Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Blue Jean Baby

As most of you probably don't know, although perhaps some of you do, I have recently found myself spending innumerable hours contemplating the significance of our trusted and loyal friend denim. This new found fascination can be blamed, in the most part, on my recently embarked upon quest in understanding the nostalgic and functional relationships we form with our clothing in the hope of uncovering meaningful new strategies for our cotton clad futures (otherwise known as my fourth year project).
I feel I can confidently say without hesitation that denim, in some shape or form, has definitely been a part of all of our lives, whether it be that first pair of teenage skin tight hipsters, or maybe more fittingly that trusted travel companion emblazoned with memories from abroad. Every pair of jeans has a story - it would be really super if you'd like to share yours with me...

These bad boys have been kicking around with me for the past year. I guess if I'm to be honest with myself, we're still in the honeymoon phase, that being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that they may in fact be 'the one'. I remember the day we first lay eyes on each other, I had just taken up residency as official bar maid in a dingy inner west watering hole, the price tag said no, but the fit said yes and a few graveyard shifts later they were finally within my reach. Primarily, they would serve as my working trousers, filling me with confidence and pride as I hauled crates of longnecks up that staircase from the basement. Our love had been cemented.  I soon realized that these jeans deserved a better life. As emotions for each other grew deeper these fancy black trousers became my uniform for university, my uniform for weekends, my uniform for life. These jeans grazed my ankles, unfazed by my lack of footwear, on the first day I tasted the irresistible fish burgers of Clovelly's 'Out of the Blue', these jeans protected my lower half the evening I heroically mounted the bar in attempt to remove my female assassin,  these jeans were by my side during my first day at my new job, and these jeans stained my legs (mostly thanks to the rain) the day my good for nothing boyfriend decided to cut me loose.
On reflection I feel as though I should apologize for being unable to titalize you with one specific denim memory, but the truth is that these jeans have been there for it all. They are the one object in my life that I would genuinely struggle to live without, through thick and thin, sun and rain, beer and popcorn they have been companion, protection, and sometimes, in my finest hours, even pajamas.

I would really love if anyone has a gem of a denim memory they'd care to share with me, bonus points for photos!


  1. The pairs of jeans that have been the most important to me are my current Levis 511s. I bought these a year and a half ago on a trip to Melbourne with my now ex-girlfriend. They were an impulse buy, which is rare for me, but they were the most perfect fit ever and were even on sale so who was I to say no? The fit is perfect - not too tight as I'm too old to be part of the skinny-jeans hipster brigade but not loose either as I'm not a Grandpa either.
    These 10 and 1/2 ounces of pure denim have become my work jeans, casual jeans & even my dress jeans. Yes they are that good. My only concern is the day the left knee blows out at work... being a tall fellow I have to 'take a knee' every time I lace up the lower film platter. I have lost many jeans to this casualty of my profession.
    Also I feel a strong connection to the Klondike and California gold rush days as I have American ancestory... In fact the great American writer Jack London was my great great (great?) uncle. Denim jeans played a huge part of this era and by wearing mine every day I feel like I'm playing my small part in keeping the denim tradition alive.

  2. Good shout Richie - Love the 511s! Wearing them as I type. Also 501s and 516s with the tapered leg. Also agree that they are the most versatile item of clothing and I rarely wear any other type of trousers/pants. I also always have an single pair that are my favourites and then a couple of backups though leaving the house with the backups is never the same! I can never seem to have two pairs that are equally favourite and never happy with anything but my number one. I either wear them till they tear open or I buy and better pair and then they get the number 2 treatment.

    Hope this helps! Good luck Jesse - Sure it will be a great project. x

  3. JC, I can't match your denim passion/fidelity. Although I do like jeans. I think they're pretty cool, & I like to wear them to work even though I know I'm not supposed to. I can say that for a long time I thought Levi Strauss and Claude Levi-Strauss were the same person. I was in awe of this god of anthropology and super practical clothing. Unfortunately I had my biographies mixed. I still like jeans, though.