Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Of Genes and Jeans

The metrosexual, in touch with my feminine side and proud to take care of my appearance side of me spends a fair amount of time looking for the perfect pair of jeans. The other day I read boffins have calculated that the average metrosexual spends exactly sixty one years of his life looking for the perfect pair of denims. I find this distinctly believable.

And, being a Sri Lankan shortarse, my ongoing search for jeans and trousers, or should I say a trouser, is even harder than it would be for the average height Brit metrosexual geezer. Were I about six foot tall I could try on every pair of jeans in every shop, choose my style and buy it. I'd face none of that crap involved in searching for brands that are made with a short leg, none of the annoyance involved in rushing my way through every single pair to find the ones marked "short", sometimes just an "s".

When I was about fifteen and sixteen, way back in the last millenium in the days that were even before "those days", skin tight jeans were all the rage. And, like most Lankan kids, my Grandmother had a sewing machine. I learnt how to take in my own trousers, always taking them off first of course. It's surprisingly easy you know.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I'm trying to paint a picture to you, the reader. I'm trying to explain to you that, even from a relatively young age, I was vain enough to sit there and learn how to alter my own trousers so that they looked just right. There was none of that buy them and roll them up so that they're the right length thing for me.

A pair of jeans is the holy grail of clothing isn't it?

I can walk into a clothes shop and have a casual browse at the shirts, a cursory glance at the jumpers and a passing glimpse in the direction of the jackets. I may even steal a longing look at the smart trousers, pretending that I might need to wear some at some point in time. But the jeans always get my attention.

It doesn't matter that I've got more jeans than I need. It doesn't matter that most people don't notice what jeans others wear anyway, that they blend in to the background of a person's clothing like they're some sort of clothing chameleon.

The current state of the RD wardrobe is that I've got about three "perfect" pairs of jeans, one nearly perfect pair and then an also ran section. The also rans consist of about four pairs that are so close yet so far. Perhaps they look good but have a hole in a pocket, a nightmare for men as we lose all our coins. Or they're fantastic in every aspect except the fact that they're too tight. It happens to mens' jeans too you know.

The nearly perfect pair is a conundrum of a denim. It's a Gap pair, bought a few years ago and made from that vintage Japanese denim. What the hell vintage Japanese denim is I don't know, other than it's Japanese and vintage. It feels soft and has stylish looking stitching and detail on it, not too much mind. They look good, even if I say it myself, as I tend to in these parts, but the arse is a bit saggy, that's the "nearly" bit.

We have to be careful, us height challenged fellows. A flared jean on us makes us look as if someone's strapped one of the sails from a boat to each of our legs. Or worse, we end up looking like matey boy, Kelly from the Stereophonics. There's something about him that gives off a short bloke trying to act tall thing and it's not right.

We have less of a canvas and can't paint a complex and highly involved picture. It's one thing for a six foot plus person to wear a million piercings and have a billion tattoos, but on a much smaller form it's too busy and too crammed and the balance of skin and decoration goes haywire.

Then there's fashion to consider. How bad is that? Not only do we have to go through life searching that elusive but perfect jean but fashion means last year's perfect pair is this year's dunce's pair. Things would be so much easier if fashion just stayed the same, year in year out, but then we'd all look the same and that would be no fun would it?

What about you? How many pairs of jeans do you think a person needs?


Sach said...

How many do you need? Perhaps four or five.

How many do you want? Now that's a wholly different question. You never know how many you want, do you?

sue said...

Oh RD try having a derriere of a woman when trying on jeans. When the bum fits the waist is too small, when the waist fits, the bum area sags. I've never found a perfect pair yet. My nearly perfect one was a Levi's button up and oh woe is me I can no longer get it beyond my thigh after becoming mom last aug :o(

maf said...

my dear RD - the issue of jeans and the urban man-about-town is a very very complex and I thank you for shedding some light on it. there are however a couple of issues I think you have overlooked: namely size, fit, bagginess, denim softness and colour..

i have a fairly elastic waste thru the year and vary from 33-36 depending on the season - so need jeans for the different waste sizes..

my perfect pair is a pair of paul smith that is just baggy enough and the denim so soft that it feels cool even in lankan heat. it is also that wonderful blue that you can wear when you need to be formal-casual when going out. unfortunately it now has a small hole around the knee and has been downgraded to casual pair

the daily grind is in a pair of replays that I kid you not are now over 8 years old (the trick was buying 2 pairs at the same time and recently retiring one of them). these are that washed out to blue/gray and frayed just so right. very comffie but only works when waist is <34"

also have an dark indigo pair that now serves as the formal pair..

then there are the jean shorts - for the weekend..

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Sach - I reckon the average bloke needs far less than four or five. You're right though, want is a very different matter altogether.

Sue - These are problems that I am lucky not to have to deal with I admit.

Maf - The pleasure is all mine. Jean shorts?? My goodness, what are you thinking of?

You made me think that I have a pair of perfect denims for Lanka and Singapore that I wear far less often here in the UK, a lightweight denim that is ideal for the heat and humidity.

Gyppo said...

I've only just recently become thin enough to pull off skinny jeans and I am a die-hard convert. Doubt I could ever have too many. But right now it's only two :(

I never really notice how men look in jeans - I just don't do the checking out bums thing. On men anyway ;) Only one of my ex's really looked great in jeans.

That being said, interesting post, as always.

Angel said...

Very insightful... as the rpoud owner of one perfect pair of jeans, I admire your ccomparatively vast collection! And perhaps you can check out Jeans for Genes (http://www.jeansforgenes.com)I am sure you will be an ardent supporter! Cheers!

Migara said...

Well i think that there are many other pivotal issues in society a youth should concentrate on rather than spending hours thinking on jeans and denims. I am not condemning the metrosexual of present day but what i try to say is that people especially the youth should always be vigilant on social issues while having being cautious on their fashion. Fashion cannot be separated from modern day man but it should not be the paramount factor of a man's life. A man according to Aristotle is a 'Political Animal' wonder what he would say if he sees the metrosexual nowdays spending hours in front of a mirror and applying cream on their body organs.

chamira said...

'vintage denim' is made from the old machinery that Japanese companies brought when Levi's upgraded their factories. So technically they are vintage in the sense they are made on ancient machines. Evisu started the fad.

Jeans are only perfect for those few months just before they fall apart.

And James Dean wore Lee.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Gyppo - Ta, as always.

Angel - I will do, thank you.

Migara - In all serious I see no reason why a person can't think about many pivotal issues in society today as well as worrying about which jeans to wear. I reckon most human brains are up to the job! As for the "spending hours in front of the mirror and applying cream on their body organs" bit, well, have you been spying on me?

Chamira - Thank you, I never knew that and it's useful info.

David Blacker said...

James Dean also looked gay.

I've been a hard core Levis fan from the day I scraped up enough money to buy a 501.

I've got seven pairs of jeans, all Levis, but I only wear four regularly. I think the perfect jeans is a Levis 507 -- I've got three of 'em, but I can't find 'em anywhere in SL or Germany, and mine are getting a bit tatty now.

Anonymous said...

RD more than 3 pairs? Dude we need to talk!
DB - Send size, I am off soon to Obamaland again. Inseam very important.

PseudoRandom said...

I have 4 pairs: one wide-leg, one skinny, one flared and one 3/4...I'd love to have more but it's difficult on a student budget. The sad thing is, all of them are 'nearly-perfect' :-| and I spent months looking for each. That's what happens when you have a 'unique' size :S.

I'd say you need at least 2 of each style - one for special occasions, and the other(s) to wear regularly.

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...

the perfect JEAN is HOLY GRAIL!!

But Levis has been good enough to come up with a few that i can say i've found the HOLY GRAIL.

3-4 is a must.... :D

Blaker: Old skool jeans ah? - 507

ViceUnVersa said...

Hi guys the anon comment was me, DB mail size.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Lost - It is the holy G for sure, made harder by this continually moving goalpost they call fashion!

DB - Don't tell him your size. I think he's trying to get your vitals statistics as a way of getting closer to you. He's trying to make a clone of you, to keep at home and do things to. Seriously don't tell him....

chamira said...

@ David Blacker, James Dean was gay. What's your point?

Films like Rebel were the first to made jeans popular, before that they were mainly for workmen.

And I'm willing to put up a bet of $500 that James Dean looked way cooler than you. Pictures please and let RD be the judge.

You dufus.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Chamira - I think David makes a point that is actually quite interesting. Not about whether Mr Dean was gay or not, but about the fact that the look he had, the turned up jeans, the white T shirt and the leather jacket became a stereotypical gay man's look.

I wasn't around then, I'd have to ask Java, but I think I'm correct in saying that look, in James Dean's time, was entirely heterosexual and very macho.

As for the bet, I'm reluctant to be the judge but I know for a fact that James Dean used to have a David Blacker poster up on his wall.

chamira said...

RD, but James Dean was really gay. As a London metrosexual you must be reading the Guardian, here's an article by the fantastic Ms Greer on Mr Dean: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2005/may/14/film

I think you're confusing Marlon Brando with James Dean. Dean didn't really pioneer the leather jacket & white t-shirt. He is more often seen in overcoats, shirtsleeves and denim jackets. More moody student than proto gay biker.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Chamira - Apologies, You're right I was picturing Marlon Brando rather than Mr Dean.

I didn't know that he was gay, but it doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I really am indifferent about it. I will read Ms Greer's article, though I somewhat resent your insunuation that, as a London metrosexual, I must read the Guardian!

thanks for the comments

Gadgetgirl said...

Like Pseudo said I too have 4 pairs: one wide-leg, two skinnies, one flared

Apparently its very VERY tough jeans hunting for me cause my kinda waist is rarely available. :S So I prefer having a variety as long as its available. DAMMIT.