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Monday, October 27, 2008

A hangin' judge and some good bluejeans

A regular treppenwitz reader recently sent me an email to let me know that;

a) she had just finished reading the entire(?!) treppenwitz archives going back to when I started this thing at the end of 2003.

~ and ~

b) she had a question about something I wrote in my 2007 birthday list.

First of all, I'm blown away by the fact that anyone has the time and/or inclination to slog through almost 5 years worth of my archives.  We're not talking about haikus here... I tend to use a paragraph where a phrase will do nicely!

But her questions were interesting ones.. and I thought they might be worth sharing since it deals with one of my pet (albeit strange) preferences.

The section of the 2007 birthday list she referred to was as follows:

20. Their politics aside, I stopped wearing Levi jeans because my measurements are nobody's business but my own.

21.  Their politics aside, I would probably start wearing Levi jeans again if I could custom order the little leather tab on the back to display measurements of my choosing.

22.  No, I didn't go over to the dark side (Wrangler or Lee [~shudder~]).  I wear Cinch Jeans.

So this young woman, who seems to have way too much time on her hands, emailed to ask me if I was sure that Levis couldn't be ordered with custom measurements printed on the leather tab (i.e. measurements other than the actual measurements of the jeans).  Apparently she'd heard that such a thing was possible. 

And she also asked me where she could find Cinch jeans, since she lived in Europe.

Her email led to a late-night Googling marathon looking for the fabled Levis with the 'custom' name/size tab.  I found nothing.  So if anyone out there knows of such a thing being possible, please leave a comment.

However, as to her problem of finding Cinch Jeans outside of 'cowboy country' (rural areas of the US which tend to be their target market), I'm nothing if not a giver:

I used to go to Fort Smith Arkansas on business about once a year.  The people down there are really nice ... even if the big attraction in town happens to be the courtroom and gallows where 'hanging judge' Isaac Parker dispensed a record quantity of frontier justice back in the late 19th century.   

Anyway, on one of these trips I found myself killing time between meetings and wandered into a western wear store on the town's main drag.  After all, I'd already seen the gallows, right?

What an experience (the store, that is... not the gallows)! 

First of all, this store had an entire department dedicated to a dizzying array of felt, leather and straw cowboy hats... and another even larger department dedicated entirely to cowboy boots!  The quantity and variety of these two accessories was truly amazing to behold.  And once you'd picked out your cowboy hat, there was a full-time hat consultant who would use a steam machine to mold and bend the crown and brim of the hat to exactly the position you desired.

No, I didn't buy any hats or boots while I was there (much as I was tempted), but I did pick up a pair of what would turn out to be the most comfortable, well fitted, jeans I have ever owned.  They were made by a company I'd never heard of before; Cinch.  Apparently Cinch caters primarily to the redneck, ahem, I mean rural outdoorsman crowd, and they are built to withstand farm/rodeo conditions.  I don't profess to engage in either activity, but I am hard on my clothing.

Those jeans (I bought the original green label) survived more than five years of really hard use (including many hikes and climbs around Israel's rugged landscapes), before starting to show real signs of wear.  So on a trip back to the states I went looking for a couple of replacement pairs.

Yeah right.  Try finding Cinch jeans in suburban New England.

I ended up having to call up that Western Wear Store in Fort Smith Arkansas (called 'Tip Top') to order my jeans.  The folks were as nice and helpful on the phone as they'd been in person, and within a couple of days I had my new Cinch Jeans... which by a happy coincidence I'm going to be wearing today.

So, in response to that patient young woman who slogged through my archives (and to anyone else who simply wants to find out more about these amazing jeans) you can either go here to check out the Cinch website, or you can call up the nice folks in Fort Smith and have them send you a pair:

Tip Top Western Wear
512 Garrison Ave

Fort Smith, AR
72901-2507 

Phone: (501) 783-0840

Just tell 'em 'that Jewish feller sent ya' (I think I may have been the first and only guy with a kippah to ever walk into the store).

Posted by David Bogner on October 27, 2008 | Permalink

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Wrangler is not so bad.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 27, 2008 5:40:32 PM

I wonder if they make denim skirts ;)

Posted by: Safranit | Oct 27, 2008 7:54:56 PM

Darn...I read the title and thought this was going to be a Bob Dylan song.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Oct 27, 2008 8:11:06 PM

Wonder if they'd ship to Kiwiland? I have never felt comfortable in jeans because I am heavily built (legs like Siberian birch trunks!) The local jeans are made for twig legged hobbits. Sigh.

Posted by: Noa | Oct 27, 2008 8:37:08 PM

When you were in Conn, did you ever go to Bob's Store? (used to be Bob's Surplus before they decided to upscale their image). I like their jeans, as they were very comfortable, and lasted well. I'll check out Cinch though. Hope they have odd sizes (I'm a little short in the leg, and unless I can cuff them, the bottom of my pants legs start frazzling after a while).

Posted by: JDMDad | Oct 27, 2008 9:12:37 PM

wasn't that whole levi's-measurements-on-the-outside thing a seinfeld episide? is this life imitating art?

Posted by: nikki | Oct 27, 2008 10:03:57 PM

LOVE it!

So, do you ever get out to a rodea while you are there? (I guess that is a very un-PC question.)

I love watching stunt riding (even if it ain't so PC)

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Oct 28, 2008 12:23:38 AM

(1) rodeos are cool. Not my usual cuppa, but that what makes 'em interesting to me. I suppose I would feel the same way about going to an NFL game, or a NASCAR race. Course, I never said I was a normal Yankee...

(2) Customize YOUR Levi's with a thin Sharpie. In my case, I have a harder time customizing my "spare tire," though, which would defeat the purpose. Maybe a tatto of a skinnier torso would do the trick...

(3) I'll be looking up Cinch jeans. I gots in-laws in cowboy country, so should be able to lay in a supply when I get to the Denver area, or Albu-jerky...

Thanks again, as ever ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 28, 2008 2:23:21 AM

Trep,
I live in Western Massachusetts and tried the Cinch website store locator by Zip code just for grins and apparently plenty retailers carry them in New England now. MA, CT and NY state anyway.
All is not lost next time you come back here !!!

Posted by: Ziggy | Oct 28, 2008 3:09:57 AM

Umm...the pictures on the website show jeans with CREASES.

No comment.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Oct 28, 2008 7:20:08 AM

I have a custom -made label on the rear end of my jeans, it says "IF YOU CAN READ THIS LABEL YOU"RE TOO CLOSE"

Posted by: asher | Oct 28, 2008 7:41:48 AM

should have bought a hat, remember, Jews and Cowboys have in common the fact that they're the only two kinds of folks that keep their hats on indoors and are proud of it!

Posted by: asher | Oct 28, 2008 8:11:24 AM

thank you Trepp for invading my dreams (nightmares??!!)
but apparently you make a great cowboy, sigh........

Posted by: Hadassah | Oct 28, 2008 1:35:08 PM

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