Friday, April 20, 2012


I’ll confess, I have nine pair of jeans ranging from designer blue denims I found on sale (no way I’d pay $250 for them!) to black biker jeans that have seen better days. Jeans go everywhere in Texas, but according to a piece from the BBC, all the world wears jeans.
Jeans were banned as unsuitable school attire when I was in high school. When I look back, they weren’t even popular outside of school. Then I went to college. There jeans--Levis and Wranglers mostly--became a uniform of sorts for a certain cross-section of the collegiate population. “Designer jeans” was still an oxymoron, not the zillion dollar commodity of today, and the concept of broken-in, pre-distressed clothing conjured images of Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. 
As I’ve traveled over the past few decades, I’ve noticed a radical change in attitude toward jeans in Europe. There was a time when I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing them on the streets of Paris or London because the locals would have instantly pegged me as an American tourist. Now? I rarely pack anything else and fit right in regardless of the locale. Attire that once denoted a laborer or cowboy has seeped into every culture and every social strata, uniting us under a denim flag. The BBC piece backs up my observations: 
[Jeans] is a subject that is relatively unstudied, says anthropologist Danny Miller, whose book Blue Jeans will be published next month.
In every country he has visited - from the Philippines to Turkey, India and Brazil - Miller has stopped and counted the first 100 people to walk by, and in each he found that almost half the population wore jeans on any given day. Jeans are everywhere, he says, with the exception of rural tracts of China and South Asia.
Okay, maybe Bhutan and Burma still have a way to go, but the rest of the world seems to be onboard. Really, how cool is that? 
When I was 20, a prediction that my mother and father would one day wear jeans would have made me collapse in hysterical laughter or shudder in horror. And yet, the old folks don the denim these days along with the rest of us. That may not be progress—honestly, are jeans still jeans when they have elastic waistbands—but it is change. And let’s be grateful to the fashion gods that lycra stretch pants never caught on the way jeans did! 
Fess up. How do you feel about jeans—love ‘em, hate ‘em, haven’t worn a pair since 1995? 


Colleen Thompson said...

Nearly every day, I wear jeans of some sort--or khaki when it's too hot. Love 'em, though I noticed my son's generation is backing off the love a bit. Or at least, deriding "jorts" (jean shorts) and the "Canadian tuxedo" (jeans with a denim jacket.)

Still love my jeans--even the jean jackets.

Jeanna Thornton said...

Not a jeans girl, love skirts! Wear them in the winter to stay warm but not in Texas during the summer! Great post, Lark!

Lark Howard said...

Keep wearing your jeans, Colleen!
I doubt I'll ever give up mine.

You wouldn't remember, but I even wore white jeans with a pink silk duster to the Rita Awards Ceremony in DC!

Lark Howard said...

And you look great in skirts, Jink! They certainly are cooler in Houston's hot weather and much more feminine. The only skirt I ever seem to wear is a jean skirt. Go figure. :-)

Sarah Andre said...

Love wearing jeans, but when I see pics of myself I'm horrified.

Haven't found a pair yet that doesn't make me look sloppy or bottom heavy. I've tried reg, low rise, fitted-for-women, etc., and it's all the same.

Don't have that problem with any other kind of pants, isn't that weird?

Lark Howard said...

Easy solution, Sarah--don't ever get photographed in jeans.

Through trial and multiple errors, I've discovered one of the keys to getting the look you want in jeans is wearing the right shoes or boots for cut. Then again, I think shoes and boots are the key to a lot of life's dilemmas. :-)

Kay Hudson said...

When I was in high school, jeans were forbidden. In fact, we had to wear skirts, no exceptions. When I was in college, FSU was still recovering from many years as Florida State College for Women, and we were supposed to wear skirts, but the rules were fading away.

Now I have jeans in a range of colors, in denim and corduroy, none very expensive. The cut fits me better than anything else, they're always comfortable, and they never need ironing.

Couldn't get dressed without them.

genetic denim said...

Can't think without Denim jeans,long lasting and lovely to wear.

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