Carpenter Pants and Candy

This is going to be one of those “dating me” kinds of posts.  But what the hell, I’m datable.  (Don’t tell my hubby I said that, okay?  It was like a pun, ya know?  Although I admit it was pretty much crap.  Not much coffee action yet this morning.)

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, wearing jeans became a near cultish thing. And I’m talking about wearing cool jeans – no more Sears Huskys for folks who didn’t want to risk a swirly in the boys’ restroom.  And no, that’s not really a voice of experience on the subject. Really.  I was actually too thin once in my life.  Back when I was also tall.  (Neither of these adjectives have been used to describe me since fourth grade, btw.)  Instead of sporting the cute Geranimals look, I was the bean-pole in whatever pair of pants my poor mom could find with the word “slim” attached to the label.  I definitely didn’t rock the fashion world much back then.  And while I may have seriously changed my physique  in the ensuing decades, the fashion world is still safe from me.

Bell bottoms, San Francisco Riding Gear, HASH jeans, the list of “cool” jeans at the time goes on and on.  (But not really Levis, because they didn’t become truly hawt (aka expensive) until the mid ’80s with a little help from The Boss and Courtney Cox.  Yep, it was a time when the ladies used to check out the “back pockets” on the men – none of this silly “pants on the ground” business for we Gen Xers.  Oh no.  We wore ’em tight, high, and sometimes with a ball cap hanging from the back pocket.)

Anyhoo, I once scored a pair of San Francisco Riding Gear carpenter jeans and thought myself to be the pinnacle of cool – what with my feathered bangs and my rainbow-hued comb in my back pocket.  One day I decided I was also the luckiest specimen of coolness, for I found in the carpenter’s pocket of my jeans the mostly uneaten Big Hunk candy bar I’d left there on the previous wearing.  (Remember when water conservation was normal and you only washed your clothes when they were dirty and not just too wrinkly from laying on the floor?  Yeah, me too.  Everybody sing now, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down!”  Good lord, where’s my groovy VW van and carob chip brownies?  I tell you, it was a good time to be a kid.  Maybe not so great of a time to be a kid wearing 5 complimentary tones of blue eye shadow, but whatever.)

I tell you, not much made my then 14-year-old self happier than a nice day, cool pants, and a Big Hunk.

Any “old-time” candy stories out there?  Even better, clothing from your childhood stories to share?  Isn’t it amazing how fashion has changed but still manages to make most folks look terrible in “trendy” clothing?  (Yes, skinny jeans, I’m looking at you.) If only I would make a better nudist…it would really simplify some things.  Especially water conservation.

12 thoughts on “Carpenter Pants and Candy

  1. I remember being stunned when jeans suddenly had to be “designer” instead of just whatever my mom picked up at Kmart. Totally threw me for a loop, but I was determined to fit in when I was in middle school. Spent my summers picking berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, loganberries, blackberries…) to earn money to buy Guess jeans.

    Back then, it seemed crazy to spend $50 on a pair of jeans. I was just jeans shopping yesterday and realized that the going price for a pair of nice jeans now is about $175. Sheesh.


    • Aw, fashion smashion. 🙂 At least you look smashing in whatever kind of jeans you are sporting! 🙂 Whenever I see ads for jeans over $100, I just shake my head. For that kind of money, I had better look like a run-way model. Since that’s going to happen, I guess I’ll just stick with the $29.99 versions.

  2. Gaaah. Jeans. I hated jeans in junior high & high school. I was tall, and so thin it was impossible to find jeans long enough that weren’t also too baggy. Fortunately, it was a passing problem. 😉 But I still can’t bring myself to spend more than $50 for a pair of jeans, no matter whose name is on the a$$.

    • I bet you rocked the labels – you hottie. 🙂 You and I would make an interesting pair of bookends – you the tall one, me the shortie. But at least you’ve never had to sadly put back the capris because they are floods rather than fashionable. 🙂

      I was at Target and thought I was having a nightmare. Like the 80s with an extra dose of slutty. We really need to bring back those Geranimals so kids can look like kids and not mini-adults with issues.

      • It’s the junior slutty that bugs me, too. Why do we have to sexualize kids so young? Just let them be kids, for goshsake. At least until they hit puberty. *rolls eyes*

  3. We used to go to The Hutch – lucky for us the only location by us was the factory so the prices were great! I think that was way back in grade 7 where my second child is heading this year!

    My kids are lucky to get American Eagle and Garage jeans this year. Buy one get one half price and also on sale … And me? Old Navy or Gap Outlet,no more than $40 and hopefully $15!

    • I just hate spending crap-loads of cash on certain things. So I don’t. Of course, I’m not much of a shopper and my husband works for Columbia Sportswear so we wear a lot of that – nothing like phoning him and having HIM do the back-to-school shopping. 🙂

  4. I can’t believe the price of jeans. It makes me want to do horrible things to whoever is responsible. Having a senior in high school, and 2 boys in jr. high who are as big as grown men, but not quite enough to wear mens jeans, then there’s my 4th grader, trying to fit in, it’s a nightmare. Just a nightmare.

    Never mind finding ME jeans. I’m an inch too tall for petites, but wear such a small size, I -almost- have to shop the kids section, but they’re too short. (Please don’t hit me. I hate it.)

    I hate shopping. We’ve all gotten really good at bargain hunting, and thankfully I have a brilliant friend who sale shops and knows all our sizes.

    As for what I wore as a kid. I don’t wanna talk about it. LOL

    • I could never hate you. Covet your thin thighs, yes. Hate, no. 🙂

      Like I said, it would be so much easier to just shuck it all and go naked. Aside from appearances and weather issues, of course. Trust me, over here, the topography hasn’t been improved with the advent of parenting and aging.

  5. Back when I was at high school, (late 1970’s) here in Australia you had to be wearing Staggers jeans to be considered anywhere near cool. (Or groovy as it was known in those days.) Needless to say I was at the oposite end of cool, wearing some cheap brand. Nowadays I find it hard to get jeans to fit- too tall. Can’t wear those skinny ones either, ( I don’t think anyone can carry them off successfully,) if I put them on I would look like a tube of toothpaste. I would almost swallow my tongue if I had to pay more than $30 for a pair either!

    • Love the expression “swallow my tongue” – very fitting for the gagging reflex I get when I see what price “fashion” is going for these days.

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