If you like the jeans, may I interest you in the matching jacket for that all-over “too busy to wash” look? It’ll run you $850 for the whole ensemble but no one ever said looking poor came cheap. Besides, shipping is “free.”
Apparently these have been on sale at Nordstrom for awhile but became famous overnight yesterday when Mike Rowe made them the subject of a blog post. I see them as the logical endpoint of jean fashion. Denim migrated from working-man’s clothes to universal casual wear because people liked the association with rugged blue-collar authenticity. Adding synthetic mud, stylishly applied in just the right places, takes the rugged authenticity factor up to 11 — in theory. In practice, putting fake dirt on clothing is so desperately heavy-handed an attempt at fake authenticity that it blows up the appeal of the clothes entirely. Although I think Nordstrom realizes that. “They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic,” writes Rowe, which is true and which Nordstrom itself probably recognizes. Not even the most pitiful trust-fund poseur would be so lame as to buy these and wear them earnestly, to try to affect a working-class sensibility. You buy these if you’re a hipster who comes from money, for the ironic lulz. Look again at the jacket, with the shoulders inexplicably coated with “mud” and the sleeves inexplicably clean. What sort of work would leave a stain like that? The pattern makes it look as though a toilet was emptied onto the wearer’s head.
Since all cultural critics must connect this up to Larger Trends, I’ll go ahead and call these the Juicero of jeans, a grotesquely expensive, deliberately overcomplicated joke on the upper class’s obsession with all things “natural.” No one would own a Juicero machine except ironically, right?