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Thursday, April 18, 2019

It All Started with Designer Jeans

It All Started with Designer Jeans

Money, to generations after mine, seems to be no object.  I’m not sure when this happened, I first remember it being with blue jeans.

When I was young, I’m pretty sure blue jeans (we called them dungarees) were not that expensive, maybe three bucks.  For parents who lived through the depression that might have seemed like a lot.  Jeans, however lasted forever and with three sons, a and-me-down society, and knee patches, my folks got a lot of value out of that 3 bucks.

Somehow when I became a parent, blue jeans were a “designer” product.  I remember there were Gloria Vanderbilt and Jordache jeans which sold for $60 or more.  The old traditional Levy’s which lasted forever were maybe $10, but my children and all their friends had to have “designer” brands.

And I mean “HAD” to have.

“Dad…you just don’t understand!”

Then there were sneakers…OMG! My sneakers and all my friend’s sneakers were “Keds” and bought at the supermarket for a couple of dollars.

Children after my generation would run away from home before wearing “Keds.”  They demanded sneakers that cost as much or more than those damn designer jeans.

Now if my children read this, they will claim I did not buy those jeans or sneakers…they may be right, I know I fought it tooth and nail.  As I recall I lost most fights…Mom stepped in and let me know that I just “Do not understand!”

I do know I wore $19.99 shoes to work that were from Kmart which looked like crap after a few weeks, but they had to last a year.  I drove a 20-year-old Volkswagen to work that my kids whined about having to use when they got their license.

Currently my step-daughter is planning a wedding. 

I remember weddings at the Holiday Inn, baked ziti, chicken parm, and dancing to music from a local band…AND, everyone had a great time (ok there was alcohol).

A wedding today compares to those Holiday Inn (or maybe a VFW) bashes much like the designer jeans to my old dungarees.

I am not paying for any of this, well indirectly maybe a little, but I still had to voice my opinion that the cost is just ridiculous. 

“Wouldn’t they prefer a less expensive celebration and have down payment on a house?”

“That’s just not possible!”

“Hell, we did it 10 years ago for 1/10 the price!”

“You were cheap!”

“But everyone had a great time (there was alcohol) and we’re still married so…”

“You just don’t understand.”

I blame those damn designer jeans!


  1. What gets me are the jeans that are full of rips and they go for over $100 a pair. Really? My opinion, for what it is worth, and it often is not worth a lot, is that people should spend less on a wedding and more on what they are going to be doing in their marriage after their wedding day.


  2. I blame designer jeans too. I don't remember what brand my first jeans were, but I fit easily into men's jeans so bought them at $4 a pair instead of the women's jeans which were $12 a pair. These days even jeans from a secondhand store cost too much for my budget. my kids were happy enough without the designer brands most of the time, they knew how much money we didn't have and really, the fuss over designer brands didn't hit so hard here in Australia.

  3. Agree with Betty about the ragged look that is so popular. I obviously don't understand and have been accused of same.

  4. Okay, I tried to restrain myself but I can't. Disney Princess movies, certain bride related reality shows, ostentatious weddings -- related to fairy tales and perpetuating a myth.

    1. For me, the final straw came when they invented 'destination weddings' and the bridesmaids were expected to fund their own gowns, gifts to the bride, and travel expenses which I suspect also includes several days in a good hotel...Greed, Attitude, and Snowflakiness.

  5. I never understood the extravagant weddings. They don't last a second longer and you are right, most today would make a great down payment on a house or in my day, would have bought it outright.

    1. I jokingly tell my wife that the longevity of a marriage is inversely proportional to the cost of the wedding. The two most extravagant weddings I've been to, neither of them lasted to the first anniversary. . .

  6. It all had to start somewhere...but.....where will it all end????

  7. My parents never would have bought me any designer clothing, but I worked at a fashion discounter when I was in HS/College, so I did buy myself a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, at a discount of course!

    The destination weddings kill me. Our niece got married in Mexico, at a pricey resort. Besides her mom, brother, one aunt and one niece (bridesmaid) no family on our side attended. It seemed like it was just a party for their friends (who seemed to have the money to fly and stay there??)

  8. I never had designer anything and it wasn't an issue. It sure is these days. I like to do on the cheap so I don't mess up my budget.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Joe. Happy Easter. 😎

  9. My sister (the ex-mayor's wife) had a big wedding. I barely agreed to a church wedding, with only my parents and one grandma in attendance. My parents bought us a refrigerator and stove for my $17,000 house. I still think my sister commandeered more than her fair share of our eventual inheritance for that wedding.

  10. I'm a big fan of encouraging eloping. Judy and I got married by a judge in a courthouse.

  11. I remember those jeans. The wedding we attended last weekend was something out of a magazine. The father of the bride owns an event planning company so I’m guessing he got a lot of the fixings at cost, but if you or I came off the hip for this wedding I would bet it would be close to a hundred grand.
    My wife and I eloped and our wedding cost less than a couple of bottles of the champagne we drank last weekend.

  12. It boggles my mind, we all have too much stuff and we pay too much for it.

  13. My brother was convinced that the record albums on the rack at K-Mart were inferior to the same album bought from a record store that cost half-again as much. I mean, you get what you pay for, right?

  14. I remember when my youngest wanted a really expensive brand of basketball shoes like his friend had. This friend was not rich so I asked how that kid could afford them. This is how the conversation went: Me: "How can he afford them?" Son: "His Dad got them for him" Me: "His Dad? Isn't his Dad in jail for stealing payroll checks where he worked?" Son: "Oh yeah..." End of discussion since neither me nor Jack were willing to head to the "big house" so he could have those stupid shoes.

  15. Yeah...don't get me started on the weddings. My husband and I flew to Vegas. That was almost 30 years ago. So far, so good.


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