It’s all over the Internet. Nordstrom is selling dirty jeans for $425. $425 for dirty jeans?! Are you sh*tting me? I heard of fake news, fake IDs, and even fake food. But now we have fake clothing?
A company called PRPS manufactures the jeans. They’re 100% cotton with a “caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty,” according to the item’s description at shopnordstrom.com.
Down and dirty?
Are we back in the 70s? Gonna do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight with KC & the Sunshine Band?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to Mr. Groovy that if Martians invade our planet they’ll take one look at our society, go back in their spaceships, and fly the heck out of here.
Is this dirty jeans thing absurd? I think so. Mr. Groovy thinks so. And apparently Mike Rowe thinks so. In fact, the host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel seems quite offended. He wrote a post on his website called Jeans made to look like you Work Hard so you don’t have to. He called the jeans “[s]omething to foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. Or perhaps, for those who actually buy them, the illusion of sanity.” He says further, “They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic—not iconic.”
I’ve seen some really funny comments on social media about the dirty jeans:
These are perhaps the best jeans I’ve ever owned. Perfectly match my stick on calluses.
Now that I’m unemployed I can still look employed with minimal effort.
They fit like freedom, smell like America and wear like steel.
These jeans are built Ford-tough for the hipster who is built Prius-weak.
Gotta love being able to look like I have fed the pigs, helped deliver a calf, and get the tractor unstuck without ever having to leave my BMW.
OK, let’s suppose you were crazy enough to spend $425 on any pair of jeans, let alone these jeans—where would you wear them? If you frequent any home, office, or even a coffee shop that provides seating with upholstery, someone’s going to run after you and beg you not to sit down. Or let’s say you join the line at the post office or supermarket. Well, the people surrounding you will start to grimace. Because looking at that fake dirt on your clothing they will expect you to stink!
How do you wash these jeans? How would you even KNOW when they’re dirty? Why even bother washing them when the fake dirt is supposed to stay on even when laundered? And what exactly does the manufacturer use to “dirtify” them? I shudder to think of the chemicals.
Years ago, I bought a pair of wrinkle free cotton chinos. I believe they were the Dockers brand but made for women. It was wintertime in New York City and I took a walk to my brother’s apartment, which was exactly 50 blocks from mine. I went up First Avenue which is nice and hilly and on that particular day I wore my new wrinkle free pants. When I used his bathroom after arriving, I noticed my legs were all blotchy red from my knees up to my thighs. I didn’t think much of it because it was very cold outside and I wasn’t wearing many layers. I assumed my skin was just chafed.
The next time I wore the pants was in the spring and my legs got all blotchy again after a few hours. I phoned Dockers when I returned home and said “I don’t want to sound like a lunatic but have you heard of anyone having a reaction to these pants?” And the customer service rep told me she had. It wasn’t common but it wasn’t news to them. They treated the pants with chemicals to keep them wrinkle free and I probably was allergic. They allowed me to return the pants for a full refund.
Since the dirty jeans got me thinking about chemicals I decided to Google wrinkle free clothing. And I found this article from the New York Times about formaldehyde use in wrinkle free clothing (and other household items like sheets and pillow cases). Although many manufacturers do not use formaldehyde now (including Dockers), there are no industry regulations on the chemicals used in clothing. There are only voluntary industry guidelines. And no one is saying what the faux mud on the dirty jeans consists of. All I know is if I’m paying $425 for a pair of jeans they better be soft and they certainly better not give me a rash.
I know I’m preaching to the choir and that none of our readers would ever buy a $425 pair of jeans, dirty or otherwise. But just in case you decide to go mashugana, Mr. Groovy and I are offering to turn you into a fashionista. Send us your jeans. Any jeans you like. Plus a check for $200. And we’ll cut them up into a pair of stylishly ripped jeans. We’ll even top Nordstom—Nordstrom is offering free shipping on their dirty jeans—we’ll give you free shipping and throw in a pair of scissors and a diagram, so that you can make your own jeans the next time you’re in the market.
OK, you may be wavering on this. I get it. And I’ll admit that stylishly ripped jeans don’t have quite the same prestige as dirty jeans. But our jeans have one HUGE advantage—Mr. Groovy is the prototype!
Mr. Groovy’s Stylishly Ripped Jeans
Yes, this is Mr. Groovy’s fashion statement. And he made it the old fashioned way. He EARNED IT. (Don’t worry, he hasn’t abandoned retirement. But I’ve been keeping him busy with a lot of home improvement projects.)