The Cropped Jeans of My Dreams
by Ranim Elborai
I’m storing up my Dubai-related observations and anecdotes for possible use at a later date. I’m not making any promises, but I’m thinking something along the lines of The Vastly Abridged Newcomer’s Guide to Dubai.
Today I’ll lead with the stating something glaringly obvious about life in the Arabian Gulf: while it’s gloriously hot and muggy out of doors, indoor spaces are kept real good and chilly.
Most of the inhabitants of this city seem to like it this way, completely unfazed by the icy blasts produced by AC units working overtime, but I’m not quite loving it.
I have an underachieving circulatory system. This self-diagnosis is supported by observations of countless individuals who, upon holding or shaking my hand, feel the urge to exclaim something like, “Goodness, you’re so cold!”a
My feet get very cold as well, like two icy bricks, especially at night. I’m usually in fluffy socks and preferably fuzzy slippers as soon as I get home. In fact, my feet are freezing at this very moment and it’s midday.
And my upper body suffers from an infuriating paradox: my arms tend to get very cold easily even as my under ams are busy producing a steady stream of sweat. This almost-constant perspiration is exactly what makes my unrelenting quest for the perfect deodorant so utterly vital.b
Anyway, while all these folks acclimated to the dramatic temperature gradient this city’s indoor/outdoor spaces boast are comfortably sitting around in their small shorts and flimsy dresses, I’ve been wearing trousers. Trousers that, while not made of wool, I would happily use during the autumn and winter in London.
Namely, the two pairs of cropped jeans I acquired at Harvey Nichols just a little under two months ago.
Before I continue, let’s take a moment to reflect on the tendency of these premium denim designers to give their products irritating names.
I’m not sure which of the two I prefer. The Goldsign jeans fit beautifully and the wash is versatile.
But the black Paige jeans fit even more beautifully because the material they’re made out of is some sort of magical textile that, which, while incredibly soft and comfortable, doesn’t stretch at all despite being worn for hours on end.
Imagine: a soft pair of skinny jeans supposedly immune to baggy-butt and stretched-out-thighs 24/7!
Obviously you need to go out at there an purchase a pair immediately.
But the best thing about both pairs is their inseam. Cropped nicely above the ankle, or at least my ankle, they’re ideal if, like me, you find yourself dismayed by having to roll up your cuffs so you don’t look like you’re sporting an accordion on both of your shins.
I know the alternative is getting your hems tailored to fit, but they never manage to make the hems look or feel the way they did originally. Sometimes you just want to be able to buy a pair of jeans that fit correctly on your oompa-loompa-sized legs, no modifications necessary.
And I know more than a few men feel my pain.
For the most part, jeans, in fact all trousers, are designed with waist sizes in mind, with a one-size fits-all inseam formula. The idea being that shorter people can just go get them tailored, or roll them up, whereas taller people can’t add on additional material.
I’ll concede that it does make sense in terms of production value. Or whatever the technical term is.
But as an individual of slightly below average height — I stand at 5ft 4in — it’s alienating, goddammit.
Few denim manufacturers are thoughtful enough to provide the same waist-size in a variety of inseams — Levi’s is the only one that springs to mind right away, but invariably you just never find your exact size, am I right?c
That’s why I really, really love cropped jeans. Cropped jeans fit right off the rack, making me feel like a normal shopper, rather than sort of anomalously-sized individual in a world far too tall for me.
- Most people are polite enough to withhold any additional commentary on how sweaty and clammy my palms are in addition to being frigidly cold. (back)
- Just so you know, I’ll be testing out this Kiehl’s product when I wrap up things with my citrusy L’Occitane roll-on. (back)
- Some larger retailers produce short, regular, and tall variants of a particular model, but it’s not very common either. (back)