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40 T/D/Y #12: Pants

Getting dressed this morning, I remembered a funny quirk of my youth: for six years or so, I refused to wear jeans. When I was little, I wore Toughskins jeans a lot. I remember at one point I had Toughskins in red and in green as well as typical blue jeans. However, at some point toward the end of elementary school, I decided I didn’t like jeans anymore. I think part of the reason was that my mom would buy corduroys and trousers for me to wear to school, and as I got new ones the old ones would become playtime clothes. Another part was that as I got older, I was spending less time getting dirty when I was outside playing, and more time just riding my bike or hanging out talking with friends, so I no longer needed to change into playtime clothes; I could just get dressed in the morning for school and stay dressed that way for the rest of the day. A third part is that I may have started associating jeans with the “bad” kids. This is patently ridiculous, of course, since most kids wore jeans. However, once I started junior high, I definitely did associate denim jackets with the older and tougher kids, and so I did not like those jackets.

In any case, by the time I could start buying my own clothes, I was set against jeans. I don’t recall indicating to my mom that I didn’t want jeans, but I know I wasn’t given any as Christmas or birthday presents, either. This led to me wearing a lot of tan trousers and navy or brown corduroys. It also contributed to my overall dorkish appearance, though I never really thought about it at the time. Actually it’s kind of odd, I don’t recall feeling self-conscious about my dress style most of the time. Maybe on occasion I’d feel I looked awkward, but for the most part I don’t recall really giving it much thought; I had decent clothes that fit me and matched, so I was okay.

Toward the end of high school, my feelings about pants shifted again. I became sick of wearing tan trousers and decided they were at best bland, if not horribly ugly. Meanwhile, I had started working at a department store, which had a dress code. So now I had to wear trousers at least for work, and I switched over to shades of grey, navy, and black. To this day, I still dislike tan or khaki trousers and will not buy or wear them. I’m not strongly opposed to green trousers, in dark shades, but I’ve never seen any I really wanted to buy, either.

However, at that time I also realized that hey, jeans weren’t just blue, they also came in black, and for whatever reason I decided that black jeans were cool. So I bought my first pair of jeans since childhood, and started wearing black jeans when I was going out on Friday nights. Once I’d switched to black jeans, it was easy to get back into blue jeans as well, and so during college jeans became my everyday wear while pleated trousers were work wear.

As the years went on I liked the trousers less and less. Because I had to wear them for work, especially once I entered the professional world, I felt they looked too dressy for casual wear and I didn’t like the way I looked wearing them. (This was due in part to feeling I had to wear button-down shirts with trousers, and not caring for those either, particularly because I now associated those with having to wear a tie, which I have always strongly disliked.) I moved toward wearing only black trousers at work; I would still buy grey ones for variety but inevitably find myself dissatisfied with them, feeling the shade of grey was ugly. Then I moved to Seattle and started working in the software industry, where the dress code is still much more casual than the East Coast professional setting, and suddenly it was almost inappropriate to wear trousers to work. Trousers were promptly relegated to dress-up occasions, and I’ve worn jeans most of the time ever since.

Over the past few years I’ve had cross-impulses regarding jeans and my general fashion: I’ve felt more like dressing up nicely, “dressing like an adult,” but this has meant being more interested in upscale pricey jeans that I could get away with wearing to semi-formal occasions, rather than being interested in nice trousers again. I haven’t had much money to put toward improving my wardrobe—nor have I had much interest in rummaging through vintage/used clothing stores—but I do feel a pull toward changing my style some, indeed having more of a defined style instead of just the standard American jeans-and-a-t-shirt look, and hopefully I’ll be able to play with that in the near future.


( 2 have written — Write )
Dec. 4th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
You wrote about pants. Hee hee.
Dec. 10th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
There was a long period of time where I wouldn't wear jeans either. It wasn't until I started werking at the place I do now that I even owned a pair since I was in school, I think! I suppose part of that is due to my general style... but I just never felt like jeans were comfortable.
( 2 have written — Write )

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