I just can't stand to walk around in the black stilletto scene.

  9. I agree with Mary Alice. I hate malls but sometimes there's no way around it. Why is it so hard to find jeans that fit well. So many stores have 5 or 6 styles and yet we still have problems. Men have it so much easier in this department - just waist and length. I'm usually able to buy my husband a pair without him even trying them on in the store! Way unfair.

  10. I'm with Mary Alice. I absolutely HATE the mall--and I don't hate anything but brussel sprouts! Mall shopping is pure torture. I need to buy jeans and I'm dreading it...yuck.

  11. You've described exactly why I hate the mall! And jean shopping is so depressing. I want plain old cotton ones, too. I've bought men's cargo pants for myself at Old Navy - they're pretty comfy.

  12. Wow, you really do have a substantial booty. I'm so jealous! And maybe you need to come to estonia for your jeans. I like the stretchy ones (they make me look like I have an @ss) and have a hard time finding them. I think jeans-shopping on the whole is a nightmare... no matter how much junk you have in the trunk.

  13. I hate shopping. I hate going to the dept. store and realizing, oops, I forgot to put makeup on, fix my hair, do my nails, etc. I always feel like a bumpkin.

    the dressing rooms never helps.

  14. What are you talking about? Those jeans look great! You ass looks fabulous!

    God help me I love the stretchy jeans.

  15. Did you try Lucky Brand Jeans? They are expensive, so I find the style and size I want and then get them on eBay. I swear they are the only jeans that can handle my booty, are not too low cut near the waist, and suck me in. And I need lots of sucking. (I mean this in the most family friendly way.)

  16. Yes, that is a good ass shot. It counts. Amy is right--hit the thrift store or ebay for levis-the new levis aren't as good either. They wear out much faster.

  17. You have an ass! You don't know how lucky you are. Some of us bruise our butts if we sit down too hard.

  18. That draping on the thighs? Imagine repetition of the swag effect on one's rear. That's what happens when there is too little junk in the trunk. The great part about the spandex is having it give in the places where one could use a bit more space... except that the give doesn't stop so one gets to constantly readjust to keep the stretch waist from sliding south to give that most excellent plumber effect. Awesome.

  19. I'm with Amy Y; try a second hand shop or thrift store. There's a good consignment store just out of downtown on richmond; kind of across from Good Company. I still buy teaching clothes there! Haven't run into any students in the store yet.

  20. The spandex factor makes me nuts!! The jeans don't last nearly as long, and unless you buy them TIGHT, they become too loose if you wear them for about an hour. Arrrgh.

  21. My favorite jeans are from the Ralph Lauren outlet and they were only $40. No spandex.

    Eddie Bauer has jeans with no spandex. I don't have any jeans with spandex, although I probably should.


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