Today I walked into Buffalo Exchange with bag of clothes, hoping to get something for things I haven’t worn in a long time. There was a line, with mostly skater guys, which surprised me, but maybe it shouldn’t since it’s LA and skaters + fashion is a real thing. I wondered if anything from my closet would be considered trendy enough for the store.
Turns out only a few items were, mostly plaid and striped shirts, and I now had store credit. I browsed and found two pairs of designer jeans that would be $100-200 each brand new that I got with store credit and only paid 12 bucks for. It seemed like a good trade off. Jeans I would never buy with their huge price tag I now own and am becoming more trendy than ever. Who am I?
Today skinny jeans are a trend, like leggings and jeggings. Trends that I have never cared about in the past, but have somehow recently found myself wearing them and feeling like I am living in the modern world. Even Conan wore jeggings.
Yet I must admit that I’ve always cared about being fashionable. Especially while growing up in public schools. That’s when I started to care so much about what I was wearing, to be cool.
I remember getting my first and only pair of Z Cavaricci pants. You’re thinking, “why do you admit this?” and I think the same thing.
They were black with the white label on the zipper. They were so cool. They were so expensive! I wore them often and I like to think I got my money’s worth out of them. I don’t know what happened to them after they became not-so-cool anymore. Where do old Z Cavaricci pants go to die? Goodwill? Ebay? To a third-world country? A fabric recycler? The ocean? A landfill? Do pants go to heaven or hell depending if they made the world a better place?
A trend in denim jeans is having holes in them. Depending on your age, you may immediately think of the 80s-90s where holes in jeans were cool, just like big hair.
I never got into the trend of holes in jeans unless it was made naturally through normal wear and tear. Plus they cost more to have someone to cut the holes in fashionably appropriate places. So that’s a hard pass for me.
Until…I went to a clothing swap.
I was looking for some new-to-me jeans and wasn’t having much luck on finding anything that seemed remotely like my style. Towards the end of the swap I was willing to look again at the denim piles and saw these 1969 Gap jeans in really good condition. As I turned the pair around, I saw the holes and thought it was a so-close-but-no-cigar pair. But, as I said, it was toward the end of the swap and I needed to find new jeans. So I just took them home without trying them on.
I put them on and found they fit perfectly. The holes were kind of annoying and I figured I would wear them casually, in the level of formality above joggers and below jeans with no ripped anything.
But they were so comfortable and the right shade of blue that I ended up wearing them often. What made the jeans truly mine is when I got compliments on the jeans, for the holes. Suddenly, I was cool. And I’ll take that anytime. No need to reject a compliment on being fashionable.
So now I am trendy with ripped jeans. I never would have bought them in a store, and I probably never will. In that sense I am still me and that will never change.
Joggers and ripped jeans. Who am I becoming?
Wearing sweatpants in public is a crime in my book of fashion law unless you are actually exercising. And usually you don’t exercise in malls if you are under 60 years old (although there’s always exceptions).
However, things all changed a couple years ago when I was at H&M and saw these baggy elastic-band pants on sale. I needed lounge clothes (i.e. clothes you don’t wear in public) and they were cheap and looked comfy. I tried them on and I was instantly hooked by the comfort and the appeal of not being overly flashy, which meant I could discreetly be fashionable at home. Two benefits for the price of one!
Later on I learned that they were not pants at all, but they were called “joggers.” But I wasn’t jogging in them. Before I knew what they were I had gone on some errands in the baggy comfy pants because the pants were sold in the section of clothes to be worn in public, not the loungewear section. Then I discovered that they were “joggers” and were basically modified sweatpants to be more fashionable than functional. I was duped into wearing sweatpants in public and didn’t even know it.
Then I found out that joggers were part of a larger fashion trend called “athleisure” and I was already a part of it. I did once wear my workout clothes to Costco and felt very self-conscious about it all day. I felt terribly guilty of a fashion crime and was waiting to get a ticket in violation of wearing inappropriate clothing: wrong clothes in the wrong place.
Then I realized the world had gone athleisure and nobody was complaining except me to myself. Then I decided to embrace it, not because the context and clothing matched, but because joggers are so darn comfortable.
Now I have a few pairs of joggers with interesting pockets and cuffs thanks to H&M and feel very fashionable. However, I do have a pair of straight-up sweatpants that I will never wear outside the house or outside of an exercise environment.
Except for today, when I wore my sweatpants in the rainstorm of all the past seven years of rainstorms in LA. Give me a ticket.