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Buying and Wearing Blue Jeans in the Philippines

- March 23, 2014

blue jeans I have to admit that I’ve never bought a single pair of blue jeans in the Philippines. I brought a few pairs with me when I moved to Olongapo City in 2006 and I bought a couple more the last time I was in the United States.

Before two new malls were 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 yet.

Buying Blue Jeans

Once, when I was on my way back from Manila, we 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 usually misspelled. These were Levi blue jeans, with the name spelled correctly. The prices they were being sold for was 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 Levis or Wranglers. Mostly what I’ve seen are non-American brand names.

Wearing Blue Jeans

I have one pair of black jeans, but most of them are the Levi relaxed fit blue jeans. I wear them even in the hottest months of the Philippines. I don’t like wearing shorts.

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. They’re usually not blue though (usually black, red or green). 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 where blue jeans aren’t proper. I’ve probably worn them twice in the last eight years.

Stocking up on Blue Jeans

The wife wants to go shopping for blue jeans in Phoenix before we head back to the Philippines at the end of the year. I’m like any typical male – I don’t like shopping for anything. I told her we should wait and see what we could find in Olongapo and she doesn’t agree. Oh well, it looks like I’ll be out shopping whether I want to or not.

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 made for short, skinny people. It’s odd, of course, because there are plenty of people (even Filipinos) of my size and stature.

The question that’s unanswered is whether I’m going to carry this stuff in my luggage when I leave or if I’m going to ship it ahead of me in a balikbayan box. We have four empty boxes to fill.

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