Be it stone-washed or tumbled, dirty-dyed or sun-bleached, sanded, acid-washed or whiskered, denim is in. There was a time in our not-so-distant past that we smirked at jean minis and grimaced at denim jackets; sneer no more, my friends. The denim of our youth has transformed from ugly duckling into a majestic indigo swan, stealing the show on runways and campus sidewalks alike.
Perhaps when denim comes to mind, you think of uncomfortable family photos: children and parents posed together, clad head to toe in jean—maybe you even have the pictures to prove it. You may tearfully reminisce about the eighties denim jacket, bedazzled with fringes and patches, screaming for attention and another bag of rhinestones. Or, possibly, the most iconic denim moment flits through your brain: Britney Spears’ and Justin Timberlake’s quintessential jean dream of a red carpet showstopper.
Though we’ve tried to erase the image of Justin’s denim fedora from our feeble minds, it clings to the corners, taunting us with the knowledge that we will never wear a hat as well as it was worn that fateful day. In 2001, the world—except for maybe those brilliant Canadians—wasn’t ready for the majestic and innovative combination of Justin’s jean suit and Britney’s slinky denim dress. Today we are embracing top-to-bottom jean.
Denim comes from humble beginnings. It was created originally as a durable clothing choice for miners and popularized by Levi Strauss. Denim became the standard attire for railroad workers, farmers, miners and cowboys. What is a cowboy without his trusty pair of jean trousers? Icons like John Wayne have immortalized jeans in our society. Can you imagine him taking down the bad guys in a pair of khakis? No way, José.
When James Dean hit the scene in the 1950s, blue jeans became the pants of choice for bad boys everywhere. No self-respecting rebel without a cause would be caught dead without a pair of rolled up jeans. The jean phenomena continues to cement itself in popular style as an American tradition; our culture embraces denim and what it represents.
Today denim is worn by rebels and fashionistas alike. When jumping on the jean train, think of classic pieces you can mix and match. Invest in a denim button front shirt, try out a jean mini, or treat yourself to a jean jacket.
Channel your inner Alexa Chung, jean wearing aficionado and goddess of the Canadian tuxedo, and wear a jean button-down with jean trousers! Go to goodwill and, for the love of all that is good, buy a buttoned denim mini. This is not your grandmother’s jean skirt. The denim mini is hotter than blazes.
Denim is for cowboys, for radicals and for the chic. It’s for those who gallop their horses into the sunset and strut the catwalk. Denim is for those who accomplish things. Give denim a try—you may make history.