I went online to Costco to see if I could pick up a pair of jeans and I could. I went ahead and threw them in a cart with one click and then went to check out and realized that the cost of these jeans was $99. How could that be? Did Costco have a problem with their website? Weren’t these the Kirkland brand jeans? Hold on, hold on, these were “J jeans” I had no idea if this is a real brand. I googled it. It is. It is a real brand and these jeans sell for over $200. If I was pissed at ripping a pair of $70 jeans that I had owned for five years I sure as hell wasn’t going to purchase a $200 pair of jeans even at 50% off and then venture into the vegetable garden. Ok, I’m not even working anymore so let me see what I can find on thredUp, an online used clothing store. Got it, a pair of straight leg jeans for $16 that will do. The jeans arrived and fit and looked fine but the front pockets were faux pockets. Ok, huh.
In my googling for jeans I came across an opinion article in CNN titled “FINALLY, These are the jeans women REALLY need.” I took the bait. I didn’t realize that this was a national crisis issue, a crisis being addressed by a professor of communications no less. Come to tell, with the pandemic and weight gain and people just running through their final reserves of fucks to give, that working women, read this to mean all women, are opting towards high waisted relaxed fit jeans. They just can’t do it anymore, they just can’t pour themselves into skinny jeans to look good to run errands or even eat a meal in. This is nice. The author was encouraging women to make comfort the new norm. Exchange the pencil skirts for flowy skirts. I’m curious as to how this will work or if it will work. I remember watching an interview with Sheryl Saunders and I was distracted by her constantly tugging at her pencil skirt. The skirt was a gorgeous royal blue with a soft wrap around blouse, she looked lovely but…
I think that it is facile to say “just do it ladies!” The woman who famously championed “take a seat at the table!” isn’t even dressing comfortably. I think that we dress to impress and to compete and attract and make statements. I think that men do it as well but they are not judged as harshly on their appearance as women are so the bulk of them don’t have to or even care to give it much thought.
Wait, there’s more. Slate also had an article on women’s jeans this week. So much is going on in the world that I’m a little startled by how much print this topic is getting.
‘ “The biggest mistake any brand or retailer can make is to assume that they know what customer product priorities will be when they come out of this period,” a VP at a trend-forecasting company told Harper’s Bazaar of the near future in fashion.
The New York Times says we’re in an era of high-rise jeans; Vox claims low-rise jeans are cooler. ‘
Since we haven’t dressed for a year so what will we choose? Just what will we, the consumer choose? The high waisted boot cut jeans are getting a lot of press. But wait, those look like flairs to me. The article goes on to warn you not to confuse these with flairs. Clothing producers are weary and wary of producing too much of anything but skinny jeans are out. Everyone is in agreement on that. How come I see skinny jeans everywhere I look?
I’m sharing this with my mother and she says, “High waisted flares are in. That’s the fashion forward look. Of course traditional cut Levis will always be in.” she’s adamant. This from an 85 year old woman who has consistently dressed like a reformed nun, Clarks walking shoes and vests with pockets, for the past 30 years or so. To be fair though, she does stay au courant in spite of her own sartorial choices.
In retirement I have been sewing and playing with sewing knits, tricky. I’m enjoying the colors. I don’t know if I‘ll ever wear black again. As mentioned, I’m struggling with the knits and I found a website The Last Stitch and it’s hosted by a Swedish woman who swears by these two tools for working with knits, an awl, yes, you read that correctly and a rubber mallet. She showed how some people use a special walking foot for feeding the knit fabric through the machine but “I, I prefer the awl, Look! See! More control!” I’ve tried it, she’s right, and then the rubber mallet. To make the neckline or the waistband lay flat, make sure you clip a notch right here” (she clips a notch on where the fabric is folded) and then bam! Bam! Bam! “see? All flat! It works!” I haven’t tried the rubber mallet yet, but I will. She’s written a book on how to sew jeans. I mention this to my husband Tom. “Wouldn’t that be a pain in the ass? With the rivets and everything?” he asks. Well, yeah, but I’m thinking that the fun of using a rubber mallet and making a pair of jeans just might be more than I can resist.
Before I go any further I check in with Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer prize winning writer at the Washington Post. Ms. Givhan does social and fashion commentary. Since this appears to be jeans week I wonder what she has to say. Nothing, her column is on how all lives matter and that was validated by the guilty verdict on Chauvin in the George Floyd murder.
I’m going to buy the men’s Kirkland jeans, they only make them for men, and tailor them with my awl and rubber mallet to fit me.