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March 31, 2006
Stupid and Stupider

Color me thrilled that I have never been the kind of person who would wear really stupid styles just because of "fashion." (Although I'm willing to admit that some of the things I have worn weren't as, um, attractive on me as I might have thought at the age of 16 or 20.)

After introducing his J Brand straight-leg jeans last year, owner Jeff Rudes quickly followed with a narrower version the "cigarette leg." Two months later, he was pushing a still slimmer "pencil leg." And, this month his "super skinny" jeans arrived at the Ron Herman store.

When the manager heard they were coming, she asked, "How big is the knee?" Rudes recalled. "I said, 'It's tight.' She said, 'Make it hurt.' "

$150 to $400 for a pair of jeans? Stupid.

"Make it hurt"? Stupid.


They won't make women's clothes in standard sizes because they're afraid that if we can buy clothes that fit anywhere we shop, we'll...buy clothes anywhere we shop. Yeah, that makes sense.

And yet.... I'm sitting here, wondering if it's a reflection of the extent to which I've been hypnotized by the current trial-and-error method of shopping that it makes perfect sense to me that brands don't want their clothes fitting like other brands' clothes fit? Fortunately, logic sets in and reminds me that, even inside a standardized sizing system, there will be differences in fit and cut.

While I'm complaining, let me complain about how the stripes in the fabric of women's tops are always horizontal. This is a fashion that suits only one of 100 women. It makes the rest of us look like tugboats moored to a pair of pants. Women aren't all flat-chested, okay?

(I know, I know. You're thinking...she got up early, came to the office, read the news, and this is what she felt like blogging?)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:13 AM


Oh, it's not "just fashion": it's culture, you know? Clothing like this is a kind of personal art, and we've become really ass-backward by letting the designers be the artists using our bodies as the canvas.

I wonder why Congress has never regulated clothing size labelling.... given all the other stuff they regulate, it seems like an odd oversight. Truth-in-labelling laws, and all that.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at March 31, 2006 12:28 PM

The problem with letting the designers be the "artists" is that they don't really want to work with the human body as a canvas. That's why models are stick-insects and why the more expensive clothing lines don't make anything larger than a size 8. The designers don't like the way their clothes look on an actual body.

(I suspect Congress doesn't regulate clothing labels because the industry and a lot of consumers don't want them to. Every few years, the industry quietly "resizes" everything so that a woman who wore a size twelve last year wears a size ten this year. Makes the consumer feel good about themselves.)

Posted by: Anne at March 31, 2006 06:39 PM