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03 May 2007

The jeans I used to pay $9.99 for at stores like Bargain City, Savings Bazaar, and TruVal now sell for $150.00.
[incredulously] For Wrangler's?

For the past five years or more, I've only bought jeans at my local consignment shop. It's hit or miss, but for me jeans shopping has always required a confluence of mood, luck, and a Good Ass Day. At least when I find jeans at the resale shop, they're always $12 or under.
posted by Elsa 03 May | 11:56
For Wrangler's?

I KNOW! That's what I can't believe. When did they get cool? When did this happen?
posted by iconomy 03 May | 12:01
Jeans are such a frustration.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 03 May | 12:01
I second Elsa's suggestion. Time to hit the local thrift stores and buy used.

And not just jeans, either. Last summer I was prepared to drop > US $150 at the mall for a navy blazer -- every male bunny should get to wear one sooner or later -- and found one at Ohio Thrift for, I think, $2.99.
posted by PaxDigita 03 May | 12:05
Sad to say, my favorite jeans (from the resale shop, but of course!) have reached the point of no return: the pocket-to-thigh region is velvety soft and worn dangerously thin... which means they're one deep squat away from splitting open.

No, more frighteningly, they're an unknown number of squats away from splitting. They could last a month, or they could split today.

(On preview: "one deep squat" sounds like a euphemism, but even I don't know for what.]
posted by Elsa 03 May | 12:07
Yeah, it's funny how hip and hot Wrangler has gotten again! They always were cool, but for a long time, only Western-wear enthusiasts were into them.

In a similar sort of story, I went to my favorite local consignment store where they always get some really cool designery items. Tried on a pair of jeans that were just incredible - I loved 'em - but they were a size too big. It made me sad - they were dark, dark indigo, super comfy stretch denim, awesome boot cut with a really good flare, low rise with a dip in front, and featured really aggressively obvious yellow stitching. The perfect blend of retro/Western with wearability. I took note of the style and number on the label so I could purchase them online: Levi's Type 1 Tough Boot.

Turns out they no longer make them, at least not for women; they were part of a line they experimented with in 2003, and the style has been discontinued. Due to lack of popularity. Philistines! In this extremely interesting Levi's product standards and marketing-position document [PDF] (page 9), they described the jeans as "boldly celebrating the essence of Levi's jeans through amplification of the Levi's jeans icons including the arcuate, tabs, buttons, rivets, and stitching." They definitely succeeded. Though I am a long way from their target 'gals' customer (page 16) of 22-year-olds, the rest of their marketing claptrap sort of does apply and appeal to me. And they made some attempt to break through with a hip/independent market image with this campaign around musicians. However, I only saw the marketing after I started hunting for the jeans, and I'm not sure it would've busted through the collective ad noise that all looks and sounds the same anyway. Perhaps their only mistake was in trying to sell these jeans to a youth market rather than to doddering old thirtysomething ladies like me, who love what a boot cut can do for your booty and legs.

But as this Flickr page suggests, I am not alone in my passion for the pants. And wait! A light in the tunnel! They still make them for the Asian market. That road was a dead-end, though - I could find them on Asian websites but I couldn't read anything or purchase anything.

Finally, my search led me to eBay, where I lost a few pairs to higher bidders but finally got one, brand new with tags, in my size, for $30.00. And they are every bit as wonderful as I dreamed. I haven't felt the joy of having a really basic, classic, dark, crispy, stiff pair of honest-to-god Levi's since grade school. Oh, the horrible years of the acid wash, the whiskers, the crinkle, the fade, the taper, the 'relaxed' fit (ugh!) the wide leg - may they never return.

Yay jeans! Thank you for giving me a place to share this story of a happily resolved quest.
posted by Miko 03 May | 12:11
PaxDigita, I scour the thrift stores, but I seem to do even better at my favorite consignment shop. It's smaller, thus easier to peruse thoroughly, and choosier in its selection, and the prices are very low: a dollar or two more than Goodwill for each item, but generally nicer pieces in better repair.

I'm especially lucky: very handsome garments in my size, style, and favorite colors keep showing up with the tags still attached. I suspect someone with my shape and coloring but with much more disposable income does a lot of catalog shopping and finds consigning the unsuitable clothing simpler than sending it back.

I might stop in today during my errands!
posted by Elsa 03 May | 12:16
Psst, Miko: I'm going to be doing some shopping in [town redacted], and I'd love to hit a good resale shop. Which one is it? I lived there (and managed a boutique) in the 90s, but the whole town is quite different these days.

If you'd rather not post it, my email's in my profile.
posted by Elsa 03 May | 12:22
Here you go, Elsa! I don't mind sharing. It's actually a chain, so there are some other Boston-area locations.

But while you're in [town redacted], you might also want to check out Odd Showroom, for quirkier, vintage stuff.
posted by Miko 03 May | 12:45
Hey, I knew Amity Joy* once upon a time! Small town.


*owner pictured in second link.
posted by Elsa 03 May | 12:51
A friend of mine swears he only goes to Walmart because they still carry Wranglers.
posted by kellydamnit 03 May | 13:30
Ooh! They just opened a Second Time Around here in Portland (Maine). I'll have to check it out!
posted by suki 03 May | 13:40
Hey, is it down in the Old Port? On Monday, I noticed a resale shop I'd not seen before and popped in for a quick breezethrough. A decent sized shop with a large selection, 'though I didn't check prices, and obviously I didn't even notice the name. Duh.
posted by Elsa 03 May | 14:04
When did they get cool? When did this happen?

Almost everything else had already been cool, so it was a process of elimination. Watch out for Rustler jeans to be trendy in a couple of months... okay, maybe not.
posted by King of Prontopia 03 May | 14:16
Rustler! Heehee. Wow.

*goes rooting through grandfather's bureau*
posted by iconomy 03 May | 14:21
"Here comes Wrangler, he's one tough customer, and he knows what he likes when he sees it.."
posted by horsemuth 03 May | 14:25
Happy July 4th... here's some Pimms and Champagne! || What are your TV discussion thoughts?