Jun 15, 2007

Luxury Denim: $200 for a pair of jeans?

Back in the day, I remember oogling brand-name jeans in the Juniors department at various department stores and getting sick to my stomach looking at the price tags. But back then, the most expensive pair of jeans I saw was $100, maybe $110 for a really pricey brand. Most of the jeans were more like $50-$70, and there was always a pair I could find that fit decently for the $40-$50 range.

Yesterday, I spent $158 on a pair of jeans. Plus tax. I can't believe I did that. But it was my reward for getting myself a new job where I'll be making $15k more a year. The new job also lets me wear jeans to work more than one day a week, so I figured it was worth the investment. Sure, I could buy three or four pairs for that price, but why buy three or four that aren't perfect when I could buy one I love?

I'm trying to get out of the mentality that my mom taught me: more is better. That's not true most of the time. I'm a shoppaholic, sure, but I own so many items of clothing that I bought on sale that I wore once and never had the occasion or desire to wear again. Jeans, at least, will get a lot of wear.

I remember hearing from Suzie Orman (or maybe I read it in one of her books at Borders) that in order to determine the price of an item, you should device it by the number of times you wear it. So a $15 shirt worn once is actually a lot more expensive than a $150 pair of jeans worn 200 times. I like that concept, as it makes me feel pretty good about spending so much on one pair of Jeans. What doesn't make me good is finding the same pair (fitwise/style anyway) on sale on Bluefly.com for $60 less (wrong size anyway).

So I went to Macy's determined to find a pair of $150-$200 jeans that fit like a glove and required no further alteration. That's more difficult than it sounds since my legs are too short purportionately for the size of my waist.

I tried on 8 pairs of Jeans, ranging in price from $78 to $186. I wanted to see if I could tell the difference between the quality, or if the price difference had to do more with the little logo that would rest near my ass and less to do with fit.

The three main pricey designer jean brands seem to be Citizen's of Humanity, Seven for All Mankind, and Joe's. I soon found out that Citizen's and Seven Jeans are meant for model figures. I was tempted to buy a pair of Citizen jeans that sort of kind of fit, but for $186 I didn't want jeans that fit like someone else's glove.

Then, I found them. A pair of $156 Joe's Jeans, size 31 petite, dark wash. The perfect pair of jeans. Almost. They fit like my glove. Even better, the details were classy, not trashy (i'm not spending $150+ on a pair of ripped jeans, thankyouverymuch.) Ever since finding out I have a nice behind (it seems to be one of my better assets, according to others) I'm very picky about how jeans make my ass look. And the pocket detailing has a lot to do with whether they're flattering or falling flat. This pair had the best pocket's I've ever seen. A braided weave of denim that would, indeed, gracefully cling to my bootie. This was the pair of jeans I had been dreaming of when fighting with pants to make it over my wide womanly hips, only to find out the waist itself was way to big (can you say 'hello underwear'?)

I bought them. I also ended up buying a $90 DKNY dress/shirt that I probably didn't need. But it was so beautiful that I couldn't resist. I might return it. That's one of those items I'll wear once, maybe, and never wear again. Just because while I love fashion and patterns and color, lately I've found I always fall back on solids and, well, basic black. I'm so boring. When I grew up I was all about fancy patterns and bright colors. I'm no longer craving that kind of attention or desire to make a fashion statement. Besides, five out of seven days of the week I work, and while I don't need to be extremely conservative at work, in order to be taken seriously I can't wear paisely.

So here I am, wearing my over-priced designer jeans, enjoying the fit, the details, the feel of heavy, high-quality denim clinging to my hips and knees.

And now, of course, I want to buy another pair. Light wash.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on buying jeans that make you look as good as you feel in them! I happen to agree with you, as I subscribe to the "cost per wear" theory and apply it to many aspects of my life. Why buy 20 shoddily (is that a word?!) made items when one quality, classic, timeless piece will last forever?

My happy ass is sitting at work today in True Religion jeans and at $175 a pair they aren't the cheapest around, but they hug the curves they should and hide the ones I don't want anyone else to see :)

P.S. Love your blog

Anonymous said...

Argh... jeans....

I've switched to cords. If rational market theory is correct, and casual, curve hugging pants are basically fungible, cheaper and equally durable and well-fitting pants should start to win out over high priced jeans. But something in this equation is wrong. I'm still the only one wearing cords.

SF Money Musings said...

Most of my petite friends and I swear by Banana republic's bootcut jeans. They fit perfectly for a petite person and at a fraction of the cost ... well on sale at least. I got mines for $30 not including tax but it's the only pair of jeans I own.

Anonymous said...

One of the advantages to shopping online is that there are great deals to be found. There are definitely better deals online than in traditional bricks and mortar stores.

I just wanted to note that a great place to shop for designer jeans is www.kultic.com. They carry True Religion, 7 for all mankind, Citizens of humanity, Hudson jeans, as well as other cool brands like Morphine Generation, Salvage, and Drifter.

Get 25% off your entire order & free shipping by using coupon code fashionfox25. Kultic also ships internationally.

www.kultic.com

GoldnSilver said...

I just bought a pair of skinny jeans for $20. (I wanted a dark colored pair, and you can't beat $20.) Obviously, not a brand name, but no one can tell :)

Congrats on your purhcases! Enjoy.

Post a Comment