Yesterday, Andy and I were discussing fashion. My friend had gotten down a tangent about denim jeans. Going down this rabbit hole is understandable because denim blue jeans dominate the world’s market for pants. When we observe people in public, we notice that nearly every man and many women are wearing jeans. The garment might be a standard, dark indigo, or pre-washed-faded blue, dad or mom jean, skinny jean, sagging jean, or the infamous, radically distressed jean.
Andy mentioned that camouflage dungarees are popular in some circles. He recently bought a pair of camo trousers. Andy disliked the look–saying he looked like someone who wanted to topple the government. The camo pants are now in his thrift store donation box. Anyway, camo clothes look best on military personnel and folks who hunt wild game. My pal enjoys wearing off the rack, regular-cut, Wrangler blue jeans. He usually pairs them with a nice sweater or a conservative sweatshirt in the winter. In the summer he substitutes a solid color tee shirt or a graphic tee. Meanwhile, my own casual clothing preferences include regular cut Levi’s or Wranglers paired with a hoodie for winter. During hot-weather months, I bring out a polo or a solid color pocket tee shirt.
Both of us admit to having a “thing” for jeans and white shirts. We define dressy casual as dark indigo jeans paired with a crisp, white button-down shirt with or without a tie. Sometimes I like to wear regular jeans with a standard white tee shirt for summer comfort. I wonder if Andy and I have seen too many clothing advertisements. Does James Dean’s persona also come into play?
Our choice of outfit influences how we feel about ourselves. Our choice also reflects to the outside world how we feel. When wearing flannel with jeans, I feel more rugged and outdoorsy. When wearing a casual button-down with jeans, I feel like I’m dressed for nearly any social activity.
One of the positive aspects about blue jeans is that they blur the class distinctions among us. Regardless of income level, most North Americans wear jeans. Blue jeans have become the default pants because they are rugged and comfortable. The garment that Levi Strauss invented in San Francisco in 1853 for gold miners and laborers, has become an enduring global staple. I wonder if Strauss ever dreamed how prolific his invention would become.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes pianist, singer/songwriter, Billy Joel. “The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.”
I like the point you make about blue jeans “[blurring] the class distinctions among us.” It sure does. I stopped wearing blue jeans several years ago when I was forced to wear a knee brace due to severe pain when walking. Long skirts and dresses hid the eyesore. Though I no longer need a knee brace, I’ve never returned to wearing jeans again.
That’s interesting. We go through wardrobe phases just like we do in other parts of our lives.
Being both a textile artist and of a body type which cannot be comfortable in denim trousers, I see this blurring as a social advantage ~ until there develops an expectation that anyone not wearing them is suspect and irrational ~ like wearing anything other than cream, tan and navy among those females who fool themselves into thinking their blandness superior to anything PE-rilously approaching actual beauty (goes for jewelry and hair too, how declasse, dahling)…
In a couple of earlier posts, I’ve touched on something similar except in the masculine sense. I’ve been known to dress up in a business suit, complete with a snazzy necktie just to go grocery shopping. It’s fun to watch others react or feign not noticing. Doing this is fun and a boundary smasher (in a good way).
Oh, that brings back some fun memories! It’s so good to present people with something outside their sterile cloned sitcom box.
In these last years, however, it has tended to exacerbate in my life the rampant disrespect with which homeless women are treated.
Smarter wear = newest pair of jeans.
Usual daily wear = choice of several pair of older jeans.
Heavier work = oldest pair of jeans
A whole denim wardrobe.
That looks like my method, too.
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
MY BROTHER USED TO HIDE HIS IN HIS BED SO MOM WOULDN’T BE CONSTANTLY WASHING THEM. 😀