In my wardrobe, I have a pair of flared denim jeans, which I never wear. I harbour a view that with the right accessories, I might look like a ‘A French Woman on holiday in the South of France’; boho/effortless/relaxed. In the mirror, a disappointed middle-aged woman from Bristol stares back and I take them off, but I keep them. Just in case.
Spring last year, I woke up one morning with the thought that I must have some dungarees (please assure me this happens to other people, not necessarily dungarees but that “I must..”). After much on-line searching, I hit the high street on a hot day. Sweating my way around various shops, I questioned my quest. Did I really need another pair of trousers/jeans for summer? In Topshop, I stumbled across a dunga-dress. Perfect compromise. Obsession squashed. For months, I referred to my dunga-dress until someone pointed out it was actually a pinafore. Corrected. I have a denim pinafore.
This spring’s purchase is culottes, without my thought I bought light, indigo, denim. Thinking how different they were from every thing else I own. Hanging them up, was a moment of realisation, the denim ‘thing’ has possibly grown to be a dis-portion part of my wardrobe. Obviously, all my denim is VERY different. Isn’t it?
In a storage, there are very faded pairs of black and indigo jeans. I’m not sure why I just don’t get rid of them. There is a separate pair of DIY/decorating jeans. Maybe it’s because there is something very practical about denim, even if it fades it is still durable, still has a use, so I keep them.
I think, everyone has a pair of jeans they hold a particular affection for. I had a wonderful pair of Levi’s, purchased in New York and I wore them for years, until they literally fell apart. The knees went at a time when ripped knees was less of style statement more a message it was time to part with your jeans. Of course, I hung on to them. All the memories attached and for reference. Maybe, I would stumble across a jeans duplication service and then I would be able to whip out the old pair and get another pair made.
Currently the ‘happy jeans’ my favourites are are old pair, loose-fitting, with big turn ups. I’ve a pair of more flattering jeans (should wear them for often), not skinnies, not loose. Then there are skinnies, two pairs, worn often. Actually, I think there is a comfort in the familiar, the tried and tested which is why I have so much which is similar, but, in my eyes, very different.
Denim suits most English weather and goes with virtually every colour. I can’t think of footwear that doesn’t go with jeans from cloggs, to boots, to heals. I’ve not worn jeans to a wedding, but attended weddings where much of the congregation did and I regretted wearing a dress. Denim at a funeral; in hindsight that was a mistake, in my defence it was a woodland burial.
Did I mention, I own a lipstick formulated to wear with jeans (Jean Queen. Lipstick Queen. FYI). Jeans are comfortable and to be frank, don’t have to be washed that often.
My current home based life role, makes jeans and denim an easy choice. I don’t need to dress up on daily basis, I do miss the variety of more ‘formal’ working dressing, it forces broader choices, but I’ve worked in plenty of places that have no issue with jeans.
I could wear skirts and trousers in a different material and maybe I’ve slipped into easy choices. There is versatility to denim and in a world of turn-around consumption, I love the longevity of favourites. A couple my denim skirts I have had more than ten years, one I suspect closer to 20 years. That is more than a long-term relationship that’s a marriage. Great with thick tights and boots in winter, ace with flip-flops in summer. At the beach, I switch to denim shorts (for assurances they are knee-length, not ‘Daisy Dukes’).
Double denim, I mean, why not? Tops and bottoms you can spill food on and it’s not very noticeable. Apparently, ‘DD’ is back as a style statement, so I can worry less about trying to look French, chuck on a denim jacket and be casually ‘in’.
It is natural, to find what you like and lean towards that. I did have a thing for stripes, since curbed. Comfort, less effort, or desire to conform. I’m not sure what is at the root of all the denim I own (suspect my haul is on the small side?). I know, I’m not alone, at the school gate, on the high street, globally the world wears denim, it is always in ‘fashion’ in some form. I may not be making a statement this season’s dress or turning heads in a stylish skirt, but I can spill my lunch on my jeans and it doesn’t matter and this friends, I think is at the heart of my love of indigo blue.