Bitten in the Ass by the Economic Downturn

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard

I have never in my life owned a proper pair of jeans. I wear jeans to work literally every day, so my closet is full of them, but they’re all Levi’s, American Eagle, Old Navy, even K-Mart. About a year ago, I was in the Manhattan Mall (which I’m pretty sure most New Yorkers don’t know exists and which consists of approximately eight stores) and walked into a Steve & Barry’s store simply because Sarah Jessica Parker had pushed her Bitten line (“available exclusively at Steve & Barry’s”) so hard on the episode of “Project Runway” in which she was a judge. Not to, you know, buy anything but to gawk at all of the rhinestone-studded tank tops with the “Sex and the City” logo on them.

I ended up with three pairs of Bitten jeans in various cuts and have never looked back. I love the fit, I love the wash, and I love that laundering them doesn’t make them shrink or change color, even after all this time. At $8.98 per pair, if I only wore each 50 times, it’d cost me about 17¢ for each wear. And I’ve probably actually worn each pair more like 500 times, so they were essentially free. AND ALSO THE BEST JEANS EVER.

When Steve & Barry’s stores started closing across the nation, I was like, “Noooooooooo sweat. Nothing closes down in NYC.” But oh, the humanity! When I went into the Manhattan Mall recently, my store was being liquidated, and the only Bitten jeans left were the freaky zipper-at-the-ankle kind. And I’m not a zipper-at-the-ankle kind of girl.

So I got the next best thing. That’s right–jeans designed by this girl. Sure, it’s a little embarrassing that in a city full of sample sales where designer jeans are 80% off, I’m buying $8 jeans made somewhere like the Republic of Mozambique, but it’s better to be a cheapskate than pay someone hundreds of dollars to rip fashionable holes in my pants, right? R . . . ight?

And now I’m off to eBay to buy my $8.98 jeans for a hefty mark-up of 400%.


  1. Kamran: How could you have worn jeans you bought a year ago 500 times? That means you not only wore them every day but some days took them off and put them back on.

    me: You say this as if I’m a logical person.

  2. Kylie says:

    the bitten boyfriend jean is my favorite jean of all time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ya know, there is (was?) a Steve and Barry’s in San Francisco that I meant to go to and then completely forgot about until right now. Now I am mourning the jeans I never owned…

  4. Beth says:

    Uh, I totally forgot the put my name on that last comment.

  5. I will never shop at S&B again.
    In NY the extra affordable Starberrys Sneakers & Clothing Apparel were sooooo hot when they first came out.

    The sneakers and jackets were sold out everywhere.
    I finally got my hands on a pair of the sneakers I wanted & they were the worst sneakers…IN THE WORLD.
    They had to be made by some mentally challenged Malaysian workers with 3 fingers on each hand.

    I couldn’t even walk in them I just threw them in the garbage. I had totally forgot about that whole experience until you created this bargain bin shopping post.

    What’s next girl?…
    …that Matt Damon movie GoodWill Hunting

    • You don’t HAVE to shop at Steve and Barry’s, because everyone in Texas is an oil tycoon with a pool, and the only store you have down there is Walmart, anyway.

  6. Smail says:

    Oh, and here I thought from the title that you’d lost your job. I’ve gotten some great deals at Steve and Barry’s, but it was also the first place I ever had to try on clothes. Most of the size labels seem to have been applied by blind people. Or maybe people working in caves.

    A friend of mine briefly worked there as a manager. She said that every decision the company made was based on $$$. If shipping their clothes via boat from Malaysia to China to get buttons sewed on saved them a couple bucks, they’d do it.

    • Yeah, my Amanda Bynes jeans are three sizes bigger than my Sarah Jessica Parker jeans. One of them is apparently sized for large women wanting to feel smaller, while the other is appropriately sized for 11-year-old girls.

      Do you think it’s wrong to base all your decisions as a company on money? I’m sure it’s bad for workers, but I didn’t think you had sympathy like that.