You Need This... I Promise

The Column Patch Pocket Jean

Ann at home in a navy tshirt, black suede block heels, and our new patch-pocket column jeans.

You need these jeans. Or at least I’m pretty sure you do. I have now written 108 of these posts, and I am not going to lie, I am getting sick of my own voice. It is a little daunting to keep writing these every two weeks. I know I am enthusiastic about clothes – I still get all fired up about finding something new and making myself “into” whoever I want to be on that day – but sometimes you just see something cool and you want it. I want these new jeans. They remind me a bit of the 70s and I was imagining the very hip Jane Birkin wearing them all over France with her little basket bag and a baby on her hip. They are cool, long, lean, and have some attitude to them. The new 7-year indigo wash is a fantastic, faded shade of blue. But what else can I tell you?

So. Do you know what I had the idea to do?  

Cheat.

I have heard so much about ChatGPT and have been mesmerized and actually kind of freaked out the more I read. I listened to a crazy The Daily podcast about it and my mind was totally blown. What if… I got on Chat GPT and asked for a little help writing my next post?  Could it… write it for me?  What would it say? Would it be good? Would it be BETTER? My limited understanding was that it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate answers to your questions, gathering information from EVERYWHERE in the universe and using its language patterns to come up with a response. Wow.  

So I started playing around. First, I asked if it knew who I was. It spit out a very dry (but accurate) bio. I couldn’t resist asking if it knew about Sid, and the response described him as, among other things, “the husband of Ann Mashburn.” I am suspicious that since it was my second question, they clocked who was asking, and threw me that bone to make me feel important. The bio did not describe me as the wife of anyone. Is AI feminist? Or maybe – even more likely – just flattering me in an effort to keep me chatting? Am I really anthropomorphizing this chatbot? 

In the spirit of the blog, I then moved on to fashion talk and asked who the most famous fashion editor of all time was. ChatGPT decided it was Diana Vreeland (not Anna Wintour; interesting) and when I next asked what she would say about the subject of the day – our new Patch Pocket Column Jean – its response was kind of spot on. Not a thrill to read, but with enough tidbits to get you through a pop quiz. Cliffs Notes for fashion school. 

Q: Can you describe patch pocket jeans in the style of Diana Vreeland
A: Diana Vreeland, a noted fashion editor and style icon, was known for her bold and innovative fashion sense. While patch pocket jeans were not a signature item in her personal style, she likely would have appreciated their practicality and versatility. If we were to imagine patch pocket jeans in the style of Diana Vreeland, they might be designed with a more dramatic flair or unexpected detail to make them stand out. For example, the patch pockets might be oversized or asymmetrically placed, or the jeans could feature a bold pattern or contrasting stitching. Vreeland was also known for her love of vibrant colors and patterns, so she might have opted for patch pocket jeans in a bold hue or eye-catching print. Overall, the style would likely be distinctive and attention-grabbing, reflecting Vreeland's fearless approach to fashion.

Fine. Not thrilling, but informational at least. Wanting to get some real drama from my new friend (and cheating accomplice,) I asked what another fashion editor, Andre Leon Talley, would have to say about these jeans or my Jane Birkin inspiration. If anyone could inspire some interesting AI-generated material, I thought, it might be him. ALT passed away a year ago and his collection happens to be up for auction at Christie’s as we speak. Me and Chat GPT, that is. I was hoping for some more colorful comments here in the style of Andre’s speaking voice. “Jane! Darling, let me tell you all about Jane in those GLORIOUS jeans and her absolutely effortless style!” His office was across the hall from me when I worked at Vogue, and let me tell you, he was crazy-good to just listen to. He was the loveliest man and always very kind to me… but ChatGPT did not nail his style. 

Q: What would Andre Leon Talley say about Jane Birkin and patch pocket wide leg jeans?

A: I cannot predict exactly what Andre Leon Talley would say about Jane Birkin and patch pocket wide leg jeans, but as a fashion expert, he would likely appreciate Jane Birkin's effortless and iconic style and recognize the enduring influence of patch pocket wide leg jeans from the 1970s. He might also comment on the way in which Birkin's style reflected the cultural and social changes of the time, as fashion often reflects the broader context in which it is created.

Eh. Same, but different. After a lot of back-and-forth about Diana and Andre and their iconic status, I was ready to move on to ME. The real reason I came to play. What would Ann Mashburn have to say about these pants? Write my column. Do my homework. Tell me about me. 

Q: What would Ann Mashburn say about Patch Pocket wide leg jeans in her You Need This I Promise blog? 

A: Ann Mashburn is a fashion designer and retailer known for her classic, timeless style. In her blog "You Need This I Promise," she often recommends wardrobe essentials that are both stylish and practical.

While I cannot say for certain, Ann Mashburn might recommend patch pocket wide leg jeans as a versatile and flattering addition to any wardrobe. She might highlight the practicality of the patch pockets and the comfort and ease of the wide leg silhouette, while also noting that they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. She might suggest pairing them with a simple, classic blouse or tee and a pair of comfortable shoes for a stylish and effortless look. Overall, she would likely emphasize the enduring appeal and versatility of patch pocket wide leg jeans, and how they can be incorporated into a variety of different styles and wardrobes.

Still a little dry, don’t you think? Maybe I needed to clarify my process a little more. I went at it again:

Q: Can you write about Patch Pocket Jeans in the style of Ann Mashburn and tell a personal story about her wearing them in the 1970's when she was in high school?

A:  As a language model, I don't have access to personal information about Ann Mashburn's life or her personal stories. However, based on her fashion philosophy and style, I can imagine that Ann Mashburn might have a personal connection to patch pocket jeans. In her blog "You Need This I Promise," Mashburn often advocates for classic, timeless styles that are both practical and stylish. She might appreciate the practicality and versatility of patch pocket jeans, highlighting how the large pockets can be used to store small items like keys or a phone while also adding a distinctive detail to the jeans.

In terms of personal stories, I can only speculate. However, it's possible that Mashburn may have worn patch pocket jeans in the 1970s when she was in high school, as they were a popular style at the time. She may have paired them with a simple tee or blouse and some comfortable shoes for a stylish and effortless look. Regardless of her personal experiences, it's clear that patch pocket jeans are a versatile and enduring style that can be worn by anyone looking for a classic, practical addition to their wardrobe. 

At this point, though the speed and competency was pretty crazy… the stuff ChatGPT was churning out wasn’t exactly riveting. A lot of hedging about stuff I might say. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up. I had heard the New York Times say that ChatGPT could write its own original content too. 

Q: Write a limerick about Jane Birkin and her patch pocket jeans.

A: There once was a girl named Jane Birkin, Whose style was the talk of the workin', In patch pocket jeans, She looked ever so keen, And left fashionistas a-gawkin'.

Hmm. So there it is – AM vs. AI. I’m not so sure I am Intelligent, but I am definitely not Artificial. I suppose with AI and Chat GPT you may not need ME, I promise, but you might need these new jeans. They look great on everyone I’ve seen wear them. I love them. I hope the chatbots are listening.  

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