I have to say, my friends, that jeans are definitely part of my fashion DNA. Jeans are in my genes, you might say. From the cut-off dungarees I wore the summer I was ten and went to work each day with my big brother on my grandfather Sullivan’s drill-rigs, to the fashion uniform I adopted in high school, once we were able to wear jeans to school that is, I have considered jeans a must-have part of my wardrobe. I cannot imagine my closet without at least three or four pairs of jeans in current rotation. And lately that number has been even higher. Especially since jean styles have moved away from skinny jean domination.
My three pairs of blue skinny jeans are currently folded and stored in a dresser drawer. I’ve worn them only a couple of times this winter when I wanted to tuck jeans into boots. Still hanging in my closet are my black, Liverpool Glider skinny jeans (a staple in my winter wardrobe), a pair of boot-cut, burgundy NYDJ, and olive green, skinny jeans from Massimo Dutti that I haven’t worn all season. And three pairs of non-skinny blue jeans.
Yesterday, I dug my three pairs of blue jeans out of my closet and had a try on session while Hubby was out of the house. So much more fun when I’m on my own.
These are my newest blue jeans, below, classic Levi’s 511s. Bought last fall from the men’s section of the Levi’s store in the Rideau Centre. I’d been on the hunt for a pair of jeans with a full-length, straight leg and a looser fit. But everything I found was either skinny, very wide leg (NOT a good look on me), or straight-leg and cropped. Then I decided to try the men’s section and found success. I love the loose fit, and the light wash of these jeans. They are the perfect length for boots and for sneakers. I noticed after I bought them, though, that the pockets are huge. I may cut them to reduce the size. They’d be easy enough to sew up again by hand. At the moment they are enormous and extend halfway down my leg. Ha.
Yesterday when I was playing around in my closet, I tried my Levi’s 511s with a blue cotton, oversized shirt (similar), my black crew-neck cashmere sweater (similar), and my old Max Mara double-breasted blazer. The sweater is very light and the blouse quite loose, so next time I will try a trick I learned on YouTube. Apparently a tight, stretchy camisole worn over the shirt and under the sweater will smooth out the folds of the shirt and keep them from ruining the line of the sweater. Great idea, I thought.
I’m also still enamoured of these cropped, straight-leg, slightly distressed jeans from Frame, below. I bought them just as the world descended into lock-down in 2020. I wear them with loafers, or sandals. But I also like them with these Stuart Weitzman ankle boots. The boots are high enough and tight enough on the ankle so the jeans slip over the boots easily with no gap between pantleg and boot. I hate it when a slice of my leg shows or when my pantleg gets caught on the top of my boot.
I love these jeans in the summer with sandals, a tank, and my white blazer. In the fall with loafers, a light cashmere sweater, and a blazer. Or in winter with this Vince chunky, cable-knit sweater and my black, down coat from Aritzia. With my short upper body, narrow hips, and long skinny legs, I need the longer knee-length coat to balance off the chunky sweater (and my chunky upper half) and avoid looking top heavy. Dressing is a balancing act for all of us, right?
While I was playing around with clothes yesterday, I tried on this tweed cap just for fun. Not sure I’d wear it out in the world. Hubby and I bought this in Scotland for my stepfather back in 2005. When he passed away, we brought it back home with us. I love the blue-grey tweed with my sweater and this animal print scarf. But pulling the cap down as it’s supposed to be worn looks dopey on me, and flipped up like this makes me look as if I escaped from an episode of The Little Rascals. Ha. Hats, much as I love them, are not necessarily in my fashion DNA.
The final pair of blue jeans in my closet are these beloved high-rise, boot-cut Frame jeans. I still remember that feeling of love at first sight when I tried these on in Nordstrom. And even though I was not shopping for jeans, I came home with them. “I knew you’d like them,” said Liz. She knows me so well. Ha. I love these with flat sandals and a linen safari jacket in summer. Just like I wore my jeans back in the seventies. But I like them with sneakers too. And yesterday this is what I planned to wear to run errands in the village. My Akris turtleneck, Uniqlo down vest, Stan Smith sneakers, and my new knitted hat.
I bought the yarn for my hat when Hubby and I were down east in August. At Briggs and Little Woolen Mill in Harvey, New Brunswick. The same place I bought my yarn back in the eighties when I first learned to knit. You can see a better picture of the hat on my Instagram here. I’d intended to wear this outfit into town. But glancing out the door, I realized that the slush would be too much for my sneakers, so I swapped them for my black SW boots, and changed the cream jacket for my fuchsia tweed Max Mara coat. I felt pretty spiffy as I shopped for wine and dessert. Yep. I only buy the treats, my friends. Hubby shops for the staples.
Of course jeans aren’t the only clothing that is part of my fashion DNA. Blazers and boots are in there too. And turtlenecks. I’ve been wearing that combination since high school. In fact on my first ever real date, with my best friend’s older brother on whom I’d had a long-time crush, I wore faded jeans, a baby-blue turtleneck, and a black corduroy blazer. I was so nervous. And trying hard to be cool and casual. Which meant that I promptly spilled coke all down the front of my sweater at the movie. Sigh. Why do we try so hard to be what we’re not when we’re teenagers? Don’t answer that question. It’s rhetorical.
I’ve tried to analyze my love of jeans. It’s not hereditary. Because, although I get my passion for neatness, and my love of simple unfussy looks from my mum, she has never worn jeans in her life. All my friends who are my age wear them. And many of my older friends don’t. Could it be generational? Maybe. But my sister-in-law at age 77 lives in jeans, as does one of my older sisters. And what about that much younger generation of girls who seem to live in Yoga pants, when at their age we’d have been wearing jeans? Maybe it’s just that those who fall in love with jeans at some point in their early lives, will always love them. Except when they don’t. Ha. Clearly I am not about to form a reasonable hypothesis here, so I will give up.
You know, I started thinking of how jeans are part of my fashion DNA when I read this post on That’s Not My Age earlier in the week. Alyson talks about changing up her fashion uniform. My fashion “uniform” is, it seems, similar to Alyson’s: jeans and a jacket. I was tickled to read two comments from her readers who at ages 76 and 81 both still live in jeans and jackets.
So it seems that there are a lot of us from every decade for whom jeans are part of our fashion DNA. It’s nothing do do with age. It’s just love, people.
What’s in your fashion DNA, my friends? What pieces are, and always have been, part of your wardrobe?
P.S. All of the clothing links in this post (except for the Uniqlo one) are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog. Most of my clothes are from previous seasons and some are really old. So many pieces are no longer available. Sometimes, but not all the time, if I can find a similar item, of similar quality, I will link to it, as I did a couple of times in this post. 🙂