January 13, 2008

Swing and a miss.

I'm about ready to jump on this Cementhorizon no-pants bandwagon. Really. When it comes to pants, I can't win for losing. I'd just gotten used to the idea that they cost too much and never fit, and now I have discovered that they are actually offensive.

I spent two hours yesterday in my local department store trying to find a single pair of jeans that didn't advertise itself as "slimming". It was shockingly difficult; the entire Misses' section was breathing and bleeding anxiety. Perfectly slimming! Slims you instantly! New slimming fit! I quickly decided that it was really important to avoid donating my $30 to the Women's Advertising-Induced Fear Of Fat fund. But what with avoiding Misses for this reason and avoiding Juniors for its hypersexualized hypertrophic femininity, and with due consideration for the dizzying array of numerical sizes that I have worn since puberty, it took me two hours to find one pair of acceptable pants. They are straight-leg Levi's. They do not slim. If anything they make me resemble one of those curvy 80s-retro punk girls with the tight tapered pants and the denim jackets and ripped-up sneakers and oh my goodness. If anyone who didn't get me a Christmas present feels bad about it, they can always give me an 80s-retro punk girl if they have one available.

It occurred to me this morning that, being all pleased with my new pants, I could skip the trying-on process next time and just get more of the same style. I started perusing the Levi's website to see if I could just order them there, and what did I discover? Ah, there's the kind I have. 505. Straight leg. "Cut to minimize curves."

I like to believe that we're all being fooled, that the whole apparel industry is mocked up as a test to see if we notice when shit goes totally unreasonable on us. I call foul! I want that Matrix pill! I believe there is an alternate universe in which you don't have to buy clothes that actually insult you! Now please let me in, because otherwise I'm just going to stop wearing pants entirely and that's unlikely to go over well at work.

Posted by dianna at January 13, 2008 11:11 AM

Hey! Levi's 505s are what I'm wearing right now!

My problem was the exact opposite of yours, but it led me to the same model of jeans. Men's jeans are all stupidly baggy. Or at least, they were in the late-90s/early-00s, I don't know about now. Levi's 505s were the only jeans I could find that didn't feel like I was walking around in a pair of tents stapled to my crotch.

So happy am I with these jeans, in fact, that the last time I bought new jeans I just ended up buying three identical pairs of 505s which I alternate between. Between them, these three identical pants account for 90% of my pants-wearing.

This concludes my advertisement for Levi's jeans.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at January 13, 2008 11:13 PM

Men's 505, or women's 505? I'm kind of annoyed to discover that they have both; here I was thinking that the numbered-style system seems practical and reasonable and saves you having to remember if X pair of jeans was called Sassy Ashley or Hiphugger Heloise. Or whatever. But aren't there enough numbers to go around without re-using them between the men's and women's lines? It seems destined to confuse.

I am also annoyed by the policy of continuing to use the same number for a style after the sizing and styling have changed radically. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I tried to replace a pair of men's Levi's I'd bought used and found that the current version in the same numerical size was huge and the wrong shape anyway.

Posted by: Dianna at January 13, 2008 11:42 PM

Men's 505s. Also: Huh. I had assumed that they used odd numbers for men's jeans and even numbers for women's jeans, but apparently I was mistaken. Still, the 505s seem to be roughly the same cut as they were before, though I haven't done a direct comparison.

It could also be that skinny jeans are in now for men. This would explain the lack of change to the 505; back in my jeans-buying heyday, baggy was fashionable and the 505s were the one legacy line they kept around. If skinny's now fashionable, there'd be no need to change the 505s to accomodate it.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at January 13, 2008 11:50 PM

Oh, also, I know my sisters are big fans of the Bitten line by Sarah Jessica Parker. They are, apparently, both attractive and cheap. On the other hand, I haven't looked at the website or marketing of the line, so it might have all the weight issues that you mention in the blog post.

Posted by: MoltenBoron at January 13, 2008 11:53 PM

Zach, with all appreciation for your effort to help me find pants, I am not actually soliciting help in finding pants. I mean, I'm complicit in the hijacking of this comment thread also, but I was really kind of hoping that people would talk about the apparel industry's lucrative marketing of insecurity. And if nobody's going to do that, I'm just going to sit here and think about cute retro punk girls in tight pants.

Posted by: Dianna at January 14, 2008 11:02 AM