Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

January 25, 2013

Bargain options for designer jeans

By Rebecca Todd

— For Christmas this year, I opted to forgo buying clothes for my daughters, mainly because I am "old" and pick out "ugly" clothes. Or so I am told.

Instead, I gave my girls gift cards so that they could buy their own stylish, trendy garb. Also, I hate to shop. So we should both be happy now, right?

Unfortunately, it is now a month since Christmas and I recently heard, "We need to go shopping, Mom! I have nothing to wear!"

"What about your gift cards?" I naively ask.

"They're not big enough. The jeans I want are too expensive."

Oh, how I laughed.

How much would you pay for a good pair of jeans? $50? $100? More?

I've said it before and I'm saying it again: when it comes to jeans, I'm cheap. Jeans are for lounging or working. If I'm in the market for a good pair of normal, everyday jeans, I'm going for inexpensive comfort, and hopefully I have a coupon. I don't get designer jeans, in either sense of the word; I don't understand them and I would never buy them, not even if I had a coupon.

Obviously, not everyone feels the same; especially teenagers who aren't spending their own hard-earned money.

It's no surprise then that there has recently been a glut of designer jean trends aimed at consumers who are obviously not bargain shoppers or who are spending someone else's money. But never fear. I have a bargain option for each one of these new, expensive, trendy jeans.

Wrangler has been the maker of bargain jeans for many years, but they've recently begun promoting a bizarre new line of jeans for women. "Wrangler Denim Spa" skinny jeans are infused with one of three soothing ingredients: Aloe Vera, Olive Extract, or special formula Smooth Legs." You know, for people who just don't have the time to put on lotion. These jeans sell for just $149 a pair. The "special formula Smooth Legs" initially claimed to cure cellulite, but apparently they had to drop that claim. I guess they figured out, as I did 10 years ago, that there is no cure for cellulite.

Buy the way, the infuser is gone after a few washes, but guess what! You can buy spray to reload the jeans!

Bargain option: Buy regular Wranglers and a bottle of lotion. Use a coupon for the lotion or buy the generic kind.

Next up: Levis is introducing a new line of jeans made partially from recycled black trays, brown beer bottles, clear water bottles, and green soda bottles. The new "WasteLess" collection uses polyester fiber made from crushed recyclables. The lowest price I found on these jeans was $75.

Bargain option: Eliminate the middle man. Sew a pair of jeans out of garbage.

Finally we have "meggings." Justin Bieber made them popular when he wore some at the Victoria Secret fashion show. You've heard of jeggings, right? That's a combination of leggings and jeans, so that your jeans can literally be skin tight. Meggings are jeggings for men. Isn't that witty? And, you know, troubling? I've blushingly seen meggings on line with prices ranging from $30 to $200.

Bargain option: Justin Bieber, guys. Seriously. For the love of all that is holy, just DON'T.

Not even if you have a coupon.

- Rebecca Todd is a bargain hunter, freelance writer, and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.