Buying Jeans

November 11, 2011 at 10:15 am 4 comments

Ask any group of 10 women (who like to go shopping) what their least favorite clothing item to shop for is, and I bet at least 5 of them say jeans. At least.

Jeans are supposed to be the American casual uniform, the thing we get to wear as a treat in the office, everybody’s favorite. I call Shenanigans! I propose that jeans are not and will never be as comfortable as slacks, shorts, skorts, skirts, or dresses.

I’m not saying I don’t like jeans. But let’s stop pretending that they’re the ultimate in comfort-wear. And let’s agree that classic-fit-straight-leg-boot-cut-flare-bell-bottom-slim-skinny-boyfriend-carpenter-indigo-dark-stonewash-mediumwash-cleanwash-beachwash-mysterywash-distressed-518-524-535-low-rise-mid-rise-at-waist-high-rise sizing, styling, and fit defy explanation.

The word “Shopping!” for me is usually said with some level of glee comparable to “I just found a twenty in my old coat pocket!” or “It’s my Birthday!” On the other hand, “Shopping for jeans” sounds more like “The dentist says I need three fillings” or “The funeral is at 10:00.”

Shopping for jeans means trying things on beneath bad fluorescent lighting in front of what might as well be a fun-house mirror for all the reality, good or bad, it will reflect; wasting hours and big wads of cash; grinding self-esteem; wandering among teetering stacks of badly folded denim in which scientists calculate that 1 in 1,000 will fit correctly but may or may not turn out to have a great big, ridiculously goofy anchor embroidered on the butt, which you will only discover at home about 5 seconds before your date rings the doorbell.

Aside from a brief period of time in the 90s when I found a brand and style that fit me perfectly, in a material that was comfy, in a shade of blue that was just right, in a line that was soon discontinued, I’ve been in search of the right jeans for about 30 years. Thin and fat, unable or able-but-unwilling to spend a lot of money on jeans, name any department store, it has never gone well.

This week, I had an idea.

Parking was a breeze and I found a spot right near the door. I strolled to a long rack of jeans. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick and I was walking to the register–where there was no line–with an armful of jeans. I spent a total of $24. The clerk was quick and genuinely friendly. I tried the jeans on in the comfort of my own home. And I ended up with two pairs that fit great.

And, really, except for me noting it here, you’d never know they came from Goodwill.

Entry filed under: Humor - Commentary. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. WritingbyEar  |  November 14, 2011 at 4:10 am

    The other 5 women will say “bathing suits.” (Score! on finding the jeans.)


  • 2. boatdrinkbaby  |  November 14, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Oh, gawd, Chris, yes. I didn’t include them in the equation in my mind but should have been more specific, haha cause that is way worse than jeans! :)


  • 3. mel  |  November 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    my dear girl, I’ve been shopping almost exclusively at Goodwill and its happy associates (AmVets, Sally Ann/Salvation Army, etc.) since I had the pleasure of leaving my small, small town and moving to a city big enough to buy and wear secondhand clothing without fear of meeting the donator on the street when you’re wearing his/her item… the whole “broken in” concept began there. it’s cheap. and some of them even have dressing rooms. there’s one on Babcock Blvd. where women wear long, loose skirts just so they can shimmy into jeans right in the aisle in front of one of the available mirrors. yes, I’ve done this. yes, I have no shame. I do have common sense, though. congrats, and welcome to my very affordable world! : )

    you’re right, too–if you have an eye and any sense of style, no one will ever be the wiser. I’ve sported secondhand Ann Taylor, Gap, Jones New York, and received many compliments–all to which I proudly responded with my unbelievably cheap price and shocking place of purchase. oh, the true shopper’s high!


  • 4. patty  |  December 13, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Ellen degeneris has a great old bit that is related. She acts out how we take a llook at our butts in that pair we finally like, feelling kind of good about baby’s back, checking all the angles. Then she fains taking off those new jeans ans seeing our actual ass in the mirror…very different expression :) as for shopping vintage, its down right vogue!



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