Some people might think that it would be impossible to write a column about jeans, but that person would likely be a man. For women, there’s lots to talk about, including: everchanging styles, pockets (or the lack thereof), vanity sizing, and jean gender GAP differences.
Why my new interest in opining about denim wear? I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans like I had in my teens; not high-waisted, not low-waisted, not bell-bottoms, not skinny, not acid-wash, not ripped. Basically, I want an everyday pair of jeans, one that is forgiving to a couple extra COVID-19 pounds and good for sitting for long periods of working at home.
Sadly, the fashion industry is not a friend to women. Just when you get used to a style, it changes. I don’t chase trends, and it took me years to finally wear skinny jeans, and low-rise jeans. Once I got rid of my flares and boot cut jeans, the styles changed again. That’s the problem with being a late adopter of fashions; before you know it, the world has moved on yet again, often back to the styles you just donated. Now, “mom” jeans are the latest trend. I am a mom, but I’m not ready to give up on Rockstar and boyfriend jeans.
In my quest to find the perfect jeans I even tried men’s jeans, but the fit, not surprisingly, was off. One of the reasons I tried men’s jeans was because any pockets on their jeans are actual pockets. As women know, many pockets on pants and jeans are only decorative. I find this entirely perplexing. I want pockets in my pants like I want my men, with depth, not sewed shut.
As much as changing styles and lack of true pockets bother me, it is vanity sizing that currently has my Levi’s in a knot. Vanity sizing means that clothes are labelled with a size much lower than they actually are. For example, I standardly wear a size eight, sometimes a ten, but in stores with vanity sizing I have been a Size 4 and a Size 6. I believe this is to make me want to return to shop in those stores, because I am a “lower” size.
Vanity sizes are actually very frustrating and for me are often a waste of time and money. If I’m in store, I grab my usual size to go into the change room and always have to go back out for smaller sizes. It’s not the best use of my time, especially as someone who is not keen on trying on clothing in the first place. For online shopping it is even worse, as the wrong size means a trip to the post office to make a return.
In contrast, men aren’t pandered to with fake sizes. Their sizing is simple and logical. A 30×32 is a 30-inch waist and 32-inch leg. Why can’t women’s sizing be as simple? What is a Size 8? There is no measurement that this translates to. Also, men’s pants have pockets, real pockets, to put a wallet, smartphone, or even keys in them. They aren’t forced to buy and carry a satchel to store their essentials. Men’s styles are also much more timeless.
Men are on the right side of the gender GAP for jeans, which explains my earlier comment that I’m quite sure men would never write a column about jeans. That said, women’s denim world is completely different from men’s, so here we are.