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Thu, Dec. 05

AROUND THE BLUHMIN’ TOWN: Paying too much for a pair of blue jeans

Do you wear blue jeans? Yes, I thought you might. Me too. They have been a wardrobe staple for a long time. Young people, old folks, cowboys, city slickers . . . all Americans seem to love blue jeans. I have old ones for working with the horses and nicer ones for other occasions. But I have never paid $425 for a pair and can say, honestly, I never will.

Have an extra 425 bucks? Want to look “cool?” Go to the nearest Nordstrom (or online) and you can buy a pair of “dirty jeans.” It seems our culture has a weird obsession with charging outrageous prices for items that will make us look “hard working” and “tough.” First came the ripped jeans. Now the new fad (hope it doesn’t last) is caked on “fake mud.” I have an idea, come on down to my barn and I will show you the “real dirt.”

Better yet, I have a few pairs of jeans that are pretty worn and stained (never paint a white rail fence on a windy day with blue jeans on) that I will be happy to sell for $200. Actually, Twitter and YouTube has blown up over these pricey, dirty jeans. The funniest is a guy in Texas working on an oil rig with completely grease-stained, ripped and ragged jeans who will sell them to the “first sucker that comes along” for a mere $300! No offers yet.

A psychologist wrote in one California paper that while a rich guy can parade around in filthy (expensive) jeans, and drive a $70,000 sports vehicle and somehow look cool, it doesn’t work the other way. A hard working bloke with stained jeans driving his beat-up Buick will not look “cool,” just poor. And that is why, Dear Readers, I do not “buy” into this “cultural nonsense.” Are we losing our collective marbles?

I do recall my mother showing me how to darn socks and patch jeans that had little rips in them. I was raised in a frugal family. We repaired and patched our clothing. Well, times have changed. Now the more rips the better. Whoever thought pants with holes in them would become the new “status” symbol is probably the same designer (nut) who came up with “dirty jeans.”

But wait. The “designer” who thought up this “muddy look” likes to call himself an “artist” with a “true appreciation” of people who work hard for a living. What inspired him? The “colors of sweat, grease, dirt and oil that make a palette of rich hues, which embodies the persona of the working man and woman.” And with that, my friends, we have heard too much. Time to step back into reality. Away from the beckoning call of fashion, exorbitant prices and crazy ideas.

Want muddy jeans? There is rain in the forecast. Come on over and we can muck the stalls, wade through the mud, ruin a perfectly good pair of jeans and be in style! No $425 required.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story and a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.

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