11 May 2010

Dungarees ( a less-than-brief update)

So just the other day I posted a very brief update of the wash/wear status of my Wranglers, Commenter ckarlof called me out for not offering any truly representative photographs. What can I say, the man had a point. And so I lined up a more in depth post in the cue., waiting for it's moment. Then today, Fate compelled me .....
Here are a pair of my Wranglers, fresh from the wash. The color has gone from grayish/navy/ indigo denim to a brighter shade of blue, on its way to the impossibly perfect light blue. Things of note: baggy knees tend to back off with washing,and, lately I've been digging the short tight skinhead style cuff...don't know why, but right now I like it...
The seat and hip pockets are holding up/wearing out just about so...

...and the front is creasing up just so. Notice how the back of the waistband rides higher than the front? That's so your jeans hang straight while you're in the saddle. That's also the reason for the extra belt loops and the flat rivets (so as not to scratch your saddle). French brands, Gap et. al step away...Wranglers are real.


All in all, not bad with an 80s vintage 'Rugger' rugby shirt and some top siders. So, what compelled me to write this? I did say I was 'compelled' didn't I...

While out with the children in the above outfit, I stopped by the wine shop where I work from some adult beverages. While I was paying, I was approached by a sort of Euro looking fellow... groomed beard, highly tailored sports jacket, fancy jeans, etc. He asked " are those Wranglers you're wearing"...kind of surprised-like.

"Sure they are", says I..."Can I take your picture", says he, "my wife is a jeans designer. People pay $300 for her jeans. I can't believe it. I keep telling her that guys still wear Levi's and Wrangler. Now I have proof."

Says I "what's you wife's brand. Maybe I've heard of them,"

Says he"True Religion, ever heard of 'em?"

Yikes! For real...



23 comments:

ckarlof said...

thanks for the followup!

clg23 said...

Levis are my brand of choice
I actually dont like True's, their back pockets are weird!

ckarlof said...

Another thing that came to mind. My impression of the last thread was there was a fair amount of skepticism/criticism in both your post and the comments regarding 3 digit (i.e., >$100) jeans without a lot of stories/experience of actually wearing/owning them over extended periods. Maybe you could "pick up" a pair somewhere for cheap and give us a little A/B comparative review sometime?

TRVS said...

The day I'd pay $300.00 for ANY jeans would be a cold day you know where . . . I'd rather spend it on wine. Great little story, though! Did you let him take your picture?

Zachary said...

I had a pair of 13MWZ Wranglers that I wore to death. My favorite detail (scratched saddles not being a major concern for me)is the lapped outseam. A total reversal of other jeans. Also wranglers fade to a much different shade of blue than STF Levis 501s.

Zachary said...

RE. the True Religion comment: Women have a VASTLY different set of concerns than men when it comes to buying jeans. They care first and foremost about fit, and more importantly about how to maintain a tight and flattering fit. Ask any girl on the street in $190 Citizens of Humanity or Seven For All Mankind jeans how she treats her selvage jeans or which prefecture in Japan produces the best shuttle loomed denim. Women will pay $300 for pants that are 65% lycra provided that they like the way they fit.

james at 10engines said...

brilliant story G. i only have 6 months experience with some so-called $300 jeans (JeanShop NYC, part of a blogger review thingy) but will say that particular brand are tough as nails and color is holding fast so would actually make great travelling pants, as they still look very decent. in civvy life stick to 501's or carhartt's myself (or black wranglers...much blacker than "black 501's that tend to go grey). 2 cents.

Clinton said...

Was he for real? I mean, maybe he's never ever been out of a major city before, but, where I grew up, if you were wearing something other than wranglers or levis, it's because you had a bad growing season and had to buy the store off-brand jeans. Also, I can't tell from your recounting of the story, was he praising you for not spending 300 on jeans or mocking you for being so quaint or something? If you meet him again, tell him he needs to get out more!!

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

Geez Guiseppe, you need to stop sitting on your wallet.

Great blog though, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Mxolisi

unitedstyle said...

True Religion! That's awesome. It always amazes me the types of people who wear that brand. The HR guy at my work dresses straight out of the Eddie Bauer business catalog Monday-Thursday, but on casual Friday, he rocks his True Religions. Weird.

My dad still wears Wranglers, as he and my mom got into the whole "country" look back in the 90s. I'm a Levis man myself.

thekevlarbeard.com said...

I love reading this blog. I wanted to comment and say I purchased some 1mwz's about a month ago and did not follow the proper washing instructions (inside out). Now there are some awkward creasing stains. Is there anything you can do to fix this?

Thanks!
Josh

NCJack said...

Eons ago had a friend whose family company did the fancy embroidered pockets, etc., for "name" jeans mfrs. Out-the-door cost of finished product was about $17...incl. shipping of jeans from Indonesia. Bet it's not much more today, but now it's the sons and daughters of her customers tossing $$ away for braggin' rights

BlackPlague said...

LMFAO!!

Sam said...

Standard $40 501s all the way thanks. God knows, I love being a jeans atheist.

David said...

Awesome story! I have two pairs of true religion jeans that I received as a gift, I don't wear either of them. Most jean companies of the modern era promote over priced jeans recognizable by putting their logo on the back pocket, it has nothing to do with functionality, just brand recognition and social conformity through band wagon marketing. When I see people wearing jeans like that, I laugh. I don't think trying to be cool has ever, in fact, made anyone cool.

Just Some Guy said...

Great story. What are the odds!?

Jho78 said...

I'm with you on the "Cult of the Dirty Pants." No matter how much you pay for jeans, no matter how archaic the machine was that made the denim, no matter how they were made- by hand or by machine, once you put them on... you're wearing jeans. They were created as work pants and to think of them as a high-fashion item seems a little silly. It seems to me like the whole fascination with selvedge denim is just guys trying to impress other guys they know through the internet. My brand has always been Levi's and my next pair will be STF 501's from a place here in town called Ranch and Home. Sorry about the rant.

ckarlof said...

I pay the $100 upcharge for my 7 For All Mankind jeans (~$150 total) simply because the fit me a lot better than my Levis. Plus, they are made here in the US. There's been a lot of focus here on $300 True Religions (which I don't have a lot of love for), but I'd like to point out there's a broad spectrum in between. You guys might be interested in this article on $550 chinos.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for paying less for jeans, but there is nothing more "real" about wearing Wranglers unless you are actually riding a horse, which you clearly aren't. Just wear what you think looks and feels good and get over it.

Young Fogey said...

When I looked at the country of origin label on 501s the other day, I found they were made in Mexico.

I have mixed feelings about buying something made in Mexico. On the one hand, the Mexican government's policies towards the US amount to de facto war against us, and I do not want to support countries that are hostile to the US. On the other hand, buying a Mexican product means fewer out-of-work Mexicans deciding to "solve" their problems by becoming illegal aliens.

I think the lesser of two evils is to bite the bullet and buy those Mexican-made 501s.

Giuseppe said...

Anonymous,

I agree completely. What I meant by "real" was that jeans are work pants, essentially. While they have become a wardrobe staple for nearly everyone, we musn't forget that they were co-opted from working class origins. Therefore, in some sense, jeans that are still produced with the intetion that they be used for work are more "real". They're built tougher, last longer, and are priced for working people. I will probably never ride a horse or dig a ditch in my Wranglers, but I can almost guarantee that no one has ever dug a ditch in APCs.

Jeans should not be delicate expensive things that you never wash. That's just my opinion.

What I find petty is the religious attention to minute details followed by the expensive/don't wash crowd.

Incidentally, before writng this piece, I wrote to a few of the proponents of the other side of the argument. I was interested in someone presenting that side in the interest of balanced discussion, but no one replied.

ckarlof said...

Giuseppe,

It doesn't speak for me or "them", but here are two analyses:

http://knol.google.com/k/blue-jeans-cost-comparison-of-denim-jeans-overview#
http://putthison.com/post/231001982/episode-1-denim

The latter even links to your blog!

JD said...

G,
Funny I actually re-finished my front and back porch this weekend in a pair of APC new standards. I also re cemented some slate steps in them, dug a bunch of rocks out of my yard and mow the lawn in them very regularly. They hold up quite well. I have a pair of Tellasons that have seen some yard work as well as some serious chores around the house.