Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping For Jeans: The Saga

Today I went to the stamford mall to look for some jeans.

That was a simple statement–one subject, two predicates. Was the execution of the statement simple? Let us see. I spent three hours in the mall today, and yes, I did come home with two pairs of jeans. One of those pairs is likely to be returned if I can find them in a shorter version at another store. But really, three hours for two pairs of jeans? Painful. I just looked at my hands and there are blue fibers under my nails. That is how many pairs of jeans I tried on today.

I always hate jean-shopping because invariably I go through six or seven stores and come out with nothing, after what feels like some pants-inured quest for the holy grail.

Everyone knows that the whole challenge for women when shopping for jeans is in how they fit around your hips and waist, and how long or short they need to be to the ground. Jeans were a great concept for men because they are made from a material that dislikes bending, and men are pretty much the same size from hip to toe unless they've been hitting the bean dip pretty hard lately. For women, however, the art of wearing jeans that fit around hips and butt but still make thighs look flattering is comparable to finding a piece of burlap that looks nice when wrapped around a blender.

Then, there is the complete madness of the shelves. Shelves that contain jeans are never in order, and half of the stickers running down the leg that proclaim the size are incorrect. The size that you want will, in fact, never be labeled, but just in case you then conclude that the unlabeled jeans must be the ones you want, the store has meticulously left just enough other sizes in jeans unlabeled so that you can't find a pattern in the system.

Stores try to make the process even more frustrating by folding all of the jeans into squares that make it impossible to see if they are straight leg, tapered, wide leg, bootcut or flare without picking up each individual pair and flinging it open. Frustrated shoppers who have come before you have already tried this method, so when you get to the shelf you have the option of picking through the stacks of folded jeans, or through the piles of abandoned jeans flung haphazardly all over the display.

Jeans hanging up are a little more helpful because you can gauge a little more quickly what they will look like. Pictures of the jeans' cut above the display table are also helpful. But for the most part, the whole process is still one of the most painful in the shopping world. And this is a from a woman who–trust me–loves her shopping.


bx said...

amen, sister. I hate shopping for pants in general, the never fit. Although the other day I totally lucked out at an Express at Union Station in DC, not only were there jeans in my size that were a nice color and were flattering, they were also on sale!

Agatha Wells said...

ok thank you! it's so true.

express? that's a good idea... i didn't even think of express and i've passed by two of them now in two separate malls already... sigh.

it's not just for the classroom!