Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shopping for Jeans

Shopping is one of my least favorite activities, coming just barely ahead of cleaning house. The thing I hate most to shop for is clothes. So I tend to wear my jeans (which is what I wear 99% of the time) until they are no longer good even for rags. But eventually, I must shop.

Years ago, a person could buy things from a catalog and be reasonably sure they would fit. A size 10 was the same everywhere. No more. Now clothes are made all over the world and every country seems to have a different idea of what a size 10 is (and every other size). I thought by following the measurements in the catalog I ordered from a couple years ago, I would get jeans of those dimensions. Wrong. They were considerably longer and bigger at the waist than the stated measurements. I gave them to Johnny. They don't fit him either but at least they don't fall down.

Now I buy jeans only from Good Will. It's on the way to the feed store, the only store I don't mind shopping at, so not too painful. Even at Good Will, as at any store, I must try on the jeans to find something that fits. Trying on clothes is something I hate at least as much as cleaning house. The only reason I had a dress to wear for our oldest son's wedding was because his fiancee took me to a store, sat me in a dressing room, handed me dresses to try on, and told me which one to buy. I think she was afraid I would show up to the ceremony in jeans. Or a dress from the 60's, back when I wore the occasional dress.

But Jessica lives in Seattle and I live here so it's up to my good friend Velta to pore through the racks at Good Will with me. Thanks to her, I learned how to tell the hip huggers from the normal jeans (the zipper is shorter on the silly hip huggers). 99% of the jeans on the rack are hip huggers. Those are now the "normal" jeans, apparently. In catalogs, they call jeans that fasten at your waist, where pants should fasten, in my opinion, "vintage" or "high-waisted". In my day, "vintage" was 1930's and earlier, "high-waisted" was right under one's breasts and reserved for nice dresses and nightgowns.

I am, at the moment, wearing a pair of hip huggers that I bought at Good Will on a trip before Velta taught me how to check the length of the zipper. Why I didn't realize these had a low waist when I tried them on is a mystery. Probably because I was in a terrific hurry to find something and get out of there. The only way I can keep them up is to stuff my shirt and sweatshirt inside, then put on a pair of coveralls so they can't fall any farther than my crotch. How in the world do young folks keep these things up? Actually, I can answer that, having watched one of the guys at the feed store periodically hoisting his pants back up as he loads my feed. Does he know his butt crack shows half the time? Does he care?

Last week, I knew I had to buy two pair of jeans. I won't be able to wear enough clothes in warmer weather to keep this pair from falling down and I only have one other for "good" (going to town to buy feed, auditing clinics, out to dinner, etc.) The good pair I bought at Good Will some time back and I love them. Wanting to find another just like them, I googled, only to find they are no longer made but sold occasionally on ebay for a zillion dollars as "vintage jeans". This is why Good Will is such a good place to shop. People donate really good items from back when clothes were made to fit people.

Having no luck with google, I enlisted Velta's help and we found two pair of normal ("high-waisted") jeans at Good Will. Velta found one of them on the 50% off rack. I guess not too many people like vintage jeans.

I will wear these hip huggers until they're filthy, then wear one of the "new" pair when I throw these in the wash. And hope they all last a very long time so I don't have to go through the torture of jean shopping again any time soon.


  1. I hear you! There was this horrible, tragic super low-rise jeans fashion moment about 7 years ago, and some of those jeans are still filtering through the Goodwill stores. I find that I have to memorize brands in order to find the ones that don't let my ample ass hang out. I like Levis 580s, J Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic, but anything that says "low rise" or "city cut" or "skinny" on the label is bad. And if it has glitter, or brush stroke font on the label or flowers, that is bad too.
    Any Just so you know, those young whipper-snappers ARE laughing at you:

  2. I too, ended up with a "low rise" pair of jeans from the good will, but not excessively low. I have to wear a belt to keep them up. The "young folk" keep them on by buying them five sizes too small so they can't move! That's my theory. Jan