In fairness, all I was looking for was a cheap pair of jeans to wear to work. One of my pairs of Carhartt jeans, which are supposed to be a bit tougher, wear a bit harder, made for the working man, has finally split its seam. Incidentally, it's to be cut up and used for patches for the other pairs of Carhartts that are still hanging on.
I struck out at the recently opened Salvation Army store on the corner of 9th and East Carson. No jeans in my size. I will say this for the Salvation Army: their store is always far better organized than Goodwill. It's a better shopping experience, actually. Better staffed, better organized, and no irritating BOB FM on the radio. So I picked up my headphones from my car, put on my Guided By Voices mix (a necessity after all this winter and a trying week at work) and made the mile-long trek to Goodwill. It's a fun walk, past all the storefronts, restaurants, and even some of the more interesting vacant buildings that line East Carson.
An important point of context: I had not begun drinking yet.
I made it down to the South Side Works (to give an idea how long a walk this is, the Goodwill is on 27th and East Carson, eighteen blocks away), and began my search. They had rearranged the store since I had been in last, and I had to find the pants. In the end I only found three pairs of jeans in my size - or close to it. There were two ordinary-looking pairs, and one that was obviously from the acid-wash jeans trend of the late 80s and early 90s. I mean, these things were so close to being snow white it was hilarious. I had to at least try them on, but I didn't get a picture of the event, (un)fortunately.
I grabbed them and stole away to the fitting room to check for fit. I jammed myself into the acid-wash beast. It wasn't so comfortable, actually - it was pretty tight around the knees. Not quite skinny jean territory, but not something I want to worry about at work. So I extricated myself from them as best I could; and, with a sigh of either relief or disappointment (still not sure which one) hung the grunge-era relic back on its hanger.
Next up was the first of the ordinary pair. I think they were Faded Glory - you know, the Wal-Mart store brand. They weren't too bad, except the waistband was awful pinchy. I don't like pinchy waistbands. As a matter of fact, I have a pair of Carhartts to replace with that exact problem. So again, out and back to the hanger on the wall hook they went, not to be purchased.
I came to the last pair. The brand was unfamiliar to me - the Mossimo Supply Co. New one on me. As I gave them their moment in the sun, I realized that these were certainly the most comfortable jeans I could have found in the whole store, possibly the best I've worn in my life. Nothing felt squeezed, nothing seemed too loose; it honesty felt like I wasn't even wearing pants at all, they were so comfortable. (Better that than vice versa, I suppose.) Done and done! I decided at that moment that they would be mine. I bought them and headed back to drop them off at the car.
Then I went to the bar.
Fast-forward to the next day. I decide to try them on, and I'm showing them to my mom and talking about how nice the fit is. She asks about the brand and I show her the label. In goes 'Mossimo Supply Co.' to the gaping maw of Google, whose all-seeing eye finds us what we were looking for. I think.
Incidentally, any comparisons between Google and Mordor are easily explained by the fact that the folks and I just finished watching 'Return Of The King'. Besides, only one at a time can wield the Ring - since it took both Larry and Sergey to create the greatest search engine ever, I think we're safe from Google.
As Mom and I scan some online store that carries Mossimo clothing, we notice something problematic. All we're seeing in jeans is in the ladies' category. Men who shop for Mossimo and want something other than dress slacks to cover them from the waist down (they don't even sell kilts!) will be going home in their skivvies. And in this weather, that's bad news.
I'm still not completely convinced that they're ladies' jeans, though. I don't want to return them or let them go, as I really like them. So here's the evidence suggesting that they are in fact men's:
- Their size is given in the same format as all the other jeans I've ever owned - in waist/length format. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that some company out there sizes ladies' pants the same way, but I've never heard of it. Mom hasn't either.
- The belt loops are big enough for my studded belt. You know, one like every hipster has left over from his poorly-executed punk phase. I'd've expected ladies' jeans to have smaller belt loops.
- Nowhere on them does it specify whether they're men's or ladies'. This isn't conclusive, but it isn't conclusive for the counter-argument, either.
Speaking of which, here's the evidence for them to, in fact, be of the ladies' department:
- Mossimo does not appear to make men's jeans. Despite some serious searching, I found no evidence that they do so.
- Like I said, Goodwill is comparatively less organized than the Salvation Army. It's entirely plausible that these jeans got moved from the ladies' department to the men's by accident, and nobody noticed. Or just as likely, nobody knew that they were ladies' wear in the first place.
Irregardless, I've been wearing them all day, and I think they're my new favorite pair of jeans.