Nordstrom check-in – not so damn bad, she says with a disappointed sigh

2019’s Spring trend of “chewed-hem” jeans wasn’t the runaway success they might have predicted. Or so I assume, since they are conspicuously absent from the 2020 Spring website.

Remarkably few crazy fugly high-priced jeans on offer:

Brunello Cucinelli Track Pant Jeans, C$1475.

These must be catering to the “soft pants” movement of the 2020 pandemic – how prescient! I really don’t get why you’d pay $1500 for track pant jeans, but I’ve seen far worse on this website.

Ripped acid-dipped jeans by Givenchy, C$1315.00
Marine Serre Moon Print Jeans, C$1350.00 – quel dommage, available in size small only 🙁
U-Gusset jeans (what?), by Yohji Yamamoto, C$726 on sale!

These three are all pretty ugly, and very expensive, IMHO. And they each look remarkably UNflattering, even on a model. But, again, seen much worse.

Marc Jacobs high-waisted jeans, C$790.

Apparently the pandemic has time-travelled us back to the 70s, because super high-waisted jeans are BACK. If you are 19 and skinny and all’s right with the world, these probably look alright on you. (And you could audition to be Daisy Jones in Daisy Jones & The Six, except the TV series is already cast. Listening to this audiobook right now, by the way, and it’s fun – told as an oral history, so lots of characters and conflicting perspectives. Glad I was a young kid in the 70s because it was a sucky sucky decade.)

Nevertheless, for someone who is many decades away from the age of 19, these are a monstrosity. But only $790, so, again, seen waaaay worse Nordstrom. Although there are lots of more affordable high-waisted jeans for the aspiring Daisys of the world.

Crossover skinny jeans, C$555

The asymettrical (aka “crossover”) look continues, which allegedly gives the jeans a “punky” edge, but strikes me as a factory fuck-up.

And I’m kinda psyched, cuz Nordstrom models have tattoos on their ankles! That aren’t photoshopped out! Whoo-hoo. I do love a nicely placed and low-key ankle (or wrist) tattoo – honest, I’ll share my Pinterest board with you. They make these jeans far cooler than they would otherwise be.

All in all, I was hoping to find a lot more to snark about. Nordstrom has failed to disappoint, and that in itself is a letdown. Sigh.

To borrow from Star Wars – there is another! Our own Hudson’s Bay Company may be stepping in to fill the fugly vacuum – slowly, measuredly, but decidedly. The Bay won’t let me copy the image. I guess it’s just too damn precious. So here’s the link:

https://www.thebay.com/product/daniel-gregory-natale-reconstructed-denim-trousers-0600090426281.html?dwvar_0600090426281_color=BLUE

Scroll down for the view from the back to see the absurdly huge ass and the upside down pockets on the back calves (don’t put your keys in there, girls!). A steal at C$350.00.

What’s Nordstrom up to these days?

Don’t get me wrong. I like shopping at Nordstrom and The Rack as much as the next woman who’s looking to fill that hole in her soul with a new pair of jeans, cute little booties, and a cashmere sweater. I’m in.

But there’s apparently a segment of Nordstrom buyers who have lost their GD minds. My husband says his family is afflicted with the curse of the “Coffin Compromise” – that’s when you pay far too much money for something that’s really a piece of crap.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Exhibit A – I’ve been mauled by a puma

These are called “chewed-hem” jeans. In Nordstrom’s own words, which are intended to promote these jeans for sale:

The distressing on these slouchy nonstretch jeans suggests something with large teeth has mauled the hems.

How is this a selling point for any piece of clothing?? Wear these jeans and you’ll look like you’ve been attacked by a wild animal! Is that the fashion statement most gals want to make? I spent $540 on these jeans, just had my hair and nails done, and I look like I’ve been attacked by a puma!

There’s a shorts version too, that is also “off-kilter”:

Again, in Nordstrom’s own words:

A deconstructed, asymmetrical front delivers a cool off-kilter vibe to fiercely slashed and shredded nonstretch-denim shorts.

I looked up “off-kilter” in the dictionary. It means “somewhat ill; not completely well”. Which you would be, if a puma just attacked you and your shorts. And you paid $531 for them and they don’t even button up straight. (Aside: Why are the shorts the same price as the jeans – shouldn’t shorts for obvious reasons be cheaper that full-length jeans?)

Are real women actually buying these jeans??

Exhibit B – “We meant to do this”

This “off-kilter” thing seems to be a trend now:

According to Nordstrom, it’s a “new slant” (guffaw) on skinny jeans, with an asymmetrical front closure. Or a factory error that’s been turned into a marketing opportunity. Only $414.

Speaking of factory errors:

In Nordstrom’s words, this denim jacket has more “off-kilter styling” with a “misaligned placket” and “mussed wing collar”. Isn’t this code for, we really screwed up, but now we’re saying “I totally meant to do that”, and now it’s $1400?

Exhibit C – Make up your mind

If choosing the colour of your jeans in the morning is the hardest decision you have to make all day, you need to get a job like mine.

These are “bicolour” jeans. Black jeans are great. White jeans are cool. Pick a team. Make a decision.

I initially looked at these jeans and thought, OK, kinda cute, pretty normal, but why $2K?

And then I realized – they are “pieced together” jeans:

I mean, are they horrifically awful? I wouldn’t say so. No animal has gnawed them, so that’s a plus. But I’m not digging them. Pick a team: blue or black.

And then there’s this multi-colour atrocity:

These are panelled wide-leg jeans that give you “an artsy reconstructed look”.

No, they are clown jeans.

Exhibit D – “I’ve got too much money and bad taste to boot”

  

Tulle & denim mermaid skirt. Also off-kilter, as you will see. Only $2175.

I am speechless. There are no adjectives.

And along the same lines – by the same designer – and only $3600, this denim jacquard tulle dress:

And somehow the back works two different ways (trying to figure this out):

Not only is it ugly as hell, but it’s unflattering. The top is about as stylish as a hospital gown. The bottom is a schizophrenic hot mess.

Nordstrom Actually Has Pretty Denim!

On the bright side, to show that I’m fair-minded, Nordstrom’s denim offerings include some pieces that I can totally get behind. I couldn’t possibly wear them, but I get why someone who’s sane and stylish would:

Super cute Ralph Lauren denim dress. $560.

Ditto this zebra-print Calvin Klein A-line. My law partner MJ would rock this. She’s sane, stylish, and super conservative. She would never pay $1400 for a dress (nor would I), but this would look great on her.

I had a jean skirt very like this in undergrad and wore the hell out of it. $440. I wish the model was wearing cute booties with the skirt – and a cashmere sweater:

Sold!

I actually wore an “outfit” to work

And it received so many unduly positive comments that I’m worried I look like a horrible slob 99% of the time. (I do wear jeans pretty much every day …)

Vince Camuto “faux-fur” cardigan. I thought I looked like a 1970s pimp (i.e., I could hang around with Huggy Bear on Starsky & Hutch and we’d blend).

Franca said it was more Prince circa Raspberry Beret. I’ll take that. But then it really should have been purple.

Hey – if Vince Camuto sold that cardigan in purple, I’d totally buy it.

I have to say I do like these Calvin Klein black & white stretch pants.

And a bold print b&w top:

Doesn’t seem particularly remarkable. I guess I need to up my game.