Tuesday, August 23, 2005


The Washington Post, in a kind and yet futile effort to prevent my head from exploding, ran these articles on high-priced premium jeans while I was away on vacation. How high-priced, you ask? The cheapest are in the $100-200 range. It would seem that the others are in the $500-600 range.

This woman strikes me as the kind that GeekyMom wrote about:
"I live for jeans," says Becca Walker, 33, who has between 20 and 30 pairs and recently bought some made by a company called People for Peace. They cost $285 and have the word LOVE embroidered on the butt, along with a butterfly. These made Becca an object of envy. Women at her son's nursery school were "stalking" her.

When I see a word (be it LOVE or JUICY or PRIDE or SUTTON HIGH VOLLEYBALL) written on the ass of another woman, I am not envious. I am saddened and embarrassed for my sex. And if she's the mother of a classmate of my son's, I feel pity for the poor child, wondering if the first word he learns to read will be something scrawled across mommy's butt.
Walker thinks the jeans were totally worth the money. "I felt a little nauseous afterwards and then I was okay," she says.

Thank God she recovered. Whew.

Some of our other consumers:
Soon Ilana will be getting shipments of baby jeans, costing between $80 and $180, and some extra-fancy adult jeans for $695.

The day I'm shelling out $80 and $180 for jeans for my son is the day my husband and I have saved up for his entire college education--including graduate school. And med school. And divinity school.

Martha Ein often shops with her teenage daughters, who are permitted to spend no more than $200 per pair, though "sometimes they twist my arm."

No more than $200 per pair. When I was a kid, my mom probably didn't spend $200 for an entire back-to-school buying session. I despise this woman, and I despise her kids:
"I don't have that many," says her 16-year-old, Lili, considering her denim collection. "Probably like 15."

Grrr. I swear I'm not a modern day Robin Hood, or a Communist, but these people fall into the category of what my coworkers and I call "too much disposable income," or TMDI for short. When I go to the FancyMall, with the stores that I dare not even enter, I see TMDIs. When I go to Caps games, I see TMDIs, all glammed up, heading to their seats right up by the glass. I want to scream at them, "It's a hockey game, fer crissakes! Wear a jersey!" And sometimes, I do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That reminds me -- can I take some money and get some new pants? I've been rotating the same three pairs of Dockers and two pairs of jeans for quite a while now, and one of the Dockers is starting to fray.

Thankfully, I can get roughly five of those for the cost of one of pair of the aforementioned jeans.


8:41 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

It's your money, you can do what you want with it. I actually need new jeans, too.

The Angry Family is going to Old Navy!!! Woohoo!

8:47 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger corndog said...

"The Angry Family is going to Old Navy"

That sounds like a better ad campaign than that one they had a few years back with Morgan Fairchild.

And even though I'm not a hockey fan, I believe that there is no more attractive garment on a woman than a hockey jersey.

9:15 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I went to prep school, so I spent more than my share of time with TMDIs in adolescence.

The only thing that prevents my head from exploding when I read stories like this now is the knowledge I learned in that time: those kids (and adults!) with their 15 pairs of $200 jeans are just as miserably insecure and unhappy as the rest of us. More so, because the rest of us can fantasize that we'd feel better if we just had more money...

I don't envy that poor kid in the preschool where the other mothers envy a $285 pair of jeans. Not one bit.

9:57 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Lawmummy said...

Damn, you beat me to this post! Well, sort of... I was going to post a blog about sayings/slogans/whatever printed on pants. I still may. It drives me nuts - especially on little girls and preteens. Hmm... I may still have to post about it (I can feel my bp rising).

But totally love this post today. I couldn't agree more.

10:51 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

I saw that article when it ran and was laughing hysterically by the end of it. $80 for a pair of baby jeans? For something they're gonna grow out of before they've worn it TWICE? Not even if I were Bill Gates.


11:25 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger kenju said...

I don't think I ever paid more for jeans than $35 - and that was for some from a catalog with special sizes. What is wrong with these people?? Certainly they have more $$ than brains.

12:12 AM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous Lisa V said...

When you consider the economy of scale I would rather have someone pay $200 for a pair of jeans they wore constantly rather than a dress they wear once or twice- like a dress for a special event. However, I really don't see why anyone needs more than 2 pair of jeans, no matter what they cost. The most I have ever spent for jeans is probably $50, most of the them were around $20.

Spending tons of dough on kid's jeans is nuts no matter how much they wear them. They outgrow them too fast.

1:13 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Laura said...

I think I've seen these people--but not these jeans yet. Thankfully, I spend most of my time in my little working class neighborhood where when you pass someone on the street, they tell you where the good back-to-school sales are. I'm with you about the writing on the butt--just gross.

7:08 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger ccw said...

That is a crazy amount of money for jeans.

However, I am envious that someon can actually find 15-20 pair of jeans that fit. It would take years for me to find that many at any price.

7:48 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Winter Sorbeck said...

I saw the article when it ran and was disgusted. This is perhaps the best argument AGAINST capitalism that I have ever seen; that there is both a DEMAND and SUPPLY for $200 jeans indicates to me that we're in dire need of a priority realignment. No wonder children in Africa and Asia are starving to death.

Probably there's no need for me to disclose my love for Marxist-Leninism at this point, but I will say that I AM a non-practicing socialist.

This, like school shootings, drug use, early sexual behavior, is the fault of the parents. What in FSM's name is wrong with Levi's? Are they no longer acceptable?

At any rate, thanks for the welcome APL. Nice post!

10:02 AM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous KathyR said...

I live in the land of TMDI. We probably have TMDI at the lower end of the TMDI scale.

Neither my husband nor I had anything like TMDI growing up. I shopped for back to school at Zody's, K-Mart and the Dittos outlet. So the day I spend more than a two digit number for a pair of jeans will only come if inflation has driven up the prices at the Gap.

And I'm with you on the words-on-ass thing. Even if your ass is perfect, why would you want it to be a billboard?

10:30 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger SuzanH said...

I don't like jeans in the first place--not a fan of denim. That said, the idea of paying that much money for pants--pants--is beyond my imagining. Don't they rip or get stained? Or is that why you have 15 pairs? No laundry facilities, maybe? Yeesh.

Out running errands one day I did see a woman wearin extremely tight low rider track pants with the word "Lucious" on her butt. She was walking with her small child. Ick.

10:37 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Don't EVEN get me going. NO jeans are worth that kind of money, and the business of the writing across the butt is ridiculous. You know with Yankee for a first name, I am WAY too practical for any of this. The Attorney and I buy a couple of pairs of Levis twice a year and waste our money on laundry water!

11:07 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Maura in VA said...

Spending that amount of money for jeans is *almost* as obscene as seeing clothes for little girls that say "hottie" on them.

Okay, the latter is far more obscene, but still...the idea of people spending so much money on something like JEANS makes me just ill.

This kind of story is one of the reasons why, although I am a strong civil libertarian on just about every other issue, I am a very strong proponent of uniforms in public elementary schools. As a teacher, I've seen all too often the pressure that poor kids - even in very young grades - feel to keep up with "the Joneses" in outrageously priced fashion. I've taught young girls who were literally suididal because they felt so ashamed of their clothes from Target or Old Navy. (Which, compared to what I grew up with, are very nice and well-made clothes!)

Sure, all of these kids will have to grow up to live in a world where they'll work with these jerks who'd shell out $700 for jeans while begrudging giving a buck to a homeless person in their community. But just for a little while, for a short little while, I'd love for school to be a partial refuge from our country's out-of-control consumerism.

11:25 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

What? Not everyone buys $300 jeans?

I also grew up with TMDIs, but I don't think even THEY bought jeans that expensive. I love Phantom's observation that at least we can fantasize that money will make us feel better : )

Maybe $300 jeans will make my ass look prettier?

11:56 AM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous womanofthelaw said...

I saw an adolescent girl in the mall today with a t-shirt that said, "Blondes do it better." I turned to my sister and asked if I could go and tap the girl on the shoulder to ask, "Blondes do WHAT better? I don't get it." It bothers me to see teen girls with shirts like that.

As for price, I haven't paid more than $10 for a pair of jeans in two years, which might explain my wardrobe, and I left the mall today with two shirts that were $5 each. I'm too damned cheap to buy anything not on triple clearance, there's no way I'm buying $200 jeans.

4:01 PM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Songbird said...

I loathe the words on the butt thing. Our neighbor's daughter, an otherwise attractive college girl, was wearing a pair of shorts the other day that said "Salt yDog." Bleh.

4:01 PM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger KLee said...

Man, the clothes I could buy with what it cost for one pair of those "designer jeans"! I could go hog wild!

I'm not crazy about the pants/shorts with words on the rear, but I like them a damn sight better than the minitaure-version Britney Spears slut-wear. I REFUSE to buy my daughter the hip-hugger pants with the crocheted see-through half shirt. Not happening in this lifetime! I can't stand the whole hootchie look! My child is NINE! Let her dress like a nine year old! Not like a nymphomaniacal twenty year old!

5:45 PM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

What message does it teach--this excess? But, that's coming from me, who shops at Kohls (SAHM's can't trade kiddie hugs and kisses for goods and services, and that is all the paycheck I get)

6:29 PM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Wow, such great comments, you guys.

Lawmummy, I hope you still write that post!

And Maura, I hear ya. When I was in high school and they suggested a dress code, we all freaked. But now I see that dress codes also have the ability to (1) keep kids from thinking about fashion in school, when they should be concentrating on other things, and (2) make the a.m. getting-ready-for-school process a whole helluva lot quicker (if you only have 2 things you can wear, it cuts down on the outfit-switching!).

Womanofthelaw, I WISH you had gone up to that girl. That would have been so awesome.

Oh, and Kohl's is right up there with Old Navy (says the woman with a Kohl's card...).

8:49 PM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Oh jesus god.

What universe are we living in anyway? How can it possibly be acceptable to more than 0.1% of hte population to spend $300+ on a pair of jeans with some codeword for "I'm a piece of meat and will love it if you objectify me" emblazoned on the ass with rhinestones, when there are hungry people everywhere? What world are they living in? How can they feel good about doing that?

I"m feeling nauseous now....

7:23 AM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger KOB said...

nnormGreat post and comments -- this just flows.

7:59 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

KOB--Locals in da hizzouse! Oh, and welcome to the blog.

10:20 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Siryn said...

Those jeans had better be the finest Italian leather ... and even then, I wouldn't buy them.

I know we are supposed to live and let live and all, in this everything-goes world full of Hummers and other luxury sport utility vehicles that won't ride on anything less than concrete or brick pavers. But I can't help but feel that it's a waste.

People can be really stupid. Paying that much money for denim and a name is a prime example.

1:33 AM, August 26, 2005  
Blogger Piece of Work said...

I just want to know: how big is their closet that they can fit 15 pairs of jeans in it?

12:32 PM, August 26, 2005  
Blogger Big Sky Girl said...

I'm fairly perturbed by the whole expensive jeans phenomenon. But I was especially shocked when I went to a mall in V and discovered a store called the denim bar. Jeans at the DB cost between 150 and 900 dollars, but don't worry you get a complimentary alcoholic beverage to calm your nerves as you part with an unnecessary amount of hard earned.

And you hit the nail on the head, what responsible parent allows their child (whether they are 5 or 15) to own 5k worth of denim. Good way to teach em the value of a dollar. Don't come crying to me when they throw a tantrum cause they didn't get a land rover for their birthday. Geez!

8:30 PM, August 26, 2005  
Blogger Susie Sunshine said...

I was a teenager in the 80's when all the cool asses were clad in Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt and such.

It was stupid then and it's stupid now. (Said the girl who went from lame Lee jeans in the 80's to C-sectioned soccermommish Eddie Baur in the 'OO's.)

11:21 AM, August 28, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Welcome to Siryn and Abra Leigh Noelle!

10:16 PM, August 28, 2005  
Blogger Mari said...

If they got the word on the butt clothing at Target, would it be any better? Over here in the 'hood I suspect the young ladies are buying knock offs or saving/going into debt to buy the pricey stuff with the words on the butt. Yes, some hardworking parents do buy their kids the pricey jeans and sneakers for fear the kids will go out into the street and get it by some other means.

8:43 AM, August 29, 2005  

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