Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

February 3, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 12:01 am   Category: Life

I want you to take a good, hard look at your…jeans. I’ve been noticing lately that a few of us are having a hard time saying goodbye to the last century. I have a message for you, the 90s called and they want their jeans back. If you are currently look over your shoulder and wondering if I’m talking to you, the answer is yes.

Here are a few tips on how to tell if your jeans are out of date:

1. If you have jeans that have pleats in them take them off immediately and run (don’t walk) them to the nearest dumpster, fireplace, quilter, etc.
2. If you have jeans that are sky blue in color you should really think about giving them to the nearest charitable donation center.
3. If the pant legs on your jeans get narrower as they head south these should also be donated.
4. If your jeans are a combination of 1-3, I’m not sure I can help you here. You might need professional help.
5. A quick note on slacks; while you can still get away with pleats and cuffs you should really think about phasing in flat front and cuffless slacks whenever possible (pleats on suit pants are fine).

Now calm down! I’m not saying you have to wear bell bottoms. No one here is expecting you to be that cutting edge. You have plenty of options that don’t include parading around in a pair of flares. One option that you might consider is buying straight-legged jeans. These are nice and conservative and people will respect you for your restraint.

Another option (and my personal favorite) is the boot-cut jean. Don’t worry you don’t have to buy a pair of boots to wear with them! Any nice pair of shoes will work as long as they’re not boat shoes or penny loafers.

As far as color goes I prefer the indigo with a little wear on them. I know other people like to wear the blue with a greenish tint. I think they’re supposed to look like someone wore them everyday for about 2 years with out washing them. Personally, I am not cutting edge enough to really go for that look. I think I’m also a bit too cheap to buy jeans that already have holes in them.

You may be shocked at these suggestions. I’ve met a few gen Xers who have recoiled at the suggestion that their pegged pants were not hot. It’s ok, think about it for a few days. If you’re still not sure ask a spouse, loved one, or friend. If they think your 90s pants are great then forget you ever read this. There’s a good chance you might hear them say, “Now that you mention it, your jeans could use an updating.”


  1. :::sticking fingers in ears:::
    la la la la I can’t hear you la la la la

    Comment by Téa — February 2, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

  2. Now Tea! Just take a deep breath, I know you can do this!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 2, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  3. I’m glad I have someone to buy my jeans (and other clothes) for me now. I used to actually shop for myself but now that I caught a wife I’ve apparently let myself go…

    Comment by Geoff J — February 2, 2006 @ 10:55 pm

  4. It’s very weird to hear my daughter say, scathingly, “Mom that is so 80’s.” To me the 80’s are still with us. Also the 90’s, etc.

    Comment by annegb — February 3, 2006 @ 8:24 am

  5. pegged leg anythings shouldn’t be worn by anyone! They make your hips look huge! Even when they aren’t. I just wish American purveyors would keep that in mind also. A good straight leg jean is hard to find, but well worth the search. If I find them, I buy a few pair so I don’t mourn their loss when they’ve worn out. Thanks for underscoring this Kristen. Side note: I almost died for a woman yesterday at the craft store. She was wearing skin tight leggings(?) and a large t shirt, it was so sad. She had to have been in her fifties and I actually thought I saw Clinton and Stacy stalking her!

    Comment by chronicler — February 3, 2006 @ 8:56 am

  6. I know what you mean about the hip thing. Pegged jeans make you look like a hippo in toe shoes.

    I love that show “What Not to Wear” I want to go on that show myself!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 3, 2006 @ 9:31 am

  7. Hooray! I’m doing something right! A couple months ago I bought some new jeans from the Gap. They are called Flare, but with just enough bell at the bottom. I love them! Oh and speaking of jeans what’s with the new style for skater boys to wear super tight jeans? Have you seen that? They are all over the surf and skate shops. It’s like they’re making them go back to the 80’s!

    Comment by Jamie J — February 3, 2006 @ 11:07 am

  8. Everything that is out, comes back in. Sienna Miller and Lindsay Lohan, to name a couple, have been parading around in both leggings and pegged jeans. It’s only a matter of time.

    Comment by Wendy — February 3, 2006 @ 11:33 am

  9. I know, I’ve seen alot of skate competitions where the guys are all wearing tight black jeans you used to see the Romones wearing back in the 80s.

    I think there is a difference between cutting edge and being stuck in a time warp and it’s very easy to tell the two apart.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 3, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  10. Next you’ll be telling me I have to stop wearing my paisley ties and my tie-died (spelling) shirts…dang, I love that stuff

    Comment by don — February 3, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

  11. Oh, yeah do I have to give up my wing-tips too?

    Comment by don — February 3, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

  12. I love paisley fabric so wear it whenever you want. As far as tie-dye, hhmmm…you may just want to wear them at home.

    Wingtips are great too. Just don’t wear the pegged jeans with em!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 3, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

  13. Okay, I need visuals (or links thereof), because if the 90s want them back I’d better know what they’re asking for… after all, the sky is so many shades of blue.

    Comment by Téa — February 3, 2006 @ 10:34 pm

  14. Alright, I’ll work on it.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 4, 2006 @ 12:33 am

  15. blue with a greenish tint

    That kind of happens naturally in some parts of the country.

    I’d note that the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article about leggings and such for next season, so expect to see a lot of them. Save those pants, everything always comes back.

    Not to mention cargo pants and painter’s pants are probably going to phase out as casual wear alternatives to jeans (for hot weather they are lighter weight and a lot more comfortable).

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — February 4, 2006 @ 8:45 am

  16. And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel …. wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes ….. lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel …. the changeable suits of apparel …. I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel ….

    And finally “And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they”

    YMMV 8-)

    Comment by fred — February 4, 2006 @ 10:31 am

  17. YMMV?

    Comment by Kristen J — February 4, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  18. 1. YMMV= Your mileage may vary. See

    2. Vanity, thy name is woman.

    3. “Real Men”(TM) wear what they want and don’t care what others think.

    Comment by Bookslinger — February 4, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  19. Vanity, thy name is woman.

    That’s a classic old line. Reminds of another old chestnut:

    Comments likely to irk lots of women, thy name is Bookslinger

    Ah yes, good time… good times ;-)

    Comment by Geoff J — February 4, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  20. Fred and Bookslinger: “Real Men”(TM) wear what they want and don’t care what others think.

    And no doubt this applies to y’all. Knock yourselves out, brethren!

    Comment by Geoff J — February 4, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

  21. oh, and here I was thinking of all these possibilities…

    Yodeling Marmots May Vomit?

    Yellow Mouthwatering Midsummer Vegetables?

    Young Men Marring Violins?

    Your Message My Vituperation?

    Yoda’s Misgivings Mold Vader?

    Or he’s a 2005 graduate of BYU?

    Comment by Téa — February 4, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  22. Ha! I like Tea’s a lot better!

    Bookslinger and Fred, You wear those pleated and pegged jeans and don’t worry about what any one thinks. In fact, you should pull your jeans really tight around your ankle, fold it, and then roll them up a few times. That will really knock the ladies out.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 4, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

  23. Kristen – fun post! Do you like any particular brand of jeans? I was struck by how many women in Utah are wearing Seven for All Mankind jeans – they’re over $150 a pair. And I haven’t seen any at the outlets (or Filene’s Basement) for cheaper, but thanks to Filene’s Basement, I rarely spent more than $15 for a really good pair of jeans. I love jeans! :)

    Comment by Elisabeth — February 4, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

  24. You know, I like a brand called Jeanstar. I bought a pair at RobinsonsMay on sale for $25 (regularily $40) and I’ve seen some Jeanstar t-shirts at Ross but I haven’t looked through the jeans there. Jeans are great especially when you find a pair you like!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 4, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  25. I thankfully managed to steer clear of the whole pegged leg debacle that many of my Gen X contemporaries fell in to. My personal favorite was the folding and cuffing of the straight legged jeans to make them pegged… *shiver*

    I however did jump headfirst into the my jeans must be large enough to fit two pairs of leg movement. To this day I can’t wear anything more snug than the “baggy” fit.

    In an unrelated matter, the runoff family is please to announce the arrivale of our third addition. :) Sorry for the off topic remark, please continue as normal.

    Comment by chris runoff — February 5, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

  26. Wow! Congratulations Chris. She is gorgeous.

    Comment by Geoff J — February 5, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

  27. Thanks, it’s been an interesting 3 weeks adjusting, but we are so happy she’s here. BTW, her name is Ellora Afton. We call her “Ella” for short.

    Comment by chris runoff — February 5, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  28. She’s beautiful Chris and I love her name too. Nice work!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 5, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

  29. Huh, I wear Sevens, but they only cost me $70. I justify the price because I wear them every day and they don’t wear out. And they fit. That alone is priceless.

    Comment by sue — February 6, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  30. Boot cut jeans make me look like Popeye.

    For one, I have to buy in stretch denim (BEST . . . INVENTION . . . EVER!)

    To even wiggle the things on. Anyway, I guess my calves are larger in proportion to the rest of me than most people, or pattern-makers are idiots (I vote for the latter . . .) because no matter how large the top of the pants, the calves are always tight.

    So, last year, I order a pair of stretch denim bootcut pants.

    Oh, boy, did I laugh my head off . . . if any of you see it, please send it rolling back this way, thanks!

    For 2/3 of my calf, the pant was skin tight, even past where it curved back inwards. Then the Bootcut part flares out (nope it wasn’t bell bottom it was bootcut), and all is Loose again. It severely highlighted the fact that the rest of the calf was too tight (that my leg was cartoonishly big in relation to the fit of the jeans) or something.

    It really looked ridiculous! So I go with straight-leg, which ends up looking as though it’s tapered for the most part anyway. No matter whether I am ordering the correct size for me or not (sometimes I drown in how much denim is at the top and the bottom leg is still too tight).

    C’mon, try these jeans out on real people, fer goodness’ sakes! Before pawning em off on ME. Hee.

    Ahoy, I’m off to eat my spinach, with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (nothing like mixing your movie quotes before dinner, shaken, not stirred).

    Comment by sarebear — February 6, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  31. I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder who they use for jeans models because I don’t know anyone who is built like the patterns they use.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 6, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

  32. my fave YMMV mistranslation is “You Make Me Vomit.”

    Comment by Idahospud — February 7, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  33. It’s more like whatever fits and is on sale at Dollar General,
    K-Mart, or Target.

    Hey, this discussion reminds me, I haven’t been to Sal-Army or
    Goodwill for a while. They have the best deals on sport coats.

    Repent, all ye who wear fined-twined linen! (Unless you got it
    at Goodwill.)

    Comment by Bookslinger — February 7, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

  34. I’ve been gearing up to write a post about womens jeans. I just don’t wear them. I’ve found that I can get a pair of men’s jeans that fit me perfectly. Why? Men’s jeans come in a variety of sizes, so if you’re skinny and tall you can buy pants with a smaller waist and longer legs. If you buy woman’s jeans then you’re stuck with whatever leg length they choose to give you. Also, if you happen to be lost in the netherlands between even numbered dress sizes then you’re just out of luck.

    Comment by Starfoxy — February 7, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

  35. Starfoxy-that’s a good idea. Men’s jeans just may be the ticket.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 8, 2006 @ 11:47 am

  36. My personal pet peeve is super-high waisted pants (always with tapered legs), with shirts tucked into them. They’re just really, really unflattering. See “Mom Jeans” clip from SNL for a spot-on visual of what I’m talking about.

    Comment by Allison — February 10, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

  37. Sweet! I was saying to Kristen that we should look up and link to that “Mom Jeans” skit somewhere. Thanks Allison — that’s a classic.

    Comment by Geoff J — February 10, 2006 @ 4:39 pm