Please Help Me With My Stinky Jeans

How the heck is this stuff still happening to me at this point in my life?

Tonight I’ll attend the Nasher Prize reveal at The Warehouse. Though I’ve never gone to one of these gigs before, I imagine it’ll be the sort of social setting that will make me so nervous that I’ll slam three glasses chard and drop vulgarities into casual conversation in an ill-advised attempt to appear relaxed. And this jeans problem I’m having certainly won’t help. Let me explain.

This morning I put on a recently washed pair of burgundy Bonobos jeans. Maybe they are maroon. But burgundy sounds way more like a color one should wear when one is in the company of a Rachofsky, so I’m going with burgundy. Before my daughter left the house for school, I knelt to tie her shoes and picked up a whiff of what smelled like stinky feet. “Are you wearing dirty socks?” I asked her, bowing lower to better smell her feet, looking, I’m sure, like a peasant pleading to a lord to spare his life. Such are the indignities of parenthood. Anyway, I smelled nothing. A mystery. No time for a full investigation. Kid off to school and I to work.

It was there, seated at my desk, that I realized from whence the odor emanated. From me. Or, more specifically, from my jeans. I texted my wife: “My jeans must have sat in the washing machine after they’d been clean. Am I right? My pants today stink like feet. I’m not quite sure what to do about this.” She replied: “I worried about those clothes stinking. Only solution is to rewash them. And maybe come home to change before your event.”

This is no good. As the jeans have warmed to my body temperature, they have ripened, like a fine cheese. I have no time to return home to change pants. So here I sit, perplexed, smelling like an unpasteurized Camembert.

Surely someone has a life hack for this problem. Can boxer briefs be considered “cocktail attire”?


  • bmslaw

    Just after reading this post, the following popped up on this page: “We cover the powerful—and sometimes difficult—narratives shaping our city.” Irony?

    • That’s not irony. That’s delivering on a promise.

  • Mandy Aguilar

    Can you put them in a freezer for a few hours? I’ve read about people “washing” jeans that way.

    • You might have something here. I happen to have a spare pair of shorts at work. Hmm.

      • Matt Goodman

        Do not put your trash pants in the damn work freezer, Tim.

  • Larry Brautigam

    Wear the briefs on the outside of the jeans.

    Someone will notice.

  • Febreeze.

    • I guess I’d rather smell like Camembert.

  • Bobby

    Borrow Eric’s skinny clothes?

  • Krista Nightengale


  • Capasso

    Solution: stop wearing pants named after a chimpanzee. God intended us to wear Levi 501 jeans. You have offended the Lord, and the Camembert stench is your penance. Unclean!

    • If a couple chimps have to die so that their hides can be used to make my pants, I think the Lord is cool with that.

  • Mavdog

    Get yourself into Neiman’s and have their men’s fragrance people spritz something around your bottom half. Isn’t that what they orignally invented that stuff to do, cover up body odor?

  • Amy S

    White vinegar. 1 cup in the wash. Takes the stink out.

    • Sure. I guess I could take off my pants and wash them in the sink at work. But I don’t have vinegar. Or a dryer.

      • Amy S

        When you get home. Somehow I think you’ll be washing them yourself.

  • T_S_

    Go to Neiman’s and buy a pair of maroon jeans to replace your burgundy ones.

  • RAB

    “Whence” already encompasses the “from” part. It should have read “I realized whence the odor emanated.” “From whence” is like “PIN number.”

    And here’s a solution for you: try wiping better next time. My preteen boys used to have a problem with stinky jeans, but better bathroom hygiene solved it.