A good friend told me today that she’s never met anyone quite so obsessed with jeans as me. My answer was that if anyone else had had the wild and wooly denim ride I’ve had over the past two years, they’d be every bit as manic.
It began with what was supposed to be a one-time denim splurge–a pair of gorgeous, faded black, boot-leg Sevens that cost more than all the pajama bottoms and sweatpants I’ve ever owned. But, I reasoned with myself, the cost was justified as I planned to wear them constantly. The cost per wearing would be so low, I figured I couldn’t afford NOT to buy them. I picked them up just after Town House sold (and I went into my own personal agoraphobic hell, which left me five pounds lighter) and they served me well until spring, making me feel fairly normal and chic the few times I got out of the house and mixed with actual people. Their ultimate fate? My husband accidentally threw them into a hot dryer, I gained a few post-recluse pounds. There’ll be no squeezing into them ever again. Cost per wearing = about $18.
Naturally, once I got through the five stages of shrinkage grief, I dove back into the expensive jean pool, snapping up a faded-beyond-belief-with-requisite-rock-star-shreds-and-holes pair of flares. Also Sevens. The week after I bought them, the fashion world declared flares to be over and I had them taken in. Big mistake. My rock star jeans looked like something you’d see on a pasty teenage boy, only he’d have made them more stylish by sewing marijuana and ACDC patches on the ass and never, ever washing them. Ultimate fate? Other than my own bastardization of their once glorious cut, my husband threw them in a hot dryer, rendering them both ugly AND too small. CPW = $200. Worn once, they didn’t even take me into summer 2006.
Being a girl who learns from her mistakes, I thought I’d give chichi jeans one more go. This time, NO dryer and no more buying jeans that actually fit. Nooo way. I wasn’t going to be sucked into that scheme again. This time I bought overpriced blue Seven jeans one size too big. That the rear end sagged like my toddler nephew’s onesie didn’t bother me in the slightest. These jeans took me to New York and back. Through interviews and editor lunches. To LA, and Boston. They were with me waiting by my gate at JFK while terrorists were arrested for attempting to bomb the gasline. They were with me when David Spade held the door for my kids and I at Norm’s in West Hollywood. They’d be with me still if not for one unfortunate event: my husband threw them into a hot dryer. CPW= about $2. They served me well. RIP, my darlings.
This all-too-brief Golden Age in my denim history was followed by what I now refer to as my Fleece and Flannel Period. I’d been spoiled by blue Sevens and dared not attempt jeans again. It was nothing but sweatpants and lumberjack pajama bottoms for longer than I care to admit. Oh, I gambled on a few pairs of American Eagle jeans, but they were centimeters too short and, as a result of slipshod and callous bodily calculations, sliced me in half dangerously close to the bladder.
Which brings us to publication day. I didn’t need a publicist to tell me I couldn’t show up at book events in my flannels. Back to the expensive jeans store, the very source of my angst. This time, I choose a straightforward, mid-rise, dark blue pair of straight-leg jeans. Nothing spectacular, nothing rock star-ish. A sensible choice, I thought. My denim senses were maturing. I managed to squeak two wears out of them–one with Rex Pickett and Anna David, the other in a New York heat wave with far-too-wintry boots and always-summery Patry Francis. Then I went home and it happened. My husband threw them into a hot dryer. CPW = $120.
Two years later and it’s finally sunken in. I’m a denim fool. Having nothing to wear for my Word on the Street reading this Sunday in Toronto, I marched straight past the pricey store and straight into Gap. I bought two pairs of sale jeans, both darkish Long and Lean cut, and skipped out of there for less than a quarter of the cost of any of the others. And the truth is, my ass looks just as lousy in these as they did in the fancy jeans. And the best part? Based on my crappy average CPW of $85 over the past two years, I can’t lose. Even if my husband throws them into a hot dryer while they’re still inside the bag, tags attached, my numbers have to improve. They only cost $69.