It's in the Jeans

Meg has a funny post about jeans on her site this week. Reading it made me wince, as I'm sure I would receive a citation for the slightly-too-long, slightly-too-baggy, not-particularly-flattering-to-the-female-form Caslon stretch denims that I'm wearing right now, but boy are they comfortable. And as I look out the window at the working public of Philadelphia passing by, in their heels and loafers and suits and skirts, I'm thankful that I have the luxury of wearing Sketchers and jeans at all, no matter how ill-fitting. Meg's final point is a good one, though—one that made me want to join her Jeans Police:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all women are not shaped equal, and each is entitled to a great pair of jeans!

As I write this I am reminded of an ill-fated marketing concept Levi's tried years ago: cut-to-fit jeans. I ordered a pair, and while they did indeed fit me right out of the mailer (unlike any other pair of Levi's I've ever tried on), they weren't exactly what I'd call flattering. (They also didn't fit for more than a couple weeks, because the horror of having to buy expensive, unflattering cut-to-fit jeans—and worse, to have to endure a tape-measuring by a mall salesgirl—gave me the incentive I needed to go on a diet.)

I'm also reminded of a recent headline on the cover of Us or People or one of those other celebrity/style magazines you find at supermarket checkout stands that screamed "Jeans for Every Figure!". Upon looking inside, I found that by "every figure," they meant "every figure *in Hollywood*". Granted, Hollywood has body types of every persuasion, including stomach gainers with long legs, curvy hourglass vixens, apples, and pears, but generally they're all at or below ideal weight. (Certainly all the celebrity/actress/model types that were pictured in the article were.) Yes, it's true, certain styles and brands of jeans will look better on some body types than others, but just about any brand is guaranteed to look good on a stick.

And now that I'm thinking of jeans and magazines, some terrible fashion advice from Teen magazine (is that still around?), circa 1979, comes to mind: "If you have a large rear-end, wear jeans with smaller pockets to de-emphasize it." DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, TAKE THIS ADVICE. Everyone sees the pockets, notices that they look smaller, and assumes that it's not the pockets that are smaller, it's your butt that's bigger. That's right, smaller-than-normal pockets make your butt look BIGGER, not smaller. Get the biggest damn pockets you can find, by all means. And broader shoulders, if you can. (More valuable than either of those: an honest friend to go shopping with you.)

And finally, a jean quote from the movie Party Girl (funny how many jeans-related items I have filed away!):

Mary [to Derrick, who's going through her clothes rack]: "Don't mess those up, they're in order."
Derrick: "Mary, they're jeans."
Mary: "Yes, Derrick, they're jeans. And they're in order.

I have about 20 pairs of jeans. At least. Some in a box labeled "size 8s and 10s" that I hope to be able to wear again some day, some (size 10 and 12) hanging in order in my closet currently, and some (size 12 and 14) that are in the back of my closet (or rather were; now they are in moving boxes along with the rest of the clothes that are not in active rotation), just in case I go on a donut binge or get pregnant and need to leave the house. Some I really should throw out, because they aren't flattering anymore (or never were; a few random pairs purchased without a try-on at Costco fall into this category), and some I really should try to buy in another wash or color, they look so good. (Unfortunately, that never really works; I have yet to have two pairs of jeans, even when of the same style, size, and manufacturer, fit exactly the same.)

I've struggled with this, but I find that I am unable to stop myself from sharing with you my imagined slogan for the next great jean company I hope will come along:

The perfect jeans for those of us without perfect genes.

Yes, I really am that corny.

Posted by Lori in fashion statements at 4:48 PM on September 25, 2003


What about perfect jeans for those with perfect genes? You could call it eugenicswear. Something to put on those sticks in Hollywood.

Posted by: Simon at September 29, 2003 10:41 AM

As it happens, there are quite a few men out there
who *prefer* the classic, voluptuous female form.
In other words, women with curvy figures,
with *round* butts, yes, even big round butts.
The current fashion "standard" states that
women should have big breasts, but look like
teenage boys from the waist down. Pathological!

Posted by: M. Leo Cooper at November 6, 2003 12:19 AM

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