Yesterday, my favourite pair of jeans declared their dramatic end by ripping between the thighs. I connect clothing to certain moments in my life, whether it is that unflattering mini dress that my chaotic mind thought would be the best companion for a first date or those jeans that I had in my possession since I was 17 years old. Those mom jeans I am talking about, are that certain type of clothing that mutate to a staple in your wardrobe, and for some reason, are somehow always with you. They move to a new house with you, get taken off by someone else and they carry you through your heartbreak. I don’t know but seeing that this pair of jeans has now officially arrived at their end, it made me feel strange, it felt like the end of an era. I am no longer seventeen, and if I would have not owned the jeans anyway, it is a debatable question on whether I would rebuy them. The answer is, I genuinely don’t know, since when I think of those jeans, the last thing I think about would be their faded blue colour and worn-out denim material.
When I think about this pair of jeans, I first and foremost think about how much I loved them when I got them and how much my parents and everyone else around me hated them. I got them back in 2015 when everyone in the small village I grew up was only aware of one possible jeans shape, skinny jeans. Everything else around that small spectrum was not accepted. Now, when I see young girls there, they all wear mom jeans and doc martens just five years after I did it. Some things do change, don’t they?
I think, back in the day, the reason why everyone seemed to hate it, was my ultimate reason to wear them. It felt like a mini protest, communicating to the world, probably in caps, that I wear what they hate, just to stand out. I tried to source imagery from back in the day, but unfortunately (maybe fortunate for my sake), they are lost somewhere between two dusty hard drives and a couple of hundred flash drives. Even though I remember how horribly they fit around the crotch, I still wore them every day, and the fact that everyone apart from my humble self, disapproved of them, gave me a sense of strange confidence.
The second thing that I associate those jeans with is the fact that no matter how many times I moved flats and countries in the past two years (let me tell you, it’s been a lot), this pair of jeans always made the selection into the suitcase rather than the charity shop bag. I took them to Manchester, to Toronto, I sweated through countless deadlines in them, and I wore them when I put on a holding deposit for my first flat (in Montreal’s -12 degree cold). I also wore them the day after on a very cold 5-hour long bus journey from Montreal to New York, sitting across, what was in my eyes the most handsome guy existing on planet earth, but not having the courage to speak to him.
I wore this exact pair of jeans when I eventually made my move back from Toronto to Manchester, which also marks the occasion when my feed had been the last time on Canadian soil. I had my first Wendy’s and my last Canadian poutine whilst they hugged my legs. Subsequently, I wore them when I was hungover at my stopover in Iceland, and I still had them on when I landed in Manchester and saw my best friend for the first time in about seven months.
These jeans have never been stripped of my body by a man. This is not due to the fact that my last slightly sexual activity is more than 422 days ago (okay, maybe), but to the fact that those jeans are not seducing jeans. They are not this kind of jeans that guarantees you a pull. They are more like an “I am an independent woman and you can’t tell me any otherwise” jeans. I wore them once when I tried to win a guy back, it didn’t work. Those jeans are more men- repelling than any other jeans I own, why did my juvenile self think that this was a great choice to get someone to bed? Today, I know, those jeans were my literal guardian angels, and they’ve saved me from the worst.
I may have not been sharing my travelling pants with three others, but maybe their lonesome hood was what made them special. They are not magical or anything, to be honest, they really were never fitting around my crotch, but they have witnessed more key moments in my life than other garments did.