All my life I’ve wanted a pair of Levi jeans. They were the must-have for all teenagers when I was one; the uniform for the 20s, the stylish option for the 30s, the rebellion for the 40s, but I never could get a pair to fit me. I had to make do with Next, which were good, but they weren’t Levi’s. I even contemplated re-stitching the pocket pattern, but people would have known. Levi’s are Levi’s.
To be honest, I gave up on jeans all together, what with all this low-rise nonsense which gave even the skinniest women a muffin top. Back in the old days, when I was a lass, Levi’s came in one style – men’s. I watched with envy as my friends brought home their thick, heavy, non-stretch Levi’s, put them on, ran a bath of cold water and sat in it until the jeans were shrunk. The dye from the denims stained their legs blue for weeks. Oh how I wanted blue legs like theirs.
Then came the Great Jeans Revolution when Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee Cooper, Pepe brought out jeans for girls. Still, though, Levis didn’t fit my shape, they hung off me like two sacks stitched together. Damn.
So Next jeans it has been for years until a trip last week to the Levi’s outlet at Kimball Junction, Utah. It was Noel who wanted to go, he is Levi’s Man. As a student, he wore the same pair of jeans every day, and when they wore through, he patched them, then he patched the patches. It helped that he didn’t wash them, they held together for years afterwards. I think they are in a museum somewhere now, standing up on their own thanks to the years of beer spills, encrusted cheese and saved-up chewing gum.
As he went straight to the 501s he always buys, and which always fit perfectly, I looked wistfully at the feminine cut. But what was this? The Levi’s Curve ID? ‘A revolutionary way to shop for jeans, with four distinct fits that address a range of body shapes’. At last, curved jeans to fit curvy shaped, waistbands that fit, a farewell to muffin tops. I greedily grabbed a couple of shapely pairs, they fitted so well, I had to skip merrily across the shop to tell the helpful, but rather startled assistant who had previously explained to me the mysteries of American sizing, that one of my life’s ambitions had been realised. She patted me gently on the hand understandingly, saying grown women had wept when they’d fitted into their new Levi’s. I was about to become one of them.