Griffs Notes 9/5/06

I’ve got a bad case of the Labor Day blues… that is, Labor Day “Blue Jeans” blues. When was the last time you went into a store and bought a new pair of blue jeans?

The only piece of denim in my closet is a pair of worn, comfortable jeans. They pre-date both of my children and the dog. And to be quite honest, I can’t even remember when or where it was that I got them in the first place. But one thing’s for sure – it must have been easier back then because the blue jeans industry has gone hi-tech these days!

Here are a few tips you’ll need to decide before you attempt this hi-risk shopping experience. For starters, are you: “straight leg, boot-cut or relaxed?” This is the basic genus-species categorization. Most retailers agree upon the general classifications here. As best as I can determine, it means do you prefer your jeans normal, baggy or resembling lamp shades at the ankles.

Then one must venture further into the subset categories and that is when the real problems start. You’ll be asked if you like “vintage, slim or loose” fits. Then there’s the “rise,” which translates to how close or faraway from your belly button do you want the belt to go? And finally, you’ll have to decide upon the color or “rinses” which seem to come in more options than one could possibly want - “dark, faded, washed somehow, indigo, weathered, blown-out, stressed-out…”

I found myself standing in front of the shop’s mirror wearing, I believe, a pair of “vintage-straight leg-faded with a medium rise” jeans and very confused. All I wanted to do at this point was to run out of the front door. One of my colleagues once told me that they even have jean joints now that have “consultants” and a bar where you can get “fitted” and enjoy a bit of liquid confidence.

When I was in high school, I made my father drive around the block with a pair of jeans full of rocks from our driveway tied to the back of his car. I recall that we achieved the appropriate socially acceptable desired effect. This was apparently the pre-cursor to the dilemma that I faced this weekend and somewhere along the line I seemed to have lost touch. But thankfully, I still have that old pair in my closet… because they don’t sell “Old Faithfuls” anywhere I’ve been so far!