Everything was in place for me to face Clinton and Stacy from "What Not to Wear. " I had been briefed on their schedule, toured the Red...
Everything was in place for me to face Clinton and Stacy from “What Not to Wear.”
I had been briefed on their schedule, toured the Red salon on Third Avenue to see where they would perform their hair, clothing and makeup magic on an unsuspecting local firefighter, and listened to owner Angela Bern talk in serious tones about people wanting to “reidentify” themselves. But I never went back to watch the folks from The Learning Channel show perform their popular TLC.
All this style talk is not my style. Rather than be told what I needed to change, I just wanted a good pair of jeans.
Is that so wrong?
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Better, I landed in a pair of Levi’s with the help of Intellifit, a silent measuring machine without a nose to wrinkle, or a quip for the cameras, as Stacy had for the firefighter when she reportedly said she had come to “extinguish” her “bad fashion sense.” Ouch.
It took just minutes at the Levi’s Store in downtown Seattle for me to find the crucial denim canvas on which everyone paints their personality.
The Intellifit machine — which is free, and will be at the store through Sunday — was developed with technology from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. It uses radio waves to penetrate clothing and reflect off the body, then sends signals back to a computer that creates a 3-D holograph.
All you do is enter your personal preferences into a computer (relaxed or slim fit? above the waist or way below?), step into a Plexiglas dressing room and stand with your arms and feet apart. A wand circles for about 10 seconds. Moments later, the machine spits out a slip of paper with the size and length of several different types of Levi’s.
It was a reasonable respite from the “I’m OK, You Need to be Weed-Whacked” trend that has saturated the culture: “Queer Eye,” “Extreme Makeover” and (gasp!) “The Swan.”
It’s a wonder any of us leaves the house.
If finding the perfect pair of jeans free of the judgment and drama, the cameras and the crowd meant hanging out with a robot, then call me Jane Jetson. And while Kathryn Maulhardt, the senior fit specialist for the Levi’s women’s brand, was there to consult, she let the machine call the shots.
I found two pairs of jeans in size Not So Bad, and zipped up my dignity, to boot.
Then Zina Atwood walked in. Gorgeous — but also tortured by jeans: “They’re either too big in the waist or my butt looks fat,” she told me.
And Atwood is a pro; she used to work at a Gap store, helping folks find their “Personal Pair.”
“That’s rock-and-chisel compared to this,” she said, then stepped into the Intellifit.
Moments later, her results: Boot-cut 515s, size 4L; Original 501s size 27-34; and a Nouveau Boot Cut 515s, size 4L.
(I know. I hate her, too.)
But wait. Was that Maulhardt second-guessing her own machine?
“She’s probably closer to a 2 or a 3,” she said of Atwood.
Everyone’s a critic.
Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or email@example.com.
She’s in love with her 501s.