That Time I Bought A Pair Of $345 Jeans & Felt Like Dying

They have a name: the Legion Pant. Like Jesse Kamm’s Sailor Pant or Jenni Kayne’s D’Orsay flats, they conjure a specific kind of California cool — a Brentwood mom kind of cool. The kind of inherently uncool-cool that takes vibrator recommendations from Goop. Or is that actual cool? I don’t stumble upon them while shopping so much as I commune with them while sifting through white noise to find lost pieces of my dream self. It’s like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I am all of the sisters, and my only destination is fulfillment. The price tag reads $345 and I throw up a little bit in my mouth. Against my better judgment, I try them on. I go through a few different styles and colors before finding The Perfect Fit. Perfect as in just the way that I imagined; perfect as in snug at my natural waist with a pleasingly wide sweep of the leg. They are cotton twill with a torn hem — carefree enough for summer but heavy enough for fall and winter. Instead of completely obliterating my ass like most of my jeans do, the Legion suggests the existence of something cute back there, should someone be inclined to use a little imagination. Picture this: I hop out of my Prius, an unread copy of Cameron Diaz’s Body Book forgotten under the passenger seat. You stop in your tracks and comment on the threadbare vintage Yes T-shirt I’ve tucked into my high-rise jeans. I reach into the backseat for a reusable tote, and we climax simultaneously. I try not to buy a new item of clothing unless it “unlocks” a certain number of new outfits. I do a quick calculation in my head and determine that, including full tucks, half-tucks and even no tucks, the permutations with these pants are limitless. There is no spoon. I’m too short for them, but the length still looks intentional, so I don’t have to get them tailored. I will wear them with a low, chunky heel in the fall and channel Anjelica Huston casually surveying a ranch she’s purchased on which to raise cattle. I will turn majestically to my lover, Drake, and he will be inspired to write a song about me. It ends badly. I come back to reality and remind myself that half of my wardrobe recently found a new home at Beacon’s Closet: tops and bottoms and even two vintage kimonos. I own too much and I spend too much on clothes. This is a statement of fact. My love for these pants, on the other hand, evades reason and takes root in that part of my brain that believes I have a lot in common with Maggie Gyllenhaal. If my mother is the hoarder of the family, holding on to clothing that has never fit in hopes that it might fit the woman she always tells herself she’ll one day become, then I am perpetually shedding and regretting, working over my closet hoping that my most authentic self will finally emerge, a calming hand extending out from underneath a pile of vintage Levi’s. “These eight outfits will last you a lifetime and take you from day to night effortlessly,” a voice intones. I decide that if I don’t own the pants I will die, that $345 is an ungodly sum of money, but they’re on sale. I take them to the counter cautiously, holding them at a safe distance from my body as if they’ll become sentient and cling to me, weeping. At 30% off they come to an even $300. I was wrong; I am the one who will cling to them, weeping. I mull the situation over for an embarrassingly long period of time, but fail to convince myself to make the purchase. I buy a candle as a sort of weird concession prize and walk away. I return five hours later and buy the pants. They’re just too good to pass up — plus I did the math, flawed as it might be. A few days later, Carla, a woman I meet on a subway platform, tells me she loves them. She's clad in unflattering gaucho pants she’s overdyed, a complexly folded top of her own design, and a kimono, and it is obvious that Carla’s opinion is the only one that matters. I heave a sigh of relief: I know I’ve made the right choice. I feel as if she’s recognized some small shining light within my soul — not to mention the versatility of my new pants. A voice in my head says, “These pants will last you a lifetime and take you from day to night effortlessly,” and I smile, fulfilled.
Rachel Comey Legion Pant, $345, available at Rachel Comey
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