Fashion can be hit or miss, but sometimes it's just plain bad taste. That's the Internet's reaction to Nordstrom's latest offering to 'rugged fashion,' the Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans from PRPS. Firstly, the price tag of $425 sent customers reeling, and people had plenty of things to say on social media, and none of it good.
Celebrities like Mike Rowe blasted Nordstrom for promoting the illusion of hard work, and that " “Rugged Americana” is now synonymous with a “caked-on, muddy coating.” Not real mud. Fake mud."
Almost everyone can agree that broken in jeans just plain feel better. They move with you, are softer, and are all around comfy. But part of the fun of broken in jeans is actually breaking them in yourself. Fake mud is ridiculous not only because it looks unreal, but because it suggests that you don't even have time to go out and get your hands dirty.
As clothing goes, jeans have long been a symbol of America, and the American worker. Part of the reason is that they are designed to stand up to all kinds of wear and tear, and although they come in skinny, boot cut, and capri styles, any pair of jeans meant to be 'rugged' should be bought with the understanding that they can take mud or dirt and last a few years. Interestingly enough, these fake dirty jeans aren't even made in the United States, they were manufactured in Portugal.
Then there's the fact that these jeans are just so ridiculously expensive. Jeans used to make the working class person stand out, because that's what they can afford, and that's a longstanding tradition. But when clothing is priced to appeal to people who want to appear as if they worked hard but only spent the money, then it's offensive to anyone who puts in the hours and has the grime on their hands to prove it.
If Nordstrom wants to appeal to a wide range of customers with "Rugged American" clothing, then they need to take a close look on what their products say about them as a company, pull the fake dirty jeans off the shelves and stock some real jeans people can get dirty all on their own.