Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm surrounded by denim whores. It started with Caitlyn and Sevens. She bought one pair. Two pair. Some Citizens. Some True Religions. A myriad of other brands I'm too gauche too remember. Suddenly there was over $1,500 of denim in her closet.

The bug was contagious and we all caught it. And why not? For if you can make your backside look a million bucks for just $150, is there any reason not to drop the dough and wriggle right in there? The basically buttless husband wasn't exempt from the denim infection. In fact, these days, I'd say he's the worst of us all.

As of late my shopping is targeted at business wear; I've not purchased a good pair of jeans in the last two years. I've been too busy and too spendy accumulating suits, pumps, skirts, dresses, button-downs, coats, sweaters, and other dull signifiers of the state of my life. However, my grim armamentarium doesn't mean that Casa Romo hasn't been importing its fair share of premium denim; The Husband has been dutifully buying both our shares.

His workwear is a t-shirt and jeans, and he's taking the jeans part to heart. A couple weeks ago I discovered that he has three pairs of the exact same style of True Religion jeans. Granted, they're incredible pants, but three of the same? Dig a little further in his closet and you'll find a jumble of other pricey bottoms.

So last week, after cleaning out my closet and tossing out a batch of bottoms that don't fit my sizable rump, I decided that I needed a new pair of jeans. Because I was feeling thrifty, I went looking on eBay. (Don't worry about authenticity, ladies; thanks to much practice I am a skilled denim buyer on the can-be-shady eBay.) And I found. I came across just the pair I was looking for, and $100 later they were on their way to Sparks.

They arrived and I took them right to my tailor with a pair of slacks that too needed to be made appropriate for the vertically challenged. The Iranian man measured, marked, and pinned each pair. And when I left I told him to be sure to put the original hem back on the jeans. He nodded. They've done it before.

A few days later I dropped by to pick up the pants. As I was paying, I fingered the hem on the denim pair and said to the Iranian man's wife, Obviously it no longer exists, but these were supposed to have the original hem put back on.

We go by the receipts, she said, glaring at me. No apology. Not on her face. In her voice. She stared as if it were my fault.

Well, he wrote it down wrong. It's not as if I knew what was on the receipt he handed me when I dropped off the pants; my hand writing is bad, but his is inexcusable. And now they look cheaply done and I can't wear them.

Well, we do what the receipt says.

That doesn't help me. I signed the receipt, grabbed the hangers and left. I flounced out of the place, and to demonstrate my ire, I dragged the plastic garment bag on the floor on my way out. I'll show her.

I am a nice customer. I am overly apologetic in my daily [in-person] encounters, and it bleeds into my role as a patron. If the dame had at least said Sorry! for the mishap, even insincerely, I'd find my innate apologizer and forgiver her. I'd blame her insincerity on a language barrier. Honest human mistake. Yes, they screwed up my pants, but we can't expect everyone to be perfect all the time.

That shop has shortened around 15 bottoms for me and about 5 for my husband. They've tailored some of his suit jackets and made one of my dresses into a shirt. But because the broad had no air of The Customer's Always Right I'm finding a new tailor. And so better The Husband.

Due to the pants' original hem not really being all that distinct, their mistake didn't actually mean I couldn't wear them. Truth be told, the jeans look just fine. I was just ticked that they screwed up and weren't sorry about it. I brought the jeans home and went right upstairs to try them with a couple different pairs of shoes before packing for my weekend away.

I was aghast to discover that they were snug. Too snug. More snug than when I had left them with the tailor. The kind of snug when breathing is difficult and fat materializes where just seconds earlier it hadn't been prominent. The kind of snug where you need to suck in and squat just to jerk the jeans on. The kind of snug that says, You shouldn't have purchased these in the first place, fatso.

How can this be? This is the brand I buy! I know my size. There are three pair in the closet in the same size! Same fabric make up. I didn't gain weight or get bloated over the week the faulty seamstress had the pants.

Well, it's not like I can send 'em back; I already had the damn things hemmed--and badly.

They were mine now. So I needed to stretch 'em out. I tried all the tricks girls do when endeavoring to stretch out a tight pair of jeans. I wiggled. I squatted. I lunged. Nothin' doin'.

Not to be defeated, I put on a tank top, sports bra, and my running shoes and went downstairs to the treadmill. And spent the next half hour running in my jeans, hoping that the husband wouldn't come home from work and find me jogging in denim.

Do they fit better now? Sure do. Still a little tighter than I'd like, but it's nothing that days of starvation and jogging won't fix, right?


kathryn said...

I have one pair of seven jeans, they do wonders for my hind end. I would like to try true religion as I have numerous girlfriends who sing their praise. I am currently in weight loss mode and I plan to purchase 2 pair of designer denim as part of my reward for reaching my goal.

I sew for a living and I have fixed jeans for several gals. I thought that leaving the original hem on a pair of jeans was standard. I never remove that precious bit of fabric. I am surprised your tailor doesn't do so automatically. If I lived closer I would offer my services.

If I were you I would look for someone who does tailoring out of their home as a side job. It is normally cheaper and they do less volume so they will get your job right. I know you shop etsy. Try the "shop local" button on etsy and see if you can find someone who makes and sells clothes close to you. They might do tailoring on the side. Just a thought.

rabidrunner said...

Take a dremel tool or some sand paper to the bottoms of 'em. Rough them up a bit and they'll be like new. Or old. Whatever.

Megan said...

So that's what my husband's rotary tool is for!

And Kathryn, I love your suggestion, but what if the tailor, uh, sucks? How do I know if they're any good?

Jessica said...

ahhh, fancy jeans, how i love them. i have too many pair of fancy jeans, but the most beautiful is a pair of rock and republics. they currently don't fit due to years of stress and weight gain, but i refuse to let them go. i'm just too vain and they're just too beautiful (and i spent too much money on them!).

sometimes i don't keep the original hem. mostly because some fancy jeans are made for supermodel-tall women and when they keep the original hem it doesn't match up right. as long as they were hemmed well, no one will really notice.

Megan said...

Well, and then there's the dremel tool, Jessica. Rabid can save anything.

Jessica said...

that Rabid seems to be a Renaissance woman of sorts. the best kind of friend to have!

Megan said...

Or the worst. She can do anything, and when you have no self confidence or are quite sure you're an incapable idiot, she's the kind that without even trying reminds you that you should just give up.

tom lindsey said...

rabid is overrated. she cannot even get off a bike without falling down.

Megan said...

You have a point there, Tom. Just twist, Rabid. Twist. Duh.

Kate said...

I spent 7 hours shopping for jeans last Friday. I just wanted a nice pair of womens jeans that fit me. Once again I ended up with men's jeans. There seem to be no womens jeans out there that can cope with the fact that I have a curvy bottom half but I still have a waist. As it is the mens pairs have a 38" waist (which gapes) and are tight on my thighs. (Plus, I need a 33" inside leg which doesn't help).

I think I'm going to have to go to a department store in London and request a personal shopper.

I hope you find a fab new tailor soon. (Oh, and have a great weekend)

Longhorn Fan said...

I have short legs and need lots of hems raised. I use PDQ Alterations on Moana. They are cheap, but take 1.5 - 2 weeks usually. Never had a problem. I believe it was Alex's Tailor by Design (now on Lakeside Dr.)that I used for my wedding dress. If it is the same guy (he is Asian) he is an expert tailor, but not cheap.

Jessica said...

tom and megan: you guys made me laugh. my husband had a similar experience of not being able to un-clip his shoes in time and fell over. i laughed out loud when he told me about it (aren't i an awesome wife?)

megan, ever thought about choosing friends who are losers to make yourself feel better? it totally works. but then Rabid would be up for grabs and i doubt you would want that.

Megan said...

Thanks for the tip, Longhorn. Didn't know you were in Reno. Do we know each other? Have I ever offended you? (It's likely, so I thought I'd ask.)

Jessica, I'm quite sure everyone who knows someone that is silly enough to lock their feet into bike pedals has heard a horror story. While locked in, my dad tipped over on his bike, broke a couple ribs and punctured his lung. I'm slowly coming to see mountain biking and cycling as the most extreme of all sports. Its four wheels for me. With a cup holder. And air conditioning.

And yes, I've absolutely considered choosing friends by seeing what they suck at. If the list is long, perhaps we could bond 'cause they'd make me look awesome. However, those friends don't inspire improvement, and well, I could use some work.

Jessica said...

holy crap, your dad is a champ. my husband wasn't physically injured, only his pride (hence, my laughter).

a good point about the friend-choosing. i always end up finding friends who are gorgeous and super-talented and wonder why i do that to myself. then i realize that maybe i need something they have and vice versa (although, i generally wonder why they chose me). wow, i kinda sound like a loser. wanna be friends?

Megan said...

Not unless you invite me to read your private blog.

Jessica said...

you don't want to read that. trust me. it's actually my "journal", so i'm the only one who has access to it. i can type faster than i can write, hence the blog/journal. and i'll be honest, most of it isn't happy, sunshine and flowery stuff. "inspirational" excerpts would definitely not be read in a general conference talk after i die. mostly because that password's going with me to the grave :)

Megan said...

Well at least you keep yours to yourself. I should probably do the same thing . . .

Jessica said...

i disagree. yours is actually writing. mine is just stream-of-consciousness, this-is-why-i'm-so-pissed-off-today stuff. not very funny or enjoyable to others. sometimes i don't even want to re-read it!

kathryn said...

How do you know if said tailor "sucks"? Well ask to see something they have done. Look at what they have for sale on etsy if they have a shop. Look for finished seams (no hanging strings) and firm creases(proof that they employ the use of a good iron, not all irons are created equal!). Or if you can't find one mail them to me. As long as you keep writing daily I will do it for the price of the return postage! I look forward to reading your ramblings each morning!

rabidrunner said...

I can't believe it. While I was away celebrating 9/9/9 - you, Tom and Jessica were having fun at my expense. You're so very welcome!

(However, Tom's right. I'm a complete klutz. That's why I run. Doesn't require much coordination. Unlike Yoga. Or making stuff look good on the internet.)