Prescient though they were one wonders if our forefathers could really have seen the future would they have written, “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and a pair of jeans that really fit.”

Absolutely jeans are a way of life these days for all sexes and age groups.  According to WWD (April 20, 2011) women alone bought 6.56 billion dollars worth last year.  There are casual jeans, dressed down jeans and “formal” aka designer jeans covering almost every need and occasion. And woe to the designer or brand that doesn’t offer a jean solution in their classifications. Chanel jeans??

I tried to convince my son that for casual work days he should really upgrade into a more designer “formal “jean.  My treat and no price limit.  Four brands and 40 minutes in the dressing room later, he begged me to just let him go back to The Gap, his tried and true resource since high school. He had absolutely no patience for the endless quest of finding a brand that fits and offers comfort.

That got me thinking. What does it take to convince someone to give up their staple label and try something new?  How much time, try-ons and shopping does that translate into?

One of my on-line students, now an L.A. transfer reported that while jeans are the day-to-day work uniform in L.A. she feels pressured to wear “status” labels in the office but getting a good fit and being able to afford several pairs is a huge challenge.  Does this casual approach to work wear translate into needing about 7 –or more pairs of $ 130 and up jeans?  That’s quite an investment for what was once a cheap laborer’s garment!  I also wonder – is ok to show up every day in the same brand and cut?  I suspect not.

For brands that are fit challenged we’ve developed “Ultimate Guide to Jeans from Designer to Product Development” starting June 8th (SXF 216), featuring Deborah Beard who heads up Technical Design at FIT.  Deborah tells me it is all in the pattern and marker.  Too bad that at retail, jeans are all too frequently a self service business.