I recently discovered these precious “painted selvedge” jeans from J. Crew, which will run you about $285. Two questions come to mind when looking at these jeans. First, why would one need $300 jeans? Secondly, why would they need $300 jeans artfully splattered in paint? Is the soiled look of manual labor or struggling artist invading prepster fashion as part of recession chic?
J. Crew has been revamping their image lately, ditching their stale Dawson’s Creek khaki look of the 90s for a more WASP-who-lives-in-a-Brooklyn-brownstone-and-likes-wearing-desaturated-pastels vibe. Which brings us back to the $300 pair of jeans. It takes a very special person to buy distressed overpriced jeans. This is someone who wants the Jack Kerouac look without the work. They want a look that says to others “I read big books, I care about things … just look at my outfit.” When in truth, it really says to the outside world I’m a giant douchebag. But J. Crew may already know this, because they stress that these jeans are not merely a piece of denim to clothe you — but rather a collectors item, hence the price. The people at the great J. Crew factory have spent hours painstakingly painting these for you, so pseudo-intellectuals at the coffee shop will think you’re artistic (or just haven’t quite mastered the paint roller). But don’t worry; these jeans can be machine washed. No dry cleaning for these pants, as with every wash it will only give your collector’s item more character.
Best of all: You can now get them on sale for $89. (There’s only one “color” — so “selected colors” means “all colors”). Or just grab a pair of jeans from your closet, paint a wall in your parents’ basement, and call it a day.