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Forever in Blue Jeans, Babe

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August 5, 2011 by wcobserver

Stop by your local high school or college some time. In fact, head to the mall, the grocery store or any American workplace on a Friday, and you’ll notice one common piece of apparel. Jeans. Young and old, big and small, super models and dumpster divers alike… we’re all wearing them. Unfortunately… we’re not all wearing them well.

When I was a kid, we were pretty much limited to the three major brands of the day… Wrangler, Lee and Levis… and, for the most part, they all looked about the same. If you wanted to set yourself apart, your only option was a belt. In those days jeans were called dungarees, and they ran around 15 bucks a pair… probably less if your mom was a thrifty shopper, and bought Toughskins from the Sears catalog. But even the most fashion forward among us didn’t wear anything that cost more than $20.

By the mid 70’s all that had changed. The average high school student might have struggled if asked to decipher the period table of elements. But across the nation, from Manhattan to Memphis and Los Angeles to Lubbock… any self-respecting teenager knew the difference between flares and bell-bottoms. Deeper into the 70’s, those same kids proudly adorned their back pockets with names like Gloria Vanderbilt, Sergio Valente and Jordache. And from there it was a slippery slope into denim madness. These days, buying a pair of jeans is more complicated than a Kafka novel.

I thought we’d seen the worst of it about 5 years ago when I started paying $100 for a pair of jeans that had already been “distressed”… keeping me from doing all the hard work myself. But that was just the beginning. Now jeans come in a dozen different stages of wear, from frayed, tattered and ripped to… my personal favorite…“destroyed.”

Stores like The Gap and The Denim Bar serve up a variety of cuts too. Skinny jeans, straight leg and boot cut are just a few of the top sellers. But they also come in every conceivable color and wash… like vintage, indigo, dark, or faded. If you’re concerned about fit, look no further. You’ll find relaxed, easy, loose, baggy, slim, curvy, diva and boyfriend.

High dollar stores carry more name brands, and styles of denim, than you’ll find at a Garth Brooks concert. Everything from hip huggers, clam diggers, button-fly, side-zip, and embellished pockets can be found on the shelf… right next to the “pièce de résistance”…jeggings.

The choice is so overwhelming, that I’m pretty sure my son spent less time choosing a college than he did his last pair of jeans. Which brings me to the mystery I’m hoping to solve.

If denim is the “new black”… if assortment, form, and function are at an all time high… why are so many girls voluntarily letting their bellies hang over the top of their ill-fitting jeans? Is it a fashion statement… cause everyone is doing it? And trust me America… it just gives the French more reason to think of us as fashion halfwits.
So here’s a vital public service announcement. If you have more than two canned hams worth of tummy pouring over the top of your waistband then… and this is important… your jeans don’t actually fit. If you’re low rises have gotten you mistaken for a football coach at a summer barbecue, it’s time to make a change.

Now keep in mind that I’ve got a few pounds to lose myself… so I’m the last person to be critical of anyone’s weight. But every fashion trend isn’t meant for every body type.

So here are the rules. Don’t wear skinny jeans if you’re curvy. Don’t wear bell bottoms if you’re old enough to have worn them the first time they were in style, and for the sake of love handles everywhere, don’t wear a low rise jean if you have a high rise muffin top.

With these simple tips, we all might look a little better… and like Neil Diamond says… we can be…“forever in blue jeans.”

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