Blue Jean Blues

I’ve been in the blue jean market for the last year. I don’t mean that I’ve been spending the last year shopping for a pair of jeans. I mean that prior to a year ago, I worked at an auto parts store six days a week, for three years, and part of the dress code was black slacks of some sort. So I owned many many pairs of cheap black slacks, since in the auto parts store environment, no matter what you wear, your pants get trashed. You spill battery acid on them, they get all greasy, you always get them caught on those stupid peg hooks that all the products hang on. For three years, I regularly bought new slacks, but never bought any jeans. Since I would only wear jeans one day a week, I would just wear the old jeans that I had laying around with holes in them, or grease stains or whatever. If nothing else, I would wear my work pants on my days off. If they weren’t trashed yet, black slacks always look good.

Well, about a year ago, I decided to get a different job. Many different reasons, most of which involved not commuting 35 miles both ways. A friend let me know of a computer tech support position at the university. I got the job and subsequently quit the auto parts job. My new job doesn’t require black slacks. I sure wasn’t going to go buy more black slacks for a job that doesn’t require it. I didn’t really have very many pairs of jeans, though. Nor did I know what a good brand was or anything. Jeans can be expensive. It’s not like I can just go down to the store and buy 12 pairs of jeans at once.

Since I have absolutely no fashion sense at all, it is better that I don’t try to get any kind of designer stuff. I would probably look like an idiot, and I would spend too much money. So for the last year, I have been going to random department stores and picking up the cheapest normal looking jeans they had. And once again, since I have no fashion sense, I don’t bother trying them on. I know my waist size and I know how long my legs are. What are standards for? I go to the shelf, find a normal pair of jeans, which can be tricky, since people want new cool designer stuff, it is hard to find normal stuff, but they usually have them on the back wall always on sale for a few dollars less than the “standard” price. I find my size, pay, and go home. None of this all day clothes shopping for me.

Now for the rants: Wrangler’s are terrible. Lee Dungarees are worse. About six months ago, I bought a pair of Wrangler’s and have been wearing them roughly once a week to once every two weeks. and they already have a hole in each pocket, and a huge hole in the pocket where my wallet resides, so now everyone can see my wallet half sticking out. Seriously. I still consider these pants new. Around the same time, I bought a pair of cheap Levi’s. Although, I accidentally picked up a size too small, I wear them just as often, and they are still hole-free. A few weeks ago, I was at the local Fred Meyer, and I figured I would buy a new pair of jeans, since my Wrangler’s are ready to give up their ghost. Their special was Lee Dungaree’s. Well, we’ve all seen the commercial with that little puppet guy who assures us that Lee Dungaree’s are tough… So why not? After wearing them once, one of the belt loops came off. What is this? Not buying that brand again. Meanwhile, all my Levi’s are still going strong. So yesterday, I bought another pair of Levi’s. Not to mention they were the same price as the Lee’s from a few weeks ago. I think I am seeing a trend here. Mr. Strauss must have done something right. I didn’t think that brands mattered when it comes to jeans, but really, all my jeans are dying prematurely, except for my Levi’s, and honestly, I don’t abuse them. I sit in front of a computer most of the day and walk to and from classes. One would think that any pair of jeans could hold up to this kind of use…


MuddaJuly 10th, 2006 at 08:10

I have been advised by my student fashion advisors here that Levi’s are acceptable but if you want to cool up American Eagle is the brand for you. They wear well and come in many shades of blue. I personally like the fit and quality of LL Bean but I think that is a yuppie brand old people wear.

jabbaJuly 10th, 2006 at 12:18

I am open to new suggestions, since I obviously don’t know a lot about the jeans industry. My main criteria are: relatively inexpensive, longevity, and easy to obtain (i.e. I don’t want to drive out of my way, and I don’t want to have to spend time trying them on and whatnot). I don’t care about designer stuff, and I would never pay extra for a pair of jeans that have holes pre-cut into them.

EvensonJuly 11th, 2006 at 21:45

We can get Jabba some German jeans. I take a pair of Spandex, paint them over with a Levi-Jeans template, stick a couple of pre-made holes in there and sell it to him at 100 Euro a pop.

FredJuly 23rd, 2006 at 15:53

As a matter of fact, Levi’s rock. Pretty much all the jeans I own are from this brand, because the quality just rocks, and, when you are — let’s say — a little off the standard John Doe guy shape almost all other brands make you look quite goofy in their pants. Sorry, dear Jeans industry, that I don’t look like a cowboy. And thanks, Levi’s, that you are making pants for me that fit and look good.

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