07 October 2006

Jean Therapy

Like a lot of people, I've spent a good chunk of my adult life in jeans. I've been fortunate in that for most of the past decade, I've had jobs where I could wear whatever I wanted (except for a couple of stints in places that required uniforms, but those were merely brief, involuntary departures from the master plan). So that meant jeans pretty much year-round, and shorts in the summer. As time has gone by, it's gotten much harder to find decent jeans. Some would say this is probably because I'm getting older, but the available product has changed as well.

Back in the day, it was Levi's, and only Levi's, for me. I remember at one point thinking to myself that I could not imagine wearing any jeans other than 501's for the rest of my life. But it was over 20 years ago when I had that thought, and as with a lot of other things, my feelings on the subject have changed. Button fly? Kind of a nuisance, especially when you really have to go.
I have been meaning to go to a store and try on a pair of 501's just to see if I would still want to wear them, but I haven't gotten around to it. (Might be good to do that for a future entry.)

I'd guess I haven't owned a pair of 501's since the early 90's, and I haven't owned any Levi's at all in about four years, since whenever it was they changed the pocket stitching and made that curly V much deeper. Go look and you'll see what I mean. I know, I know, it's absurdly trivial, but I don't like it; the old way was fine, and I don't see why they felt the need to change it.

But even before that happened, I'd been down on Levi's for a more important reason: their financial problems had caused them to shift more and more of their production out of the US. I wasn't happy about that (I do try to buy American when I can, but it isn't always easy), but the real issue for me was that the foreign-made Levi's, even the ones from Mexico, didn't fit as well as the US-made ones, and didn't wear as well either.

Having made the decision to give up on Levi's, I had to find some other jeans to wear. You wouldn't think this would be a big deal, but when you're used to something, it can be very difficult to find a satisfactory replacement. (In the future I'll be talking about this regarding non-clothing items.)

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