Duluth Trading Company
Women’s Workwear
PO Box 409
Belleville WI, 53508-0409

Dear Duluth:

I am returning to you the jeans I purchased from you. I don’t expect a refund because I wore and washed them four or five times.

I wanted to like them. I’m a six-foot tall working woman, and love both your catalogs and your understanding of working women. I also love the fact that I can buy pants long enough to cover my ankles.

So I really tried to like the jeans.

However, the below-the-waist fit means the jeans don’t stay just below the waist, they keep slipping down. Every time I bend over, they slip further down until I start tripping over the extra length that I was so delighted to have. I need jeans that hug my waist and stay there.

That’s partly my fault. I ordered the wrong style.

But there’s more.

It has to do with the stretch fabric. In the morning when they’re freshly laundered and I’m only half awake, I have to squirm into them like wriggling into the body-shaping corset my grandmother wore. I don’t want my body shaped by some stretchy material. By mid-morning the stretch relaxes, and by late afternoon the stretch is gone and the jeans slip down whenever I move. See above.

But the real impetus for returning the jeans is the pockets. What on earth possessed you to provide such stingy pockets in the jeans of working women?

I like to put my hands in my pockets to warm them. Sometimes just to give me a comfortable position for thinking about things. But I can barely squeeze the first two joints of my fingers past the stretch fabric. Two finger joints is all that will fit in those skimpy pockets. I need to put stuff in my pockets in addition to my hands, like my knife, a measuring tape, twine, my gloves, and a paper towel. Knife and measuring tape are essentials.

The precipitating factor in returning these jeans to you was after my knife slipped unnoticed out of the inadequate pocket never to be seen again.

Did you design those pockets to save money? Surely, they can’t add more than fifty cents to the price. I can’t believe it’s a matter of style in working women’s pants.

Anyway, those are my reasons for sending your jeans back to you.

Cynthia Riggs


About Cynthia Riggs

CYNTHIA RIGGS, author of eleven books in the Martha’s Vineyard mystery series, has a geology degree from Antioch College, an MFA from Vermont College, and a Coast Guard Masters License (100-ton vessels). She recently married Dr. Howard Attebery, who came back into her life after 62 years.
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  1. I’m a Duluth fan too, but I do notice that along with my jeans I’m usually wearing a vest with big pockets. I bet they’ll send you a refund or at least a gift certificate!

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