I had a list of things and activities I wanted to do in Nashville. In the past couple of years, the city has become a year-long party and culture town — for good and bad. Never the less, I had other ideas then to get sloshed or go honkey-tonkin’.
- Hot chicken
- Dive bars
- Record shopping
- Buy jeans
Buy jeans? Yeah. We’re not talking Levi’s, Wrangler’s or Lee’s — the brands you might expect that they wear in the one of the most laid back cities in America. I wanted jeans that were designed and made in America. I didn’t care about the cost, the jeans I were going to buy would be well-made, last a lifetime and never go out of style.
There’s a store in Nashville that is a must for seekers of style. imogene + willie is housed in a former gas station in the Melrose section south of downtown. They are known worldwide for their jeans, t-shirts and Nashville cool. J.Crew and Anthropologie sold their stuff at one time. Although, in 2016, they moved their HQ to Los Angeles quietly, which upset locals and their investors.
Even though you can buy them online, if I’m going to spend $250 for jeans, I want to see them in person and see them on my person (I did the same thing in Tokyo). I walked in 15 minutes before closing and told the young lady salesperson wearing a floppy hat the size of car tire, “I’m walking out of here with a pair of jeans.” She lined up their entire selection in different sizes and I tried them all on until I found the perfect pair — the Charlie Wauseon.
As an added bonus for buying them in person, they’ll alter the length so you can have the right cuff so it breaks at your shoe. For an insider tip, have it sent to your home address and you won’t pay sales tax. Granted, you won’t be able to wear them right out of the store, but the tailoring and saving $30 is worth it.
The jeans are amazing. They were waiting for me when I got home, and wore them pretty much every day for the whole summer. The jeans have their cross emblem, no garish designs, gold brass rivets and have a lived-in wash. It feels like a one-of-a-kind, custom-made jean.
Yes, they are amazingly expensive compared to your run-of-the-mill $60 Levi’s made in some Asian country. If you are buying imogene + willie, you are making a “Made in U.S.A” statement, but also buying something that will last ad won’t look like dad jeans. Their other clothing items I’d skip like the $80 white t-shirt and such.