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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Buying Jeans: What's in a Name?

My research indicates that American women own an average of 10 pairs of jeans. I had at least 10 pair before the Bye Buy challenge, but most were uncomfortable or unflattering. With careful weeding throughout the year, I was down to 3 pair by December 31. "Jeans" is a very broad category. After all, would you include yard work jeans and "going out" jeans in the same category? How about jeans for heels and jeans for flats? When you really look closely, maybe 10 isn't so bad.

But I have 3 pairs, so one of my first orders of buying business was to get one additional pair of jeans, preferably very dark denim or black. Also, I would like jeans that FIT. Not jeans that may fit if I lose 5 pounds, not jeans that show my butt every time I bend over and not jeans that are too long, short, or produce a muffin top. Tall order, I know. But hey--I am very picky now.

I don't have a "go-to" store or brand for jeans. One of my top criteria in the past was price, $30 or less, usually. Now that I am much wiser, I have learned that 1 pair of $100 jeans, if they are perfect, are a better deal than 5 pairs of ill-fitting $20 jeans. So, what are the popular brands of jeans?

In the day, Levi's were the thing. The coveted orange tag peeking from the pocket ensured that, at least for the moment, you were cool. Fashion brands emerged like Sassoon, and Calvin Klein. What is cool today? Again, a little research indicates that Lucky Brand, Hudson, True Religion, 7 for All Mankind and Rock Revival are all considered fashion-do-s. Just the names sound hip so despite the hefty price tag, surely I must need jeans in one of these brands. I think I am very cool.

A couple rounds in various fitting rooms indicate that, as a matter of fact, I am not cool. These jeans to not flatter my, um ... mature figure. So what's left? Mom jeans? (remember the SNL skit???)

I happened to do a quick browse through a rack at TJ Maxx and spotted a black pair that looked like they could work. Right leg width, a zipper longer than 2 inches, a waist larger than 15 inches. Hmmm... quick trip to the fitting room and, what??? They fit??? Scrambling for a tag, I had to know, were they Rock & Republic? Diesel? No. They were NYDJ, or Not Your Daughter's Jeans. Seriously? I couldn't believe I even tried them on. Who want to wear jeans that scream, "I am old! I have an old daughter!" Not me. I was putting them back on the rack, thinking of 100 other names that they could have given these jeans. Something cool, mysterious and flirty like G-Star. But they fit so I looked again.

No obvious pocket name (remember the Apple Bottoms?) Nothing that screamed "mom" or "old." Could I really feel cool wearing these? They do, after all, retail for over $100. So I did it. I bought the jeans. And even though NYDJ gives their styles names like Kendall and Aleshia, I call mine "Night on the Town." So there.


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