Friday, April 4, 2008


Can we all agree that we go to the Levi’s Store only in the case of energencies--that moment, between paychecks, when you really need a pair of jeans, but you don’t want to spend a bundle of dough (and your local sample sale, which for months seemed to happen every week, has all but gone away like the circus)? At that point of desperation, we go to the Levi’s Store for convenience to find inexpensive and fashionable quality, right?

A couple of years ago, Levi’s upped its appeal factor in an attempt to revive the name and jump into the luxury market to steal some business away from the 7s and Lucky Brands of the world—the folks who have managed to convince us and unemployed college students with new credit cards and no income, that $120 for a pair of jeans is reasonable. The difference then was that the prices were better and the styles more interesting. Of course, it roped some of us in and we bought Levi’s. Since then, I have yet to find a pair of Levi’s that I like. It’s also not surprising to me, given the fact that the fashion industry is trying to get everyone thin in America by pretending that a 31 waist is really a 34. My problem is that the larger sizes fit my waist but are too baggy and make my ass look like a sideboard. The size down is too tight everywhere, and I might as well wear nothing because they leave nothing to the imagination. (Do you hear that? It’s my mother saying “that’s TMI, Paul!”)

At this juncture, I’m desperate for a new pair of jeans. Let me preface this story with I LOVE my William Rast’s, but I’m not willing to shell out $239 for a new pair since I only paid $80 for mine in the first place at a sample sale. They are a little too baggy, but they flatter. Pardon me, I digress.

Today was that moment of desperation and resignation, so off I went to the Levi’s Store in SoHo to see what I could see. There were a couple of styles, reasonably priced, that I liked. I should have known at that moment, though, to cut my losses. Just my luck they did not have my size in any of them! To top it off, every time that I even slightly touched another clothing item, some gay, shaved-head Latino boy with faux Prada glasses and a soul patch would fly up behind me to ask me if I needed a size. I could have been looking at cufflinks and they would probably have asked me if I needed a size. “Yes, I need a size, but apparently, you don’t carry it,” is how I should have responded, but I was too tired today to be a jerk. I simply thanked them and went back to the office. Fast forward to complete exasperation, depression, feelings of inadequacies, and a sense that Club Monaco wasn't going to be any better. In spite of the sweet saleswoman, I was right. To add insult to injury, I went to Old Navy and wasn't sure where I was. Who decided that all things Hawaiian are back in (Sincere apologies to my colleague, Jen)?

This story pretty much summarizes my shopping experiences of late. I’m giving it up to buy art! The only problem now, is that my wardrobe is old and falling apart and I’m not sure how long it will be before I look like a homeless man. God, give me the strength to hold out for a pair of jeans that fits well, is priced reasonably and makes my ass look good!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle Paulie!
It was amusing to read your view on jean shopping. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks buying jeans is a nightmare. Is it too much to ask to find a pair of jeans that not only fits in all the right places, but does not break my bank account either?

On another note, I don't know what idiot ever invented the super low rise jean, but in doing so created the "muffin top" epidemic along with it. I've finally decided to stop beating myself up when I can't fit into those style of jeans. I guess it's time to stop shopping in the "junior" department! Hello Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. Thank god for the Limited and their Cassidy fit jean. High waisted, please and thank you.

Unfortunately it will always take some effort for men and women to find the right style, comfort and confidence at the right price. The amount of brands and styles can be overwhelming, but who can live with out the perfect pair of jeans??

Good Luck on your quest!