For Christmas this year I decided to go in over my head and do some shopping for women’s jeans for my wife. I took the advice of several other females – some at work, personal friends, and family. I learned a volume about women’s fashion designs and the marketing evil behind it. I also learned not to listen to Gail at work about her fashion tips.
First the tips. Small pockets accentuate bigger bottom – look for larger pockets. Faded thighs on dark jeans makes for a rounder looking leg – sometimes unflattering. Ultra low-rise waist lines can make for a ½” zipper and therefore a button that may be uncomfortable to your sensitive part. Low and ultra low-rise pants can also cause you to muffin-top, which some women do not like. Jeans all run too long for the average woman. Petite length jeans are 31″ on average and are actually more of the average for women’s legs. Superstar brands like 7 don’t run in the normal sizes, they are measured by the waist circumference. This is the only way you buy men’s jeans, by the way. Brands don’t necessarily have to follow a strict measurement system to represent their sizes. For instance, it is a well-known fact that women’s sizes have shifted over the last few years. A size 0 today was once a size 2. Shapes are also a trick. Pants shaped vaguely as an hourglass (tapering in at the knees and spreading back out) require that the wearer really have the same figure without the pants.
And now for the experience. I went to Filene’s Basement on Gail’s recommendation from work. I was supposed to be looking for brands such as 7, Jag Jeans, AG, and Khors (I think). They have these illustrious jeans for bargain prices, which apparently just means under $250.00(!). I did find 7, which is quite popular as I understand it now. There was a gaggle of women pouring through a bin of these jeans. I fought through and tried to understand the sizing, which was using the inches measurement of the waist rather than the nonsensical standard system. I finally gave up on that futile effort and talked to a woman in another department. She told me that once your figure goes beyond an 8 or 10, you stop paying exhorbitent prices for jeans. They are, afterall, still just denim. She pointed me to the nice jeans for women and I happily browsed through something I could understand more clearly. The real problem with the place I was shopping was that the store was divided by brands, which I don’t care about. I wanted to walk into a “denim section” dedicated to the display of all denim fashions. That would save a ton of time! If I got into women’s clothing, I think I could do a lot for their shopping efficiency. I would also add length measurements to all the pants so women know what they’re buying. Even better, they’d have a choice in what length they purchase so they don’t have to hemn them after the fact. I think I might also add a hip vs. waist measurement in inches.
In the end, my sole purpose for this experiement was to learn a little more about women’s shopping woes and try and expand my wife’s horizons on jeans she may have otherwise never taken a look at.
*UPDATE* The jeans buying experiement was a moderate success. After some initial shock of what I had done, she finally came around to see that what I did was pretty cool. She wore a pair of Seven jeans (Lane Bryant knock-offs) with minor bling on the back pocket. The main concern was what to wear with such fancy jeans. So she wore a shirt that Balthazar, the three-year-old, picked out for her for Christmas. I promise you I did not coach him – he picked out a brown Jimmy Hendrix shirt. And I think Amy looked great in the jeans. They fit! She has yet to try on the black pair I bought, but I’m guessing they will probably fit as well (because they’re the same size). Interesting side note here – Amy bought me a couple of pairs of jeans for Christmas as well. Great minds think alike.