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Monday, June 21, 2004

Button fly jeans

I don't buy my clothes.

It's a dirty secret, but I have a horde of personal shoppers who purchase things for me. Alright, you might find a horde difficult to believe, so would you believe six in three cities? Listen: when one of them stampedes into my local office, clothes in hand and assistant in tow, it sounds like a horde.

All this because I hate shopping, and Internet shopping doesn't really work for clothes. Not yet. Unless it's underwear and socks. I like underwear and socks, because if I find a kind I like, I can buy a years' worth.

Personal shoppers aren't dummies. They understand how it works, at least with me. Two of my personal shoppers are men. They bring young, attractive female assistants who compliment me a lot. They've correlated the compliments with my likelihood to purchase. The other personal shoppers are women. They bring assistants that are older women who are more gifted as alterations, but they, too, know how to lay it on thick. Men who claim that women are vain and easily swayed by fashion marketing are completely off the mark. Men are worse: we are vain and totally clueless. At least a woman has an idea of what's really going on with her flaws. Men will just believe a woman. Or at least I will.

Anyhow, recently I was sold on button fly jeans. I've heard of button fly jeans from Levis. But these aren't Levis, they're French. Or at least they're from a company that has a person in marketing who thinks that Gallic brand names command a premimum markup.

So I wore these jeans for the first time today.

Button fly jeans, without a doubt, are the worst fashion invention I have seen.

Maybe high heels are worse for women, I don't know. It's been so long since I've worn high heels.

Just kidding.

But who the hell decided that it was better to put buttons on your fly than a zipper? What used to take a second at the urinal now takes an excrutiating amount of fumbling and cursing, during which time any neighboring men will slowly edge away from you thinking you're pulling a Pee Wee Herman.

I consider myself to have reasonable dexterity. Perhaps I'm not used to dealilng with buttons that are so low. Or maybe it's that the pants are fastened above and below, and I'm trying to button an area in between, making it treacherously narrow and difficult to maneuver in there. Or, and I'd like to believe this one, perhaps my package is so huge that it naturally creates little room to manipulate the buttons.

I can think of no good reason for buttons and plenty of bad ones: You are more likely to set off a metal detector. A woman can't undress you with her teeth. You are more likely to get caught on a rear bumper and dragged to your death.

When I complained to my buyer, she shrugs, and in an excellent channeling of Gallic c'est la vie, says, "Yep, that's the way they make 'em." I suppose they look good for the large fraction of the day that my hands don't get stuck in my pants as I'm fastening them.

The other response is, "But they look good on you." So I ask for the same cut of jeans, but with a zipper. Makes sense, right? If they are going to make inventory of jeans of a certain cut, why make an entirely different pattern just because the crotch fastener changes?

Ah, but of course I forget about fashion logic, which is to say, complete irrationality. Yep, they don't make it with a zipper, they make a different cut with the zipper. And if I dare to make a comparison with the rationality of Levis, well, that doesn't go over well at all. Levis, after all, are common jeans, worse, in fact, because Levis are an American icon diluting the sanctity and purity of the French culture (yes, the selfsame culture that produced mimes).

Perhaps the abject terror I can strike in an American's mind while I'm groping out for help in the men's room, eyes beseeching, one hand wriggling in the crotch of my French jeans, is their sweet revenge for McDonalds and high-quality California wines.

2 Comments:

Blogger SBB said...

I was 18 when confronted with my first pair of button jeans.

Fairly perplexed, I unbuttoned them one by one, at which he laughed and said "thanks for being so considerate, but you can just do this" - he pulled apart the top and the rest of the buttons popped open automatically.

6/06/2005 3:52 AM  
Anonymous Girl said...

I know this is an age old post on an already discontinued blog, but I simply must say this: you don't button the waist button first and then go for the ones in between! You start from the bottom and do the top one last.

And there is a logic to why jeans with a different fly have different patterns. The fly makes a difference visually, so the whole style is of course adjusted accordingly.

It's a good thing you are smart enough to know when you're not an expert on something, and let others do it for you. :)

6/01/2009 5:19 PM  

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