Monday, June 3, 2013
Denim gone wild
I didn't always wear jeans. I had many pairs in high school, like most people. I'm sure they came from Sears or JC Penney. Back then denim hadn't become a thing. When I got back into the denim market, it had become a thing. After years of buying not much other than work clothes, I once again had a need for some weekend wear. I'm not sure when jeans wandered into premium territory and the prices along with them. While there are bargains to be had, like these fabulous $29 Forever 21 boyfriend jeans (no longer available), designer denim is the norm.
The name brand jeans - Citizens of Humanity, Current Elliott, Hudson - to name just a few, generally start in the $200 range.
I had just become used to the high price of jeans, and adept at finding them on sale, when suddenly I came across the mother of all prices. How can a pair of denim pants, originally created as workwear for laborers, become a garment people are willing to pay over $500 for?!
Behold the Chimala jean line. I first stumbled across them on the Madewell site, a retailer known for reasonably priced casual clothes. These denim ankle pants are $506.
Prefer a more traditional cut? You could get that look with these Chimala jeans, for a mere $356.
So what is it about Chimala that makes them worth half a thousand dollars? A NYC based brand, Chimala uses selvedge denim that is woven on pre-war vintage shuttle looms. This means that the jeans are created in pieces with finished edges, rather than cut out of a larger piece of cloth. The denim itself is apparently soft and immediately comfortable.
Luckily for those of us unable to spend the mortgage payment on jeans, there are other options in the selvedge line besides Chimala. These by good old Levi and Strauss are $78 (currently on sale for $46.99).