A classic, an American staple, a necessity. It traditionally boasts of blue yet its unique texture and fibers make it a friend to all. And I also own too much of it.
Since my middle and high school days, jeans were constantly the one piece of every outfit I would wear during my daily 8-hour preview of hell. They went with every top I owned, from blouse to tee, and above all, they fit in with the dress code. Ah, the dress code: a set of rules us public school attendees learned to be quite familiar with and resistant to. If anything, a dress code would have made our days in the minimum-security prison a hell of a lot easier to deal with, especially for the females. Getting ready in anything less than 20 minutes just seemed to be mathematically impossible.
So I began my search for jeans, denim in all shades, throughout every shopping excursion I traveled upon. From black to white and all the shades of blue in between, they were, more or less, always in style. So long as they continued to fit, they would remain a strategic purchase for the remainder of my school-system-structured days.
Now jump to college – what did I wear to class? Nothing more than a t-shirt and athletic shorts, sub leggings and a sweatshirt on those rare extra-chilly days. But what I came to realize, as I watched all of my jeans overflow in one of the three drawers my dorm supplied, was that I developed a reliance-based love. Denim had become my go-to, in all sorts of colors and styles, resulting in a love affair with my off-campus endeavors. I went from throwing a shirt on in grade school to careful planning and placement as I matured through adulthood, utilizing them to appear much older than I was. Their skin-hugging allure gave me a newfound confidence I had never owned. Now, they are the unsung heroes of my life. Who knows where I would be without them?
My obsession, nay, addiction, to purchasing jeans led to an internal game with an objective similar to that of Pokémon: gotta catch ’em all. Now, I view my denim companions as a continuous collection. I will never have enough.
I don’t have a favorite because I live by one simple shopping rule: just try them on. Many times, it is not the whole store, but a specific style they offer that hasn’t worked out. My most casual pair of go-to’s are from Old Navy, just on a whim purchase I ordered because they didn’t have my size in store and I believed I only needed one size up. You never know where you will find the best pieces of your wardrobe, so look everywhere and count no style out until you’ve tried it for yourself.
During the craze of cropped frayed flares that arose from the major ’70s trend that is continuing to circulate the globe, I had initially thought nothing of them. I thought “They’re cute, but what would I wear them with? Would they even look good on me?” But the God of Denim struck during a random lunch break with a co-worker that we decided to use for shopping. This meant we were only looking at the one place close enough to work to allow for ample try-on time – H&M. I saw a pair of cropped frayed flares as I made my way towards the dressing room and picked them up, even though I believed the size was one too big. With that little margin of error, I decided it couldn’t hurt. It was done; the jeans were added to my queue.
As I entered the dressing room with my first 7 items allowed, the jeans were one of the first things I tried on. As I slid them up my legs, they got tighter – the good kind of tight, the one where you start to realize they might actually fit. Flash-forward to zipped and buttoned, they were perfect. Here I was in a style everyone who followed fashion wanted their hands on, and this random pick couldn’t have fit me better from the waist to the length. Hell, even the comfort level was at least a 9/10.
So now I have this perfect pair of jeans and sound support from my friend to purchase them – but they have no tag. I ask the lady if she can find out how much they are, instead of waiting to take them to the counter during checkout. Our hour was running out. She came back with the amazing news that the jeans were $25, a price I was already willing to pay, and proceeds to mention that they were on sale for $5. Needless to say, I asked her to repeat the price and left with one of the best fitting and most unique jeans I own to this day for a price I could count on one hand. It was one of the best ways I’ve ever ended a workweek.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t be afraid to try on what scares you.