Totally Inexplicable Things Colombians Love: #7. Horrifying Jeans

Okay, so I’m a bit biased in this regard, since I’m kind of a jeans purist. My ideal denim is dark, doesn’t make me look like a child trying to wear her mother’s too-long pants, and doesn’t have any weird shit on the pockets. They’re pants, not a decoration — or so I thought until I came to Colombia. Here, jeans look less like serviceable, utilitarian pants than an overactive jewelry or tattoo designer’s rhinestone dreamscape.

Now, I’m not saying that Colombians have cornered the market on inadvisable jeans. I’ve seen a lot of poor denim choices in my life. I’ve been to Europe. I’ve walked past bebe stores. I lived through the ’90s, for god’s sake. But the “styles” here really go above and beyond normal tackiness. Looking for acid-washed, light blue jeans ripped in like five places? Trying to bring back the bad old days with whiskered creases on the unflattering part of your thighs? How about pants with pockets so bedazzled it probably hurts to sit down? Or, better yet, let’s just make most women’s jeans without any back pockets at all, because being able to put shit in your pockets ISN’T THE MAIN POINT of these pants and really the best reason for the existence of jeans. It is almost impossible to locate a pair of normal, non-floral, non-sparkly, 5-pocket pants in this country — in fact, the only places I’ve been able to find them are international chains like Zara or Bershka, which is kind of cheating.

Now normally we ladies are the ones who have to suffer the indignities of unreasonable denim designs, but here they are equal-opportunity offenders. In fact, I think the worst jeans I’ve seen may have been men’s. They do, at least, have pockets, but they apparently have taken all the pockets that were supposed to go on the back of the women’s designs and stuck them on the men’s in the strangest possible locations: near the knees, in front, stacked on top of the back pockets that are already there. Men’s jeans here add zippers in the oddest places, like they wanted to be those zip-off cargo pants that turn into shorts but lost the courage at the last moment and decided just to zip about four inches diagonally across the thigh for no apparent reason. I don’t think I know a single person who’s ever bemoaned the lack of a conveniently-placed thigh pocket on his or her pants, but clearly I haven’t spent enough time here. And let’s not forget those trousers clearly influenced by the Ed Hardy School of Design, with multicolored birds of prey, weird tattoo-style lettering and yes, even the occasional bedazzlement.

Usually I’m glad that I’m a poor volunteer primarily because it prevents me from constant shopping and the subsequent constant debt. Even if I had all the money in the world, though, it wouldn’t convince me to buy a pair of jeans at most stores here. My broke ass has been proudly sparkle-free for 23 1/2 years now, and I fully intend to keep it that way, thank you very much.

Other Totally Inexplicable Things Colombians Love:

#8. Malls

#9. Wearing Heels Everywhere, All The Time

#10. ’80s Rock/Hair Metal Bands

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12 thoughts on “Totally Inexplicable Things Colombians Love: #7. Horrifying Jeans

    • really? I guess it’s good to know it’s not just us here! Can we start a petition on behalf of Normal Jeans-Wearing People In Countries Obsessed With Unnecessary Bedazzling?

  1. Pingback: Totally Inexplicable Things Colombians Love: #6. Colombia’s Got Talent! | a year without peanut butter

  2. Hi, Natalie!

    This post made me laugh so hard! I apologize on behalf of all the poor style-ignorant Colombians. It’s true, most Colombians favor such appalling designs.

    You can still find your classic dark denim jeans if you look around a bit. If you want some cheap ones, you can find them in any Exito store. If you have a bit more money, I suggest hitting the malls and looking for your classic Levi’s store.

    Again, we’re really good people, except some of us could use a little help in the style department! Great post!

    • Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed it! The bad jeans curse is definitely not just a Colombian thing — I’ve seen people wearing equally upsetting styles at home, just not to the extent they do here. Thanks for the rec, though — I’m clearly going to have to do a little fashion shopping at my local Exito, since “cheap” is pretty much my favorite word to hear before “jeans.”

  3. Pingback: 7. Horrifying Jeans – a year without peanut butter | AdShopEZ – Buy Jeans Online

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  8. Well somehow I ended up in your devoted list of what Colombians love, I was expecting to refresh some funny but sweet memories bout my Tierra but instead I ended up reading useless satires from someone who obviously doesn’t understand neither appreciates Culture. I ve been in Colombia and yes there are those hideous jeans I couldn’t just come back with those memories for the simple reason that the people were so nice, kind and sincere that I never matter to me the umportance of their wardrobes too bad you couldn’t find anything nice to say.

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