Gray Matter


Buying and Wearing Blue Jeans in the Philippines

RT Cunningham | August 30, 2020 (UTC) | Shopping

blue jeansI’ve never bought a single pair of blue jeans (or any other trousers) in the Philippines. I took some with me when I moved to Olongapo in 2006 and I took some more with me each time I returned from the United States.

Before two new malls opened near me in 2012, there weren’t a lot of choices available. To be honest, I don’t even know if those malls carry anything other than the cheap knockoffs of American brand name jeans. I haven’t shopped for clothing in the Philippines (other than dress shoes).

Buying Blue Jeans

Once, when I was on my way back from Manila, I stopped at a rest area where American brand name blue jeans were being sold in bulk, out on the sidewalk. I have no idea if they were the real deal or counterfeit clothing.

Usually the counterfeit clothing looks and feels like the real thing, but the name is misspelled. They were Levi’s blue jeans, with the name spelled correctly. The prices were about half the price you’d pay anywhere in the United States when they aren’t on sale.

I’ve seen plenty of people wearing counterfeit Dickies blue jeans, misspelled as “Dickees” or “Dickeys”. The logos look the same except for the spelling. Perhaps I haven’t paid attention to what people are wearing enough because I haven’t seen counterfeit Wranglers or Levi’s. Mostly what I’ve seen are non-American brand names.

Wearing Blue Jeans

I always have black jeans as well as blue jeans in my closet. I used to wear them randomly even in the hottest months of the Philippines. In 2017, I started wearing basketball-style shorts (or board shorts) around home.

If you read about what to wear in the Philippines, when dining out or other non-formal activities, you’re always cautioned not to wear blue jeans. I don’t know where that comes from because I’ve seen hordes of people wearing jeans, even in the finest of dining establishments. Of course, they’re wearing jeans that aren’t faded and full of holes.

Just like in the United States, there are places in the Philippines where wearing blue jeans is unacceptable. You wouldn’t wear blue jeans to a wedding, would you? I have dress slacks and dress shirts in my closet for those rare occasions when blue jeans aren’t proper. I’ve probably worn them three times in the last 14 years.

Stocking Up

Honestly, I don’t care what brand name jeans I wear. I don’t even care if they’re made in the Philippines (as long as they’re not made in China). Unfortunately, I usually can’t find my size in anything. It seems like most clothing being sold in the Philippines is for short, skinny people. It’s odd, of course, because there are plenty of people (even Filipinos) of my size and stature.

I have some blue jeans one size too small for me. Two pairs, I think, maybe three. If I can find any more that will fit me when I shed some belly fat, I’ll be sure to snatch them up.

I had more blue jeans than I could count when I moved there. The last company I worked for in the United States was a trucking company, and they didn’t care what we wore to work. I have a lot fewer now, but not few enough to make me go out and look for more.

Photo Attribution: Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in March 2014.

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RT Cunningham