When Mike Rowe Saw a $400 Pair of “Dirty” Jeans, He Just Had to Weigh In

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Best known as the host of the show “Dirty Jobs,” Mike Rowe decided to chime in on a product offering from Nordstrom: Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans.” The pants, described as “heavily distressed” by the retailer, feature a fabric treatment that makes it look like dirt and mud are caked onto the fabric. And come with a price tag over $400.


In a post on Facebook, Rowe said, “Finally – a pair of jeans that look like they have been worn by someone with a dirty job…made for people who don’t.”

The Nordstrom description says the jeans “embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hardworking action” and that wearers don’t have to be “afraid to get down and dirty.”


Rowe acknowledges the appeal of jeans that wear as if they are already broken in, as well as the variety of cuts available and how they can make a person feel more comfortable. However, he says “they lost me years ago with their various stages of ‘distress.’”

“And they really lost me when they started tearing holes in them on purpose.”

He continued, “I saw a pair of jeans at Macy’s the other day that looked like they’d been bathed in boric acid, hung up and shot multiple times with a twelve-gauge, and then pounded on a rock down by the river. They too, were on sale, for $249.00.”


Many readers of the post saw his point, leaving some comments along the way, including potentially missed opportunities to profit off of their old workwear.





Rowe also took issue with parts of the retailer’s description, including how “’Rugged Americana’ is now synonymous with a ‘caked-on, muddy coating,” and that the jeans featured “fake mud” to “foster the illusion of work.”

“The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t pants,” he said, “They’re not even fashion. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic.”