After to a tip from Spice about a 70%-off sale, M.Bro, Mel and I went to Context, a new upscale men's clothing store, after the art fair on Sunday. The dude there was ridiculously helpful, and I would have bought a pair of jeans if they had any of the 50%-off ones in my size. I tried on some of the non-sale Nudies, which were in the $250-300 range, and was sold. I was even more sold when the other owner stopped by with a pair of Nudie Regular Ralfs that he had been wearing for four years (washed 3x) - they were stunning. I literally stopped in my tracks and stared at them, slack-jawed. Even Mel, hardly a men's fashion maven, proclaimed them, "OK, I guess".
As much as I'd like to keep Context in business, I can't afford non-clearance US prices. Fortunately, it's far, far cheaper to buy from Europe (especially after taking off the EU's VAT) and have them shipped to the US. Kitchener, an online retailer based in Bern, Switzerland, does exactly that. M.Bro, lovely, loving wife that she is, asked whether a pair of Swedish jeans would make a nice early birthday present. Indeed, they would! So, 3 1/2 weeks from now, I get to start breaking in a pair of Nudie Straight Svens - the same upper as the Regular Ralfs I tried on at Context, but a straight leg instead of a bootcut. I'm taking all of my other pants to goodwill and never, ever wearing anything else ever. If you're looking around the site, the prices are actually a little lower than they appear - everything is listed in Swiss francs, which are worth about 1.33 USD.
Kitchener has a nice overview of Nudie jeans, and premium denim in general.