Dear Lee Jeans:
I discovered “Relaxed Riders” back in graduate school. Up until that point, shopping for jeans was a nightmare of multiple sizes and styles, me heading into the changing room with armloads of jeans while I tried to find something, anything, that would fit. But one day I pulled on the Relaxed Riders, and they were perfect. Lee knew I had hips. Lee knew I had a butt. Perfect.
From then on, whenever I wanted jeans, I went to the shelf, pulled out my size, paid, and went home. No try-ons. Always perfect.
I changed sizes a few times due to having five babies (up, down, up, way down, back to normal) but nothing changed. Every couple of years the old ones wore out and I’d replace them, but I have been brand-loyal for two decades.
Last year, I had to replace two pairs of jeans, and the new ones wore out within six months. The inseams pulled apart, and so help me, the denim got pilled. One of the belt loops pulled out of the waist (and I never wear a belt.)
What was going on? Had you changed my favorite jeans? Made the fabric thinner? Decided to sew the seams with lousy thread? No! Say it isn’t so!
Ah, but it is so, because I still have some of your jeans from back before I got married (never in high rotation because of their colors) as well as a pair from three pregnancies ago (will I ever fit in them again?) and guess what? Those seams are double-stitched.
The current jeans? Single-stitched.
So not only have you made the fabric thinner, but you’ve also eliminated the reinforcing on the part of the pants which gets the most wear.
Did you lower the price now that you’re saving money by using crap materials? Hahahaha, no, of course not. You just expect me to buy new jeans every few months. You have invented disposable pants.
I tried one more pair, three months ago. It had cute studs on the back pockets, and I thought maybe it woudl be stronger. Nope. The studs started falling off the next week (they’re all gone now) and the fabric is pilled (since when does denim pill?) and the inner seams are pulling apart.
Last week, I was putting away my husband’s jeans when I saw how sturdy they were, and I missed the good old days, the days when I could rely on you.
I checked the brand name. LL Bean.
I went to their website. The same price as your jeans, but with a lifetime guarantee. Two pairs were at my door in three days. They’re double-stitched and the denim is thick. They fit great.
Goodbye, Lee Jeans. I hate to go, but I’m not buying your disposable pants.