Demin wars: Return of the Levi

Amanda and I ventured to the Supermall in Auburn on Sunday with one mission in mind: Find jeans at Nordstrom Rack. After hearing your feedback and some soul-searching, we felt like the Rack would be the ideal spot for low prices and a range of high-caliber denim. Who doesn't love a nice Rack?

I tried on a few different brands, but Amanda and I mutually agreed that the Lucky's fit me best. Echoing my earlier statements, some jeans didn't get around my butt. Others tried suffocating my thighs. The Lucky's were baggy enough in the legs and fit my butt and waist in a comfortable way. I bought two pairs.

We thought we could head home, but something about shopping and being in a mall makes you desperately hungry. I know in Vegas they pump the air with oxygen so that you feel like you need less sleep. At the mall they must pump the air with some metabolism-boosting chemical that makes you want to chew off your own leg.

We were on our way to the food court when we saw the Levi outlet. Amanda suggested that we take a look. Couldn't hurt, right?

Oh the glorious options! I couldn't believe how many different styles, cuts and washes they had. Women don't really get this, but guys usually have very few options at clothing stores. Usually, that's OK. Think about it: Most stores are weighted approximately 2/3 toward women and 1/3 toward men in terms of inventory and selection. It makes sense. Women shop more frequently and usually wear more articles of clothing. Sometimes though, more options are good for guys, too. Especially in the jeans department.

I tried on probably eight or ten different Levi jeans in different cuts, washes and sizes. I've never done that before.

I hated it.

Seriously, getting jeans on and off and on and off just sucks. I ran a sweat through the labor and feeling that I was wasting my life in a plywood shower stall. This is where Brother Bear's "I shop for jeans at Costco" argument comes into play.

When all was said and done, I found a pear of jeans I really liked - the 559s (Relaxed Straight). They were $32 on sale. I returned one of the pair of Lucky jeans that was my least favorite and actually saved $15 by trading out for a pair of Levi's.

When we got home, Sergio repeated his recommendation that Levi 501s (Classic Fit) shrink-to-fit jeans are the way to go. He was serious about it, just as he was serious about shrinking his 501s when he first bought them. You'll learn more about that momentarily. After hearing Sergio out, I went to Fred Meyer (who buys jeans at Fred Meyer?) last night to buy the 501 shink-to-fit jeans.

Now I've got three new pairs of jeans and spent just over $100. I feel good about the selection and range and am most happy that I don't have to worry about buying jeans again for at least another year! Until then...

Here's more about Sergio's 501 shrink-to-fit recommendation: