They’ve done it again; The Wall Street Journal has written about something seemingly so far afield from the Bernanke press conference and stock prices that I am grinning wickedly. Of course, it actually does have a monetary and advertising/marketing tie-in — women over the age of 35 spend a LOT of money on clothes, and can better afford to spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. But this headline was just too non-WSJ for me to pass up: “A Makeover for ‘Mom Jeans.’”
Then there’s the pie. According to MediaPost.com via Supermarket News, the pie is beating the cream filling out of cupcakes, and is the next big food crush. So, this is my “mom and apple pie” blog post, albeit turned on its head a bit.
First, an admission — I’m a mom, I’m smack in the target age range for mom jeans, and I love cupcakes. But I’m as likely to buy mom jeans or stop eating cupcakes as I am to start driving a minivan, i.e. never gonna happen. Truly. Never.
But I appreciate designers and clothiers realizing that jeans for skinny little twenty-somethings are just one segment of the market. Levi’s is doing a great print campaign with its jeans, showing cuts for different body types — which include a curvy cut with a higher rise that would fall into the “mom jeans” category, even if they don’t market it as such.
“Women aged 35 to 54 bought $2.29 billion worth of jeans for the 12 months ending in January, up 1 percent from the year-ago period, according to NPD Group data,” the Wall Street Journal notes. “In comparison, women aged 18 to 34 bought $3.03 billion worth of jeans in the same period, down 1 percent from a year ago. The biggest growth in denim in the past year was in the 55 and older demographic, where women spent $1.24 billion, up 17 percent from the year-ago period.” (italics are mine)
And to top it off, many of these new jeans are about a quarter of the price I’ve been paying for my jeans. Huh.
Here’s my favorite quote from the article: “’Women want to continue to hold on to their youth,’ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group. ‘Older women have invested in Botox and hair coloring. Key fashion items are also part of preserving a more youthful look. Jeans can literally help shape your body.'” Nice going, Marshal — now I know how to order my “feminine” priorities: Save up for Botox, start dying my gray hair, and find a pair of jeans that smoosh me into a shape pleasing to men.
And therefore, we now have Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Little in the Middle, Kut From the Kloth, Democracy Declaration of Jean Dependence, and new cuts from denim mainstays Lucky Brand, J Crew, and Loft (Ann Taylor). So forget that hilarious/mocking Saturday Night Live commercial parody touting a new line of “Mom Jeans,” as tragically dowdy women romped in high-waisted denim monstrosities, and a voice-over invited: “This Mother’s Day, give her something that says, ‘I’m not a woman anymore.…I’m a mom.’”
So, moms are going to be looking both cooler and hotter. As it should be.
Of course, if you’re as hot for cupcakes as I am, you’ll be quite interested in knowing about the “…trademarked ‘Lift Tuck’ technology that lifts and supports a woman’s bottom, while a crisscross panel in the front helps tuck and compress the stomach,” that characterizes Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. No matter what Supermarket News says, I will NOT be trading cupcakes for pie, even if it means I have to rely on Lift Tuck technology to look hot while I eat said cupcakes.
The stats in Supermarket News are heartening for the purveyors of desserts, but they also reveal another, unexplored angle: “In many supermarket bakery departments, desserts held steady during the recession, with new sizes and new takes on classics such as pies and brownies bolstering sales.” Also, that “70% of U.S. consumers eat dessert at least once a week, and that baked goods on limited services menus rose 20% from 2008 to 2010.” That adds up to a lot of empty calories, and tons of commercials airing for weight loss systems — could there be a causal relationship, perhaps? However, I am in no way judging. Cupcakes are like a little ray of frosted sparkling sunshine and should be enjoyed however you see fit. And pie’s no slouch in the happiness department.
Oh, and if you didn’t see today’s online Wall Street Journal, you missed a great article about bassist Bootsy Collins. Yes, that Bootsy Collins: Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk, George Clinton, James Brown. As in “Bootsy Collins Rules ‘The Funk Capital of the World.'” Go that in one.