I like to think that everyone has one item in their wardrobe that they refuse to throw out. Think about it. It could be a soft and cuddly jumper that went out of style almost a decade ago, but it’s warm enough to make an appearance every winter. A t-shirt that has faded so far from its original colour, you’re not quite sure what it used to look like. A skirt that takes up 90% of your ‘getting ready’ time just attempting to pull up the zip, but it still makes you feel fantastic whenever you wear it.
I like to think this, simply to make me feel better about my love affair with a pair of jeans.
There’s nothing special about them (faded blue, slightly flared) but I’ve never had a pair that fits quite as well as they do.
Unfortunately, I’m not quite the same shape as I was five years ago. What used to be a snug fit is now a ‘breathe-in-breathe-in-breathe-in-oh-thank-God-they’re-done-up’ fit. The button hole is almost completely ripped through, suggesting that at some point in the near future I will suddenly find myself flashing my underwear in public. The bottoms have been frayed to the extent that the backs are now considerably shorter than the front, having endured miles of pavement dragging. The back pockets are ripped through, so that should I forget for a moment and try to put something in them (iPhone, purse, selection of credit cards – very important) they drop straight through the denim and onto the floor. They’re not just jeans; they’re a security risk.
And yet I can’t seem to get rid of them. It doesn’t matter how many new pairs I buy, or how many times I put them on and think, “yes, you have definitely reached the end of your life”… a couple of weeks later I will be lying on the floor, trying to get them on again. Breathe in, breathe in, breathe in.
I imagine that, one day, the time will come that they are no longer wearable. But I still don’t trust that I’ll throw them away. How can I, when they’ve loved me so unconditionally for all these years? Surely they deserve to be celebrated – no, worshipped – for their fabulousness?
Luckily, that day has not yet arrived. So I will continue to squeeze myself into the denim that could do with being a size or two bigger, and make the most of the time we still have.
Thank you, jeans, for being the most reliable item in my wardrobe. Thank you for seeing me through endless shopping trips, weekends away, and evenings in the pub. Thank you for never going out of fashion. Thank you for being worth every penny I originally spent on you, however much that was.
But if that button hole finally rips through, and my knickers are suddenly on display, I do hope a kind stranger will let me know. All love affairs aside, that’s just not a good look.
Nikki – Dec 15th 2010