By: Sarah Hudes
I think a lot about who had these jeans before me. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is formulating eccentric characters who (I like to think) wore and loved these Levi’s.
I bought these jeans on Etsy from a seller in Paris. In my mind, the girl who wore these jeans probably had a red vinyl trench coat and wore thick-framed acetate sunglasses to dark parties. She was coo, but not at all because she tried to be. She would talk with a certain confidence that was given to her by the denim’s comfort and flattery. Or, like me, she wore them to school because not only could they withstand a full day of work but they also made her feel good and comfy.
My Levi’s were true vintage 501’s, with a light wash and just the perfect amount of distress. I wore them almost every day, and their sturdiness allowed for that. I suppose I overestimated their durability, or just fell too much in love with them.
My Levi’s died the least glamorous of deaths. I had already been wearing them with holes in the butt area, but that night, they became unwearable. I found out that night that there is such thing as loving something too much. A constant in my life was suddenly torn from me, and although they are just a pair of ripped jeans, my heart stung. A washed up and ragged symbol of comfort and a muffled confidence was now lost to me.
Before I buy a piece of clothing, I justify my spending by dividing the price of the clothing by how many times I think I will wear it. If the quotient seems reasonable then I will go through with the purchase. It is a silly ritual simply so that I can feel better for spending money, but it is important because with these pair of jeans I proved that my formula only goes so far—there was no way to calculate how many times I would wear the jeans that I loved. It is hard to describe why these jeans are so important to me when I’m not fully sure myself how to word it. A part of the feeling comes from taking comfort in the distressed, or functional, destruction.
In the end, my jeans are just jeans and maybe it is absurd to have such strong feelings for ripped denim. Putting aside my messy emotions, my light blue Levi’s also gave me an unmatchable sartorial knowingness of having the most perfect piece of denim. Maybe I will just get them patched.