at a premium

The jeans in my drawers, all three pairs, all come from Old Navy. I have three pairs of jeans that are no longer my size set aside to give away, and they are all Old Navy jeans too. There is nothing wrong with Old Navy jeans, really–they are very inexpensive and come in an exciting variety of washes and shapes and styles and colors enough to turn your pretty head. But besides the fact that they aren’t quite right–for instance, the boot-cut pair are embarrassingly just a smidge too short, and too-short pants on a woman is one of my pet peeves–it somehow feels like Old Navy jeans are not enough.

There is premium denim out there, people. Premium! For a premium, admittedly. But in the world exists brands of luxury denim that are not only luxuriously made of hammered gold and pressed diamonds and sheets of fabric that have been woven by fairies in a land of dreams where wishes always come true and McDonald’s breakfast is served 24 hours a day, but they also have magical properties. The greatest of all qualities that premium denim has, and I have heard tell that it has many qualities, is that it makes your butt absolutely magnificent. Premium denim lifts, shapes, separates, fluffs, caresses and presents, so to speak, your glorious technicolor ass in even more glorious surround-sound.

I will say it right here, flat out to the world and in front of all my peers and loved ones: I am not ashamed to say that I would like to have a glorious ass. That’s right. I am fond of my buttocks as they are. I think they are nice buttocks. But I would like for premium denim to come into my life and take my very nice bottom by the hand and lead it all the way up to the Promised Land. I want people to sing hallelujah to my bum, to weep and cry out loud to the heavens praise the lord and pass the hand lotion, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Premium denim, they say, can do this for me. It can also make me look gigantically tall and obnoxiously long-limbed and spectacularly thighed. In premium denim people will mistake me for Heidi Klum, be briefly embarrassed, and then want to be my friend because I am even hotter than Heidi Klum! Okay, maybe not that last part. But premium denim! It exists, and we can all agree that somehow, by dint of its premiumness and magical denim properties, it is something that you want to be investing in. And oh, it’s an investment. Not just of money, but of time, because do you know how many kinds of premium denim there are in the world? As many as the twinkling stars in the sky they came from.

And then each brand is subdivided into types and shapes and washes and waistbands and styles and colors and platonic ideals and lengths and then after you figure out the combination that best suits you, your complexion and your astrological house in which your moon rose, you have to figure out your size and in order to do that you have to know a mysterious number which is possibly your waist size but there sure is a lot of goddamn interpretation of exactly what it means to be a certain number of inches. How do you interpret a number of inches? It is a mystery of premium denim. It is what makes me say you know what? Maybe I don’t want to invest in magic denim. Maybe I am okay with my perfectly adequate butt. I was happier when I didn’t know about premium denim.

photo by digicla

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  13 comments for “at a premium

  1. January 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

  2. Kim
    January 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

    You nailed it so hard with Old Navy being Not Quite Right. It’s like Gap’s bastard younger half-brother who tries to be good but just won’t give 100%. I’m done with them forever. Good jeans are an investment, dang it, and some things are worth kicking out some extra cash. A nice butt is definitely worth it.
    I’ve heard Joe’s Jeans are amazing but haven’t quite gotten there yet. I’m poor, with a rich woman’s tastes – it’s tragic.

  3. Sal
    January 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I’ve tried on a pair of Joe’s and, admittedly, I looked like bottled sex in them. But I’ve had the same experience with thrifted jeans, so I’m not prepared to buy into the hype. Isn’t it possible that part of the reason they make you look so amazing is that you feel like you’re part of an elite, premium denim-wearing clique when you pull ’em on, and all that confidence just oozes out?

  4. January 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Ooh I think it’s your journalistic to go out there and try it and see if it really is the promised ass land and report back to us!! :)

  5. wilma
    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    one pair of premium denim is worth its weight in gold (and that’s saying a lot right now, with gold prices being what they are). one pair–you’ll wear them always, with everything, and the price per wear will be worth all the old navy jeans you have ever owned. seriously. i always have the too short problem (i wear a 35 inch inseam, which makes jean shopping at cheap stores almost impossible, grrrrrrrrr) and i have, well, a flat butt. i have a pair of citizen for humanity (or something like that) jeans that i got on sale for half price (but were still stupidly expensive) and i LOVE them. go for it. just go to a store that stocks them all (aritizia or holts here in canada, but i’m sure you have a mecca of expensive jean stores in the states), and get help, and try them all on. then stalk your favourite pair on the net, in stores, etc., till they finally go on sale. and then SPLURGE!!! my jeans make me happy. sad, but totally true :)

  6. January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Um, unfortunately, there is a huuuuge difference when it comes to premium denim. I knew this the first time I pulled on pair and stared at my own butt in the dressing room mirror for long enough to develop a bit of a crick in my neck. I wore the hell outta those jeans. Almost every day. For almost 2 years. Until the butt, the beautiful hand stitched, indigo dyed butt, completely wore…out. I haven’t taken the plunge again because, honestly, I’ve “grown” out of most designer’s sizes. So now I’m stuck with a four inch gap around the waist of my Old Navy jeans and a saggy butt after I’ve worn them for more than 2 hours. Growl.

  7. Rene
    January 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Yeah, I gotta say, there’s a huge difference. There really is. I bought my first pair of “Sevens” when I worked at a department store that sold them. I have never gotten more compliments on a pair of jeans. And the store I bought them at altered them for free so they were hemmed and the waist was taken in just a smidge and they fit like a glove. I wore them for years until they literally started to shred in some areas. But I am about to patch them and keep wearing them because they are awesome. After that pair though I invested in two more pairs of Sevens. And I wore them until they fell apart too. Then I bought a pair of Citizens of Humanity at a used clothing store for $40. (another good option if you have any slightly upscale used clothing stores near you, like Buffalo Exchange)I love them and get tons of compliments on them. I didn’t buy anymore premium jeans (due to being short on funds) for a couple years. Then, this past fall I had a little influx of cash and a bit of money on a gift card and I splurged on a pair of Joes Jeans. I gotta say Joes makes a really good pair of jeans! Premium Jeans ARE stupidly expensive, but they are worth it to me. You really should check them out. But go into a store and try on a bunch. I wouldn’t buy your first pair on line. Different brands suit differnt body types. You really gotta figure out what works for you.

  8. January 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I’m going to state that, for my particular plus size, nicely rounded ass, Old Navy jeans are the only kind that fit right. I wish they would bring back the OLD jeans, but the Diva Straight Leg are my current favorites. I have one pair of old-school Just Below Waist boot cut in a dark wash that fit like they were custom tailored, but since they cannot be replaced I wear them stingily.

    In plus sizes, the premium denim choices are narrower. I think you’re limited to one or two brands, and one brand runs tragically small.

    Those things said, go try some jeans on in the store, and then check eBay. Also, we’re almost upon magical 75% off clearance time at the department stores, so perhaps you could score some premium jeans for Old Navy prices.

    Also, my tall thin best friend swears by the Gap jeans in long, and has also bought jeans at Hollister.

  9. perreys
    January 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    LUCKY.

  10. Ashley
    January 10, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Ok, let me admit my bias upfront and say that I not only LOVE premium denim, but I work at premium denim boutique. I have 12 pairs of designer jeans (come on, I do work at a store that sells this stuff) and you are correct they make your ass look fantastic. To know what brand and style would look best on you, you really need to go to a specialty store and have somebody who really knows their stuff fit you. If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, I’d be delighted to help you, but here are some of my general guidelines about some brands people already mentioned.

    Joes – Joes has a ton of different styles, so most women can find one that works for them. Joes has a fit called the Muse which is higher-waisted fit that lots of people irritated with the low-rise trend love. There is also a boot cut fit called the Honey, which is the way to go if you have an ample butt.
    Seven for all Mankind – Almost all the Sevens are low rise so if you don’t like that, don’t bother. I don’t think the boot cut is very wide at the bottom for a boot cut, so I prefer the flare, which is the Dojo fit. Sevens are the #1 make you ass look great jeans, in my opinion.
    Paige Premium Denim – Paige uses a thicker, heavier denim than most other designer brands, so the jeans fit tighter, stretch less. The are slightly narrow in the thighs, and usually make you look tall with great legs. Laurel Canyon is a good boot cut fit that works for lots of people.
    Hudson – Hudsons are a British brand which does a very wearable skinny jean that women who can’t wear other skinny jeans can wear.

    And that’s just four brands that I happen to like and know the fits of well. Any good store will have a dozen or more brands and the girls who work there should be able to size you up and help you. There really is almost no way to know what size would be best for you without trying a bunch of stuff on, and it’s very probable that you won’t be the same size in every brand.

    Have fun shopping!!

  11. M.
    January 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Seven For All Mankind. I have a crush on those jeans, especially this one skinny pair I tried on. I stalk them from afar because they are [priced] wayyyyyy out of my league. The alternative? Tons and tons of squats and/or fencing. Then my ass looks awesome in spite of the pants… not because of them. More work but less money.

    Gap Long and Lean flattens – not flatters – my butt, Express used to make awesome jeans, but recently their offerings are way too low-rise. However… especially in the case of Gap, I have found every pair looks/fits differently despite being the same model. You can occasionally score with them, but it’s hit or miss. Calvin Klein outlet jeans are neither hot nor cold; they get the job done, they are moderately flattering and moderately priced.

    Try Off 5th, the Saks 5th Avenue outlet, if there are any by you. I scored a pair of ABS by Allen Schwartz skinny jeans there that are pretty magical for $30. Keep your eyes open, try everything on, and never assume it’s you.

    It’s always the fit model’s fault. :)

  12. June 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Regardless if political, religious, gender,size, race- Doesn’t everybody deserve the chance to be who they are? Let’s not make anyone feel bad they’re something else.

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