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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jeans For Men

I think I have mentioned that I started this boot camp training two days a week about two months ago. I really like the format, or maybe because it kicks my butt, I enjoy the challenge. The group is made up of men and women of various sizes and shapes and I never know which of our regular 5 is going to show up, as people ebb and flow into the group.

Today’s group consisted of three women and one man. One group member, Todd, comes to really work out and seems quite focused. I, too, like to think I am focused, but then again for most that know me, I am easily distracted by the topic of fashion. Today, Todd came in and mentioned that he went jeans shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall on Saturday, spent an hour and half looking for jeans, and still came up with nothing.

I giggled under my breath and said you should have texted me and I would have sent you to look for a certain brand and told you the stores that carry it. He agreed he should have, but then again, I wouldn't have expected him to do that. His wife might have said "what are you doing with Suzanne's number in your cell phone.” LOL

Let me digress for a moment. I saw my son Scott for brunch this past Sunday and he was wearing a pair of jeans that didn't look like something I had picked out during one of our infrequent shopping trips. Could my adult son actually pick out rocking jeans on his own? Or was this a trip to the mall with another woman possibly? Anyways, as my mind began to swirl, I regained my composure and asked where he got the jeans. He stated me got them at Lucky. As in a Lucky Brand jeans store? Hooray for Scott for maybe purchasing without his mother, and yes, cool jeans!

Back to Todd. Todd went on to talk about his challenge of finding jeans that were not over the top expensive and appropriate for a 40 year old (like 40 is old). You can imagine where the conversation went from there. Here Todd was with 4 women, including the trainer, listening to us discuss the merits of men’s jeans. Stylist or not, everyone had an opinion, including Todd, who was obviously exhausted by the whole jean shopping experience.

He did try Express for Men, which I would expect to be cut for a younger guy. Macy's had their jeans arranged according to brand, which for a guy may be a challenge within itself. Most people do not want to have to go to more than one area in a store to find what they are looking for - imagine that! Todd also wanted jeans that would earn the respect of others and not feel or look generic in style, but without the high price tag. Todd was directed by this esteemed group of women to Belk Men’s store at Crabtree and then directly to Southpoint Mall that has a Lucky store. Let me just say, this whole conversation was all during our warm up. If you think any of us, including Todd, can train, talk and breathe at the same time, you are sadly mistaken. It’s bootcamp, people, and not for the faint of heart!

So, this is dedicated to all men over 35 years old that still want to show a little swagger and need some tips on what to look for when buying jeans:

1.  Consider when you will be wearing them. Will it be for work or just for casual wear?
2.  Will you wear these jeans with sneakers, boots, or dress shoes?
3.  What color is the best for your wardrobe needs? Lighter denim is considered more casual and darker is dressier in look. Keep in mind that funky washes or distressing of a jean is never timeless in style.
4. Straight leg, skinny jeans or boot cut? Skinny jeans for men is a tough look to wear successfully unless you’re in a rock and roll band, so the choices are really straight leg or boot cut.
5.  Make sure the jeans are fitted in the waist and not baggy, as jeans do stretch. If you plan to wear a belt, be sure and try it on with a belt to avoid unnecessary scrunching of excess fabric. Or plan to have your jeans tailored.
6. Try sitting down, wearing the jeans, to test comfort. Make sure you have room in the front of your jeans in the crotch area.
7. Bring along a spouse, girlfriend or anyone who will be honest with the look and the style you have chosen. If you wonder if you look ridiculous, you probably do.

A final tip. Don't expect the first pair of jeans you try on to fit. It doesn't work like that. Women may try on upwards of a dozen pairs before satisfied, so hunker down and plan to try at least three to five pairs. No two jeans are alike, even in the same brand and size!

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