My relationship with jeans has always been… tenuous. Is that weird? It goes something like this: I went through an extensive painted-on skinny, black-as-night jean phase for almost the entirety of high school. I also maintained the timeless, always elegant beauty signature that is a waterline intensely shaded with similarly jet-black liner—not totally unlike Avril Lavigne. Until one day, I cast my denim aside for what felt like forever, in a bid to dress in what I was sure screamed, “respect me, damnit!” Think glossy.
Then again, the fash-un world was also a remarkably different place than it is today—I’m thinking of a time where someone like, say, Alexander Wang had just launched his first ever collection, and the stereotype of what Laura Brown accurately describes as “'BFMs' (Bad Fashion Movies),” the “clichéd idea of a fashion person” was very much alive and well. And so in my extremely limited worldview, something like true, blue denim (let alone—god forbid—sneakers) just didn’t compute in the mission I’d adopted. I wanted in, and thought head-to-toe black, largely in the form of blazers and leather leggings (guys, remember those?), was the only way to get there.
But even as the tides started to change—both in a much larger way, and personally (I’ve worn sneakers almost every day for the past two years)—I resisted the siren song of denim. Until, of course, something clicked in my head, and I realized the very real thread uniting all of the women and weird screenshots I had on my phone and desktop in the spirit of ~looks 2 try~, was denim.
If you’ve been immune to misguided sartorial phases like mine, your reaction is probably, “no shit,” And I’m the first to acknowledge that not owning a single pair of jeans for over five years seems unreasonable. But to me, the whole thing serves as a lesson in casting aside all the arbitrary rules we set for ourselves. Whether it’s a color, a shape, or a trend, there’s a difference between a valid gut reaction that you straight up don’t like something, versus admiring something from afar and insisting that you’ll just sit this one out. We all have these feelings (it’s the same voice in your head that makes up reasons to avoid trying the new workout class your friends are obsessed with), and the only way out of letting them stand in the way of your personal (style) growth is through. Remember: we’re all too obsessed with what’s going on in our own lives to notice whatever it is you’re convinced everyone is silently mocking you in their head for.
Oh, and as for actual denim shopping (it is our very first ever denim week, after all)? It’s somewhere right under bathing suits in the list of things that aren’t really fun to spend any amount of time in a changing room dealing with. Be kind to yourself (promise yourself a drink-drink after, or even just a fancy latte whatever you need to get the job done), ignore vanity sizing, and spend a little time browsing the internet, whether that’s to find the best jeans for your body type (again, not because you need to follow rules, but to find ones that’ll actually do you justice), to discover new denim brands to fall in love with (we’ll be spotlighting them here all week), or just to learn some new ways to style ‘em.