Susie Bright: I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay

200812231123 In the war for blue jean supremacy, there is no more worthy, yet neglected contender than the Wild Ass Jean, complete with six Wild Ass bachelor buttons and red suspenders. Fleece lining, your choice!

I spotted these jeans on the street, not because of the double-duty denim craftsmanship, but because of the little tag on the rear pocket that featured a little donkey kicking his hind legs like he really means business!

Once I arrived at Bailey's woodsman supply site, I realized that I was one chipper behind the curve. The work clothes and boots they offer are the warmest, ruggedest, and strangely, most flattering work togs I've purchased in years.

As a seamstress, I can tell you that making your own jeans is for "advanced members" only. (See my Craft Liturgy: "Life's Too Short for Pants"). For those of you who won't be turned away, I suggest starting with Sandra Betzina's Vogue pattern #7608 -- plus her book, Fast Fit. You will also need two sewing machines set up -- one for straight stitch, one for double -- plus a serger, if you hope to finish your jeans within a month. There is no ballgown that takes as much labor and finesse as a tailored pair of Western jeans -- but your buttons will burst if you pull it off successfully!

UPDATE: Email Bailey's to get on their waiting list for the next supply of Wild Asses! Many sizes are already gone for the Xmas rush.

(Susie Bright is a guest blogger)



  1. Seriously – the wonderfulness and breadth of Ms. Bright’s posts as a guest have been amazing – please please make her a permanent Boinger by proclamation! (That’s is, if she’ll take the job.)

  2. OK, asking this one as the voice of the ignorant flock – what exactly are bachelor buttons? Google is mostly giving me info about flowers. Are these just snap buttons? Decorative buttons?

  3. The work clothes and boots they offer are the warmest, ruggedest, and strangely, most flattering work togs I’ve purchased in years.

    Broadening the scope to pants generally, I’m a fan of the Dickies Double Knee Work Pant #85283 because they’re super durable and virtually stain-proof. (I’ve only managed to stain them when a permanent marker leaked inside my pocket; they’re Scotchgarded.) They’re also currently on sale and with free shipping until the end of the year.

    However, with the freezing winter months upon any of us in the northern hemisphere, I remember maybe 10 years ago one jean company including Polartec fleece lining inside. I’m thinking this would be preferable to finding long johns to keep the legs warm.

  4. I’m sorry, but in my view, there’s something profoundly wrong about an article promoting jeans called “Wild Ass Jeans” without there being one, single image of our much appreciated guest blogger spotted, in the wild, wearing said brand of jeans.

    I just want to be able to achieve an honest assesment.

    Really. :-)

  5. Aw, man… Never thought I’d see this day. My Dad’s a Lumberjack, and definitely more than OK.

    The zen feeling for me is that, uber-quixotically, my a-technical Dad just got featured on BB… Surreal.

    He’s shopped from Bailey’s for years, and wears those Wild Ass jeans every single work day. When he was falling trees years ago, they all cut the cuff hems off the bottom of the legs for safety. After a tree hit the ground, the fallers would walk along on the trunk cutting off all the branches with the chainsaw. (There’s jargon for this that escapes me… “Bumping logs”, perhaps?) A broken or roughly cut branch often left a pointy stub just long enough to catch and snare a cuff, and trip the poor bastard off the tree. The cut cuffs would just tear through the fabric with the broken point. Better than taking a header into the chaos of bowed and broken branches under-and-beside the tree.

    He calls the suspenders “guy-wires”.

    I love it that he not only embodies the logger stereotype, and is something of an anachronism in this day and age, but also incredibly sweet, thoughtful, wise, and honorable. One of the best people I’ve ever known. Sure I’m biased, but technically he’s my step-father; I met him as a teen.

    He totally wins at Life.

    A terrific and poignant (and fictionalized) depiction of the modern state of lumber-town life was recorded in this book:

    [full disclosure: I’m the author’s son. Regarding this, though, the book is hardly available so I have little to promote. And in my mom’s writing spirit, I encourage anyone interested to seek it out at another anachronism: your public library. (Or school)]

  6. I am totally seconding crankypage’s nomination of Susie Bright for, if not permanent BoingBoinger, at least Guest Blogger of the year!! Not only are her posts incredibly diverse, they are incredibly numerous. And they are also personal and insightful without becoming lengthy essays with no finite “wonderful thing” to speak of.

    Anyway, just saying thanks, Susie!

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