Isn't it too early for heat stroke? Suffering what must've been a global warming-induced breakdown, I recently found myself compelled to enter one of New York's most traumatizing shopsScoop, on Broadwayand do one of the world's most upsetting things: try on tight white jeans. The mini-chain is filled with catty salesgirls and credit card wielding Alpha-teens, which makes it an obvious place to avoid if you are prone to depression or rage following dressing room visits. Perhaps I was punishing myself for being a short brunette? The only upside to the experience was the fact that, unlike department stores, Scoop does not have those heinous three-way mirrors, which force innocent shoppers to confront parts of their bodies they were never meant to see.
For my college graduation, I was given the choice of wearing a cap and gown. A believer in fashion as self-expression, I opted not to. When I failed to find the perfect dress for the occasion, I wore white Levi's (517), a white camisole, a fitted white blazer, and a lot of fake pearls. (My mother wasn't psyched, but at least I graduated.) Soon after entering the real world, the jeans literally split in half one day when I bent down to tie my shoe. Forget the freshman 15think alumni padding.
Now white jeans are actually back in style. Case in point: Scoop devoting an entire wall to ivory denim. Trendiness getting the better of me, I grabbed what I thought was my size in five varieties of "pant," ranging in price from Adriano Goldschmied's "The Angel" cut ($132) to Notify's $228 version, which is 100 percent Italian cotton (cotton is apparently a luxury fabric now). The jeans were already dingy and scuffed from the flip-flopped feet of previously tormented shoppers. I soon learned that my size is only my size if the jeans are stretchy. Though unable to pull all of the selections over my behind, I saw all I needed tomost white jeans are see-through. Habitual's "White Glory" (beats "White Power") were the least sheer, but cost $182.
The pants I could actually zip up, like Paper, Denim & Cloths' stretchy, obscenely low boot-cut jeans, seemed inappropriate for wearing in public; I felt like I was wandering around in my long johns, semi-scandalously flaunting the roundness of my thighs. Then I remembered: My treasured college Levi's were not skin-tight. Perhaps that's the key.
But there's another problem. We've already seen lots of women wearing white jeans, and even those who pull off the fit often flunk fashion-wise. It's easy to look like a spray-tanned Hamptons skank (or slutty Florida suburbanite).
If you're tall, do like the WASP you probably are not and wear a wide-legged pair hanging off your hips, as if at any moment you'll be boarding a ship. Other options: Wear them tight, but not flared (flared = corny teenager); go for the Mick Jagger look and find stretchy tapered ones to wear with heels; finally, there's the requisite Bohemian takeslouchy pants, perhaps dragging in the street and getting caught under your Cowry shell-encrusted sandals, and a braided, brown leather belt doing nothing to hold them up. This way, you embrace the fact that they'll be filthy at all times, rather than trying to fight it.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Read J. Hoberman’s 1983 Cover Story on Chantal Akerman’s 'Jeanne Dielman'
Sat., Oct. 10, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 8:00pm
Sun., Oct. 11, 12:00am
Sun., Oct. 11, 12:00am
- Uncut: A Look at the Wacky, Wrinkly World of Foreskin Restoration
- A New Video Game Lets You Experience Life as Pizza Rat