I grabbed a pair of jeans out of my closet this morning. I looked them over, shook my head and threw them in my workout bag. These are a “special” pair of jeans. I was invited to a custom clothing show at a friends house shortly before the holidays. I was looking for a casual shirt. I left with everything but. Four ladies measured, turned, and poked me with reckless abandon. I offered little resistance as I was sorely outnumbered. I ended up buying a dress shirt, a lizard skin belt, the aforementioned jeans, a jacket and the piece de resistance, magnets that go in your collar to keep it down.
My purchases arrived a couple weeks later. The shirt was very nice, nothing I’d ever buy in a store, but very nice. The magnets however kept me occupied for some time. I never knew that many non-button down shirts have little pockets under the collar for just such a device. I have 3 such shirts that I never wore because I looked like a backup singer for Sly and the Family Stone with collar flapping outward. No more wayward collars for me. Finally, I pulled out the jeans. They have a curly q design on the back pockets. They might have bell bottoms, but I’m trying to convince myself otherwise. The color is dark in some areas and faded in others. I shrugged and tried them on. I tugged, stretched and readjusted them several times. They seem to be tight in areas where I prefer a little extra room. I cannot find a way to let them sag properly like all of my other jeans. In other words, I think they may be women’s jeans.
I’m certainly no expert on jeans. I have owned, tried on and worn only 2 brands in 50 years.
I , like many other unfortunate kids, was the target of Sears newest development, Toughskins. In the 70’s, there was nothing more durable on earth. The old joke of covering the Space Shuttle in Toughskins was probably not far from the truth. Toughskins however, were not the coolest. We tried cutting and scraping and chafing them to no avail. The only way out of a pair of Toughskins was to outgrow them. Eventually I made my way up to Levis where I’ve been ever since. 550’s, red tag, faded, no surprises. Every purchase a winner. No button-fly here. Beer drinking and button fly are incompatible.
Occasionally when I’m at a store looking for a shirt, I start to see a pattern develop. The shirts begin to look foreign and a sick feeling rises from my stomach. “Have I just crossed the boundary into the women’s section?” I make a quick check of the perimeter to make sure I’m not behind enemy lines. If I have wandered into women’s wear, it’s time for an exit strategy. If not, I chalk the shirts up to “designer-wear”, shake my head and move on. My son has a couple of “designer” shirts purchased by his mother. I question him ever so gently. I don’t care if he wants to wear fashion shirts. I just want him to be aware that he is wearing fashion shirts. Kids can be cruel to fashion conscious middle school boys.
I once faced a similar dilemma with a woman’s blouse. I was getting ready for a funeral at Christmas time, but that’s a much longer story. I don’t know if I bought women’s or designer jeans. I’ll bet I could’ve bought around 20 pairs of Toughskins for what I paid. Doesn’t really matter. They’re mine and I’m keeping them. If you see me walking down the street futzing with my jeans, please say something nice about my collar.