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    What To Do When Classic Becomes Scarce

    Dear Sharon: When I saw the retail invasion of hip hugging, bellbottom, dangling, faded blue jeans I thought the cool kids today are going to be hippies again. Since I am mid-forty, I could relate to this trend.

    However, who would have thought that when it came time to replenish my classic straight-leg jeans stock, I would be faced with the dilemma of only seeing this hippie style or women’s casual/dress jeans that have elastic waists or pleated fronts in the stores?

    I no longer can wear the styles I wore when I was a teenager and suddenly cannot find basic five-pocket “normal jeans”. Even my favorite jean is now cut differently. I was so upset about its revised fit that I inquired with the jeans’ manufacturer to be informed that the times dictated the change.

    Well, what about all the customers who have bought their product for years and suddenly cannot get it any longer? Why not add new designs to the existing line, rather than assume everyone wants to wear some recycled fad while phasing out the styles that don’t sell?

    Now, I believe change is good– don’t get me wrong. But who does the market think is paying for the jeans the kids are wearing? And, why are we—the over 40-set– forgotten? Bad marketing strategy!  I just may have to shop the second-hand stores for the “old style” I want.  Something ain’t right. There must be jeans out there!

    Thanks for letting me vent. — Blue Jean Blues (Syracuse, New York) 

    Dear Blue Jean Blues: Losing your favorite something, anything can be like losing a best friend. What you have grown soooo comfortable with is suddenly a distant memory and woefully, the search for its replacement seems to take over your shopping life. But wait. Hold on. Get a grip. Yee gads, a girl has to move on, too!

    Sweet sister of stale style, fashion is cyclical. What goes around comes around in about fifteen-year increments. By the time something collected enough dust in your closet to be too coated for the thrift shops, poof it’s back in style again!

    The question is: Should you wear it again?

    This is where you are right on your style mark. Odds are if you feel a style isn’t apropos for you on its fashion comeback, you are probably being honest with yourself. There’s nothing worse than being a little too long in the tooth to sport a current fad– as in this case, a born again hippie.

    If trendy is on your menu and you are afraid the whole enchilada is too much spice for your well-oiled system, just go with the nuance of a trend to look modern. A bootleg or a slightly lower waistband would kick in enough modernity without appearing costume-like.

    When we reach a certain age, most of us look better in simple styles. But it is key to add just the right amount of current vitality to a wardrobe. Strict classic without any edge can start to look frumpy, let alone boring. Personal style is all about finding the appropriate mix that is the most becoming on you.

    But, where in this orbit have you been shopping that you cannot find classic, straight leg jeans? Honeycakes, that is why they are called classic.

    Whatever store carries elastic waisted (oooooh, excuse me while I just regurgitate last night’s dragon roll at the thought of strangling one’s midsection in a ream of elasticized denim—–major fashion yucko) jeans truly exists on another planet. This is a planet where women have amazingly no sense of style, whatsoever. Hint, hint to anyone who owns a pair of these fashion suicides please quickly grasp the bungee waistband and fling them into outer space, just cross your fingers they don’t boomerang back!

    Pleated jeans are just a smidgen better on the only thing worse than bad taste is no taste scale of style. Thank the diva of denim that you know NOT to wear these horrific blunders. This is my turn to vent, sweet readers!

    As far as a manufacturer keeping an old style on its line, why would they if that style is a retail clunker? What you wore probably had some detailing that was akin to the period that it was designed in (even though you think it was classic) and it was modified, as they said, to keep up with the times.

    If you are dead set on having it your way or yearn for the absolute flawless fit, try searching custom jeans on the Internet. There’s an array of re-do-it-yourself sites from Levi’s Original Spin to places with darling names that will help you design or copy your favorite dungaree.

    There is nothing wrong with shopping second-hand, consignment, thrift shops, or flea markets. I think it’s pretty cool to add some vintage pieces to create a very personal and unique style statement.

    Jeans, like bathing suits, are a tough fit. When you find your perfect style casual chic never looked better. Yippy-i-a, yippy-i-o!!!

    Copyright (c)2000 Sharon Haver

    Published on January 01, 1998

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