Retail Therapy: The denim debacle is splitting at the seams

Say hello to "detachable jeans" — the latest dreadful denim to break the internet.

It’s been another weird week in retail.

No good, very bad jeans are back, and now they're detachable; pastel rompers for men are seizing the internet; and "Saturday Night Live" is giving Amazon some free advice for its next Alexa-enabled device.

This, and more, in this week’s Retail Therapy.

Detachable jeans are here to win the jean war

Between Nordstrom’s $425 mud jeans, TopShop’s $95 Clear Panel Mom Jeans and Levi’s/Vetements’ $1,261“bare butt” jeans, brands have been caught up in something of an absurd denim arms race.

This week, Open Ceremony, a New York-based e-commerce and showroom company, is winning with unfathomable Y/Project-branded “Detachable Cut-Out Front Jeans."

What exactly are they? Think back to zip-off cargo pants.


For most consumers, zip-off pants pants faded away with Aaron Carter’s frosted tips and jelly bracelets. But now bleached high-waisted denim is making them cool again — and just in time for the summer. Because who doesn’t want the option to transform their jeans into jorts once they walk out of the office?

The $425 jeans (if they can still be classified as such), fit snug to the waist and cut off just below the bikini line to show a sliver of skin above a baggy straight-leg pant. The great part about these pants is that if you get too hot, you can simply unbutton the bottoms, and bam, you’ve got yourself a denim diaper.


At this point, we have to wonder if in some dark corner of the consumer market some deep-pocketed denim enthusiasts are actually collecting these atrocious denim designs. Here's what Twitter had to say about the new look:

RompHim seizes the internet

While women walk around in detachable jeans this summer, what will the men be wearing you ask? Well rompers, of course — for men.

“Is it a romper designed for men? Sure. But it's also pretty damn comfortable, and it may just be the start of a fashion revolution,” so reads the description of RompHim’s kickstarter campaign for the trend. The company had raised $266,835 on a $10,000 goal as of press time — blowing past its goal and ensuring that die-hard romper-loving men will be rocking the look by August.

Still confused what a "RompHim" looks like? Here you go:


Reaction to the breezy one-piece summer style has been mixed on Twitter, with some consumers roasting RompHim and others praising the company for bringing the look to men's fashion. It's unclear whether the RompHim will truly take off, but we can at least hope it shall be remembered alongside 2017 highlights such as the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino.

There’s an Echo for everyone

From the release of its closet-dwelling personal stylist, Echo Look, to its visually responsive Echo Show, Amazon has been busy of late crafting an Alexa-enabled device it seems for nearly every customer.

Now there's even one for senior citizens, according to a recent skit on "Saturday Night Live."

"The latest technology isn't always easy for people to use of a certain age," reads the fake advertisement. "That's why Amazon partnered with AARP to present the new Amazon Echo Silver — the only smart speaker designed specifically to be used by The Greatest Generation." 

The device is "super-loud" and responds to any name even slightly close to Alexa, including but not limited to: Allegra, Anita, Alberta and Excederin. Older folks can use the device to ask about the weather and news about sports and local news. It even has an "uh-huh" feature that kicks in when users tell long, rambling stories.

Older generations generally have a skepticism for new technologies, but SNL may be on to something here.

Barnes & Noble customer's subtle Ivanka Trump snub

Retailers have been caught in the crossfire of Donald Trump’s contentious first few months as president, as consumers have taken to boycotting stores that sell Trump products. Ivanka Trump’s brand in particular has taken a beating, especially after Nordstrom began winding down the sale of her products.

But not all retailers have waded into the political debate. Barnes & Noble for one has been selling Ivanka Trump’s recently released career manual (for the 1%) "Women Who Work." Some shoppers, though, aren’t all that happy about it, and one customer took matters into her own hands.

In a Long Beach, CA, store Librarian Chloé Pascual took the courtesy of rearranging a display surrounding the book to curate a collection of titles, including: “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents,” “Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life” and “Disarming the Narcissist.”

“I was acting in my role as a cheeky bookstore customer,” Pascual told New York Magazine’s The Cut.

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Filed Under: Consumer Trends
Top image credit: Opening Ceremony