Nordstrom made news this week when it was revealed that stores are selling men’s jeans with caked-on, fake mud – for $425! Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans by Prps. This faux-distressed look is distressing. Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, reacted on social media: “The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t pants. They’re not even fashion. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic — not iconic.”
Well said. Why spend $425 on a pair of phony mud-caked jeans, or as described specifcally on Nordstrom’s website – “rugged, Americana workwear?” – just to let others think you live the rugged life? Why would we as consumers be willing to spend so much money to look like we did something when we really didn’t? Is the actual looking like we did something better than the doing it? That is the real question and I guess I know the answer. Because one of the things about our clothes is that they can be a status symbol of who we are and what we have. Maybe this story is not so unusual after all: people have been using clothes to establish their identity forever; if not real, then invented.
Jeans covered in fake mud? I’m not buying it!