03 November 2009

Question O' The Day, A Messy Poll!

(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)

Ok. Today I decided that I need a pair of jeans. I don't buy jeans often, but in the last year and a half or so I've had to get rid of seven pairs, so I've been slowly replacing them. Now these were fit issues, nothing to do with wear and tear. In fact, I keep worn out jeans longer than I probably should. I don't need to buy them "distressed", life with me for a pair of jeans is distressing enough.

I discovered, on the trek to buying jeans, that I only like one brand. Levi's. Period. Nothing else will do. They just fit me. No gaping waists, the "long" is just long enough, and they have some room in the seat so I can wear them and breathe/eat/get in and out of the car. Not only that, I buy them at standalone Levi's stores because I hate department stores that much. Besides, if they aren't on sale, they're the same price at either location so why not go for the good service, right?

So today, I trundled off to the store to get yet another pair of Mid-Rise Straight Leg Levi's and did what I always do. I took three pairs each of the two sizes that I'm most likely to wear (no, I'm not telling) in three different washes to try on. Out of a dozen pairs of jeans, ONE fit perfectly. ONE in twelve. I didn't even think about the wash - the ones I bought happen to be a nice flat black - but I didn't care. They fit. I would have taken the faded blue, too. In fact, the number on the size tag doesn't even matter, just the fit. Think about that, and consider what an unholy time suck it is to shop for them.

Now, the sales clerks know this. They will flat out tell you that you should take more than one of each size into the fitting room with you. There's no quality control in the Land Of Jeans. NONE. Not even in the $200.00 plus premium jeans market. Waists can vary up to two inches in each size. Length can do the same. It doesn't matter how much or how little you pay or what brand you buy, that variance is going to be there. I figure this about triples the amount of time it takes to buy what amounts to a pair of work pants.

So, given that quality control in the Land Of Jeans is so lousy (this applies to men's jeans, too), how in blazes does anyone ever manage to buy jeans online? I wouldn't even attempt it. Can you imagine how many returns and exchanges these companies must get? What nightmare.

So here's the poll:

1. What is your favorite brand of jeans? (C'mon now, everyone wears them and everyone has a favorite.)

2. Do you hate shopping for them as much as I do? Are you brave enough to shop online for them?

3. And if jeans aren't your shopping nemesis, what garment do you MOST hate shopping for?

4. What do you actually sort of enjoy shopping for? (I'm a shoe nut. I could spend the day shoe-shopping. Oops. I have, too.)


  1. 1. I can't say I have a favorite. I used to like Levi's until I realized that my strong thigh muscles (lots of walking) tended to wear the jeans out in the crotch area far too quickly. Ironic that a brand of jeans designed for mining work has become so weak as to invite comparisons to mid-1980s Ford automobiles.

    2. I wouldn't dare shop online---when buying across brands, trying them on is important even though my size hasn't changed in five years. That said, I hate shopping as much as any man---even at a mecca like Best Buy I want to buy what I came for and get out so I can go home and play with it.

    3. Shopping for garments in general makes me want to bust out the Rockstar Energy because I'm bored absolutely out of my mind. My wife is a stereotypical indecisive female consumer---when I have to follow HER around to buy clothes (or anything else) you might as well just kick me in the balls.

    4. store.steampowered.com. It's a good thing I have someone keeping an eye on my spending---if I were single I'd spend myself into the poorhouse on Steam.

  2. 1. brand? uh... I shop at the Fat Chicks' Store (Catherine's). OK, I just went into my bedroom to check the label. "Liz and Me." Dig this - they have their sizing system where size 20's like me are now "3" or "4", with other flavors like if you're circular or boxy or triangular. Yeah, I don't get it, either. But they FIT, so that's fine. But I am NOT a size 3, no matter what kind of crack the sizing people are on.

    2. I hate shopping for all clothes. Even the 6-packs of white cotton briefs I get from Target and like-minded stores. Don't get me STAH-ted on bras. I don't buy any clothes online except T-shirts.

    Okay, I don't mind T-shirt shopping if the designs appeal to me.

    3. Oh, guess I spilled the beans! Bras. 8 million pairs at the Fat Chicks's Store, Target, etc, and only ONE in my size/style, if I'm lucky. People! Just because I'm a D cup does NOT mean I want underwires!

    4. toys (Legos, Minimates), comics and DVDs. Or did you mean clothes? T-shirts. But I've written that.

  3. Monster, The boy has the same problem with jeans. He's got a lot of muscle, so a lot of jeans don't even fit through the thighs. He's given up on Levi's entirely. Consider Land's End for men's jeans. They're as sturdy as you could possibly want and they go on sale for cheap at the "outlet" section of the web site. You can trust the sizes when you buy online and they have a bunch of style options.

    I have to confess that I'm no shopper. I go with a goal in mind, and stop when I find what I need. It's The Boy that makes me slow down and pay attention to different things. I don't shop with him often, but he's never steered me wrong.

  4. Herdthinner, I have a site for you for t-shirts! Have you seen Threadless t-shirt web site? The designs are terrific.

    Beware, though. They use American Apparel T-shirts and the girly
    Ts are cut small. You'd be happier with the men's versions.

    As for bras, if you find one you like, get more than one. I once bought six in one style, just because I was replacing (and why do they all wear out at once?) and I just didn't feel like dealing with the hassle. Thankfully, I'm an ordinary size.

  5. 1. I actually like Venezia jeans, but only when they're on sale. I generally shop at Lane Bryant due to my splendid junk in the truck rear end and high aversion to spending more at department stores due to said rear. (I'm also apparently tall, but not tall enough. Finding jeans that fit up top and then fit through my legs, which aren't fat but are muscular is a challenge.)

    2. I generally hate shopping as a rule, as I usually come out of the mall perfectly willing to stab the next rude, inconsiderate, stupid person I meet. The only place this is less true is outlet malls, and that's because I wander into the kitchen stores and drool at the stand mixers.

    3. Ugh, bras. I apparently don't have the endowments they want me to have. Big ribcage + not being a triple D apparently means I am a freak and therefore do not exist. I usually get the pleasure of shopping online for my size and go through the prerequisite period of feeling horrible about myself until the ordeal is over.

    4. I'd have to say for the most part, I love shopping for kitchen gadgets. If I won $1000 that I'd have to spend on something retail, I would go to the Le Crueset outlet store and buy myself into a coma. Not only does good cookware help when you're making something healthy AND tasty, they're...beautiful.

    The only time I enjoy shopping for clothing is at Torrid. (It's a little like Hot Topic for normal sized women to heavier gals, only with more class.) They go out of their way to make the shopping experience like a mini fashion show. Downside is that you pay for the customer service through their high prices. Still can be fun though.

  6. Oh heck, Corey, $1000.00 bucks on Le Creuset? Given the opportunity, I could go wilder than that - I especially like that bright green that they have now - MUCH nicer than most colors.

    For Christmas a few years ago, my brother-in-law sent us the big oval casserole, which we use all winter. It's the absolute best for braising large things and making things like beans and soup. Just put it together and pitch it in the oven.

    My only issue with it is weight. Glazed cast iron is lovely to cook with, but when that casserole is full, it's a witch to take it out of the oven. I'm always afraid it'll tip.

    Ladies, on the bra issue - try Title Nine Sports. They have some of the best sports bras anywhere and they carry a LOT of sizes. They're designed to be comfy and offer support - perfect for exercising, but also for anyone who's busty and has shoulder/back issues because of it.

  7. 1. Either Lee Riders (dressier for work) or Levis 501s. 28x32 for flats or 28x34 for heels.

    2. If I can't just grab them off the rack and head for the checkout, I get them online. Always perfect fit, every time.

    3. I hate to shop for something I HAVE TO HAVE. Have you ever noticed you can find a white button down blouse every time you shop ~ until you REALLY NEED ONE?

    4. Shoes. I don't shop for shoes. I COLLECT them.

    My motto is ~ if you find something you like that fits you well and flatters you ~ get as many of it as you can afford in as many different colors as they make. You'll never be sorry you did, and if you don't, you'll kick yourself a year later when you go for a replacement and they've discontinued it. Hello BRAS, I'm talking to you!

  8. Give the mid-rise straight Levi's a try. The dark wash ones are easy to dress up and they give you length through the torso (without being low) and major bum flattery. They do come in boot cut, but I've never liked that.

    Lately I've about quit shopping for things that I have to have. I can manage shoes for any occasion and if I need a frock or skirt, I make it. Mind you, I don't need to dress for work. My challenge is snappy casual clothes.

  9. 1. I haven't worn jeans in too long. This is why I'm working on losing weight. I refuse to wear stretch jeans. I still believe that lycra does not belong over cellulite. I don't care if it is mixed with denim.

    2. I despise shopping. Have since I was in High School. At least if we're talking about clothes shopping. I've done a couple of major trips, and a few things here or there as necessary.Otherwise, nope. I don't buy things online/out of a catalog. Worse experiences with that than with shopping in person, which frequently leaves me without purchases.

    3. Bras. See my rants on "how frequently to wash your bras" dear prudence week. I have really extraordinarily picky breasts. I pretty much can only wear t-shirt type bras, but anything less than high-end t-shirt type bras and the underwires break within a month. ONE MONTH!!! Which is less than worthless.

    4. Stores I could happily spend a $5000 shopping spree in each: Any bookstore (especially a Barnes & Noble/Borders type), Home improvement mega-store (not even for major remodels, just for little improvements here or there or in the garden section), Williams Sonoma or equivalent, Or, for the really big shopping spree (one item, but worth the money) a Steinway baby grand, voiced for a small conservatory.

  10. I have two big fantasy purchases. I like shiny things, so I would have to go with A Car. Not just a car, no not me! A Car. The Car. I'm not even specific as to what kind of car, several would do the job nicely. I just want another Car.

    I would also get property with a Garden. Because that's what I'm good at....

  11. Well, I don't even play the lotto unless it's over 60 million, because I have the first 15-20 million spent, in my fantasies. Not for me, not mainly, anyway, but for family, favorite charities, etc. But I would spend 6 months touring Scotland, and I would purchase a house that would hold the baby grand, enough yard to have some garden tinker space, and space for an English Mastiff; and a three car garage, one slot for my dream car (57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible), one for a shiny, something that is comfortable and handles really well, and one for storage/workshop area. I figure I'll need like 1.5 million for myself to make all that happen. LOL Not that I've wasted too much time thinking about it. I also don't usually play the lotto when it gets that high, because EVERYONE plays then. =-D

  12. "Auntie M",

    That's what I'd LIKE to do: buy multiples of the bra that I like. My problem is that I usually only find just one of the bra that I like. And of course, whichever one I find is more expensive than is my prefernce.

    Will give Title Nine a look-see, though.

    (No, I won't call you Auntie M again, but couldn't resist the one time)