I bought two pair of bargain, but previously expensive jeans, a few years ago. They cost a mere $20 each on final clearance. For fashionable boot-cut stretch denim, that was a great deal. When they arrived, they were tight. I guess that was why they were so cheap. Those size 18s felt like a snug 14. And they weren’t petite, either. The legs fell five inches below my ankles. If they were a little longer, I could have cut a hole in them and worn the cuffs as shoes.

Since it was a final clearance, I couldn’t return them. I put them in the corner of the bedroom where I keep things that need to go out for dry cleaning or repair. There they waited. In this case, a lot longer than expected because it included two years of COVID lockdowns

During the lockdown, the cleaners we’d been using closed and didn’t reopen. We found another, but the price for hemming was up to $20 per pair. I’d have done them myself, but I have zero skill at sewing. My attempts at sewing have been the kind of disaster where people look at you and ask: “Oh. Did you, um, make that yourself?”

I lost more than 20 pounds during the lockdowns. I wasn’t sick. I just wasn’t interested in food. I call it “food ennui.” It’s when you are bored to death with food, especially your own cooking. I started losing weight. Slowly. About a pound a week.

This morning, I remembered those jeans. They were still new, labels attached. In a burst of honesty, I realized I’d never get them hemmed. What’s the point in getting a bargain if by the time you are through adjusting them to fit, you’ve doubled the original price? For $40 each, I could buy new Levi’s already the right length.

So I took out my sewing kit. I bought it hoping I might at least be able to replace missing buttons. I opened the box, took out my new, never-used shears and cut the extra fabric off the jeans. Voila. Finally, they were the right length.

Will they fray? How many people buy jeans intentionally frayed? The big difference is their jeans are cut in a straight line. No one could accuse these pants legs of being cut straight. Nonetheless, after they start to fray, who will notice or care?

Now they fit. They are the right length, albeit a bit raggedy along the cuffs. But at least I didn’t have to double the original purchase price. What’s the point of a bargain if you wind up paying double just to get them to fit?

Categories: #Photography, Anecdote, Fashion, Humor, online shopping, Shopping

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9 replies

  1. I’m not much of a sewer either but as I’m short I usually have the same problem with jeans and pants. At least now they make “petite” length legs and I also found that 7/8 length pants are just right for me and I don’t have to hem. Hooray.
    Actually, I do wonder if all jeans manufacturers think they are sewing for the Harlem Globetrotters as the legs seem to be too long for anyone of average height. David was 5’10” and I always had to cut his jeans a lot shorter. I couldn’t afford to send them out. We had to buy him “big man” jeans so they were not cheap. So, I learned to take them up. Luckily, he was never a fussy man about clothes so if my hems were a little wonky, he didn’t care. The hardest part was actually to get him to try things on so I could pin them right. I got to learn his inside leg measurement by heart.


    • I tried taking them up before and it was disastrous.

      Today as easy peasy. The scissors were sharp, the jeans weren’t hard to cut. I used a pair of jeans I knew were the right length as my guide. I just knew I was NEVER going to get them shortened. I wasn’t going to pay $40 to shorten two pairs of jeans. And frayed is quite the fashion. Not that I’m fashionable, but when the pants fit, I’ll be fashionable 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a problem getting jeans/pants to fit right. The length is usually too long, but now and then the same thing will be too short 🤔. I’ve become a big fan of the ‘roll em up and tack them” because I cannot sew either, save the odd button or tear; but I can tack something. That way they fit better and if the bottom starts getting wonky, there’s always the shears. I’m glad you’re getting use out of those bargains! Sound lovely! 🙂


    • I like bootcut jeans and because they are wider at the bottom, there’s no way I can tack them up without making a mess of it. Scissors. Nice sharp shears. Fashionably frayed jeans. I’m not in the least fashionable, but when the pants fit, hey, I’ll be fashionable. A good pair of scissors can’t be beat.


  3. Well done Marilyn. I’d done the same.


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