The perfect pair of jeans will be the answer to all of our problems. They will make us more attractive, sexier and declare our independent. They are a staple in the modern wardrobe.
The truth is I have never owned a pair of jeans that made me more attractive or sexy. In fact, it may be the most difficult article of clothing to buy, after swimsuits of course. For a very short period of my life, when I was about 13, I fit into everything and the only limitation was the cost. Now a “mature” women in her mid 40s with more financial means than most 13 year olds, finding jeans that fit is a long and painful process.
After decades of shopping, I am all too familiar with the process.
First is the betrayal. I am betrayed by my favorite jeans (see blog post the betrayal)
This is followed by a period of avoidance. I avoid buying them as long as I can, this is usually weather dependent. When fall and winter come around I generally succumb to inevitable.
So I attempt an honest self-assessment. I try on my other clothes and judge how they may fit me differently. How have these items not betrayed me as well?
I enter into a non-committal stage. Maybe I don’t need a pair of jeans? I “casually” start to browse, making sure I am making no mental or emotional commitment to try anything. This can go on for weeks, even months.
Finally, the day arrives. The Hunt. This is the day I have set aside to make the purchase. A day I have planned for by looking at the calendar to determining optimal time for trying clothing. I make sure I eat light, feel good about myself before I head out to the stores that have made my short-list of “maybe there is something here that will not humiliate me.” I leave the comfort and safety of my baggy pants and head into the wild. I either come home with new jeans, or go without until next season.
This is not a treasure hunt to find a pot of gold; it is a hunt to find a basic product to meet basic clothing. I fit the description of the average American woman. I am a size 14. To be clear:
Women who wear a size 14 or larger represent 67% of all women in America.
Finding a pair of jeans that fit should not be as hard as finding the golden ticket in a bar of Willy Wonka chocolate. There are literally thousands of different kinds of jeans on the market. Is anyone doing it right?
The original, Levis, led the pack as one of the early adapter of 3D imaging technology. They placed 3D scanners in stores and collected customer measurements. Using this data, they changed their product lines to offer customers greater variety to meet better meet individual shape and size. I personally haven’t tried Levis jeans in well over two decades, so I cannot vouch for them. But it is hard to argue with sales. Levis is still the number one brand of denim jeans in the world and continues to be a market leader.
So Levis, I am coming for you. No pressure, but you might be my last hope for a positive jeans shopping experience.