The Denim Pieces Our Editors Would Save in a Fire
These are some of the few pieces we’d never, ever part with.
I can’t tell you how many times we Coveteur editors have asked someone, “What’s the first thing you’d save in a fire?” Not surpringly, denim comes up a lot. It’s notoriously hard to find your perfect pair, and once you find them, breaking them into that just-distressed-enough stage takes months of dedicated wear.
Given that we’ve asked others that question dozens (nay, hundreds) of times, we decided to turn the tables and show you the denim items we’d never, ever, not in a million years, part with.
Editorial & Fashion Director
Vintage Wrangler Jacket: At one point in my early tween-hood, one of my parents told me this jacket belonged to my father in the ’70s, and that he wore it all the time. I thought, ‘Neat!’ and believed them because at that point it was pretty oversized. Now, it fits me perfectly, which has me confused because my dad is 6'3". In any case, I love this Wrangler jacket not just because my dad (probably) wore it, and I adore my dad, but also because the fit and color are both excellent.
Audience Development Coordinator
Vintage High-Waisted Levi’s: The first time I ever went vintage shopping in Brooklyn (shoutout to the L train!), I left with this pair of vintage Levi’s. Since then, I’ve never been able to find another pair of high-waisted jeans quite as perfect; truly, this is a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants situation (minus the sharing!). To me, comfort is always key (hence why you’ll find me in gym clothes 97% of the time), which is why these jeans are my absolute favorite.
Vintage Gap Overalls: A few months ago, I got a random text from my good friend Kimmie. She was helping another friend of hers move and, while cleaning out said friend’s closet, came across clothes she thought I might like. I rarely ever say no to free stuff, so I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ and soon received a mixed bag of patterned dresses, skirts, and lived-in denim. Once I finally got around to trying on these overalls, I immediately fell in love. They’re so freakin’ comfy, and baggy in a weirdly flattering way. Plus, paired with a white shirt and sneakers? Easily the cutest, most effortless outfit I could ever think up. I’ll for sure be wearing them all year long for years to come. Thanks, Kimmie!
Senior Editor: Health & Wellness
Vintage Levi’s 501s: As worn-in and loved as these jeans are, most of their life hasn’t been spent with me (which makes them even more precious—it’s like I was meant to find them.) I bought them two years ago in Jaffa market in Israel. (Tip: Jaffa has rows on rows of vendors that sell the best vintage denim and leather I’ve ever seen.) Back home I had the legs taken in at a Levi’s tailor shop. Since then, I’ve worn them and patched up any “weak” points more times than I can count. When this picture was taken, I had just made a huge rip right along my bum’s overhang. I have every intention of getting them repaired again and again, until they disintegrate on my body.
DIY Distressed Ksubi Denim Shorts: Full disclosure: These Ksubi shorts used to be pants. They also used to belong to my best friend, and only had one or two rips back then. For years they were in our shared rotation, but at some point they became mine permanently (ayyyye!). I’m not one for short shorts (I’d rather not have my bum hanging out), and I’m pretty into the streetwear vibe, so these are perfect for me. This summer I’ve been wearing them with oversized tees (to cover up the fact that they’re low-rise, which I don't love) or hoodies in the evening. I’m sad to say that this year may be their last as they’re getting pretty worn at this point, but don’t worry, I’ll give them love until their very last day.
Contributing Beauty Editor
Madewell Cali Demi-Boot Jeans: Listen, if there’s a basic girl in this operation, it’s me. But these jeans are the easiest piece of clothing I own: They stretch, they have a high-ish waist so they hold in what they need to hold in, and I love the raw hem. But mostly I love the boot cut, which helps balance out my figure. I can wear them with absolutely anything—my velvet mary jane M. Gemi heels, my silk Carven blouse, my huge Grateful Dead t-shirt, and, most important, this pair of metallic Birkenstocks that I can’t quit. (I told you: basic.)
Leah Faye Cooper
AG Mila Super High Rise Skinny Jeans: I cringe to think that I ever wore low-rise jeans, because these are so much more flattering (and appropriate, obviously). I got them at the grand opening of the AG store in Soho, and custom embroidery was being offered at the party. They fit like a dream, are perfect with crop tops (I don’t like to show too much midriff), and have my initials sewn on the back right pocket. So, yeah, they were made for me.
Vintage 501 Levi’s: During college I got a reputation for never wearing jeans (and no, not in the way you’re thinking). I just got tired of them and started wearing fun alternatives—skirts, overalls, shorts with stockings—essentially anything and everything but jeans. By the time I got home to New York, though, I realized I missed them, especially because I had acquired an eclectic wardrobe and needed something simple to tone down certain pieces (like this vintage bedazzled DVF wrap-around top, for example). I found this pair at The Vintage Twin in Soho, shortly after I landed my first job, which was in the neighborhood. The store hadn’t gotten crazy-popular yet, and it felt like a hidden denim heaven. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated (and I changed my mind about fifty times after that first job) but I was incredibly proud to be working in NYC, so I rewarded myself with these jeans. They make me happy because they go with everything (no matter how crazy) and remind me of the day I got them—walking by myself down a street in Soho, knowing that I hadn’t “made it” yet, but that I was on my way. I’ve worn them on the first day of every job I’ve had since, and so far everything’s been going pretty well.
Vintage Levi’s Fleece-Lined Jacket: Aside from being an absolute classic and definitive wardrobe staple, this Levi’s jacket holds a lot of sentimental value. I bought it at House of Vintage in Portland, Oregon, while helping my best friend scout the city prior to her cross-country move. She actually saw it before I did and pointed it out to me, since she knows I love an old-man look more than anything. It’s cozy and rugged, and I’ve already smothered it with a dozen patches and pins. Anytime I wear it—preferably as a Canadian tuxedo with my favorite vintage 501s—I’m reminded of her, and how even though we’re quite literally on opposite ends of the country, I can still FaceTime her at any hour and plan our next great adventure. Jacket in tow, of course.