Tuesday, July 14, 2009

{reader request} man vs. jeans

This week's letter comes from a young man at a sartorial crossroads:


‘I don’t wear jeans… “You mean just not at work, right?”
No, I don’t wear jeans, ever… “So, what do you wear on the weekends?”
Corduroys or sweat pants depending on social requirements and my mood.’

I’ve had the above conversation more times than Michael Cera has gawked into a Hollywood camera with a discomfited look of social queasiness.

I first banished jeans from my wardrobe at age 7 when I discovered that boxer shorts + denim + capture the flag = mega-wedgie.

Following that was my mother’s strange attraction to grunge-era chic. (Seriously, she was 38 years old and dressing her 9-year-old son like Kurt Cobain – creepy as s***) I took to the thermal & flannel shirts, but never welcomed the jeans. I ran with the grunge look and began my faithful relationship with corduroy in the wake of Eddie Vedder’s power chord track titled in this material’s namesake. (Interesting side note: before ever learning an instrument, I started a school yard band called “Warm Water.” That’s what happens when your parents follow the post-dated advice of the self-obsessed, sarcastic David Sedaris and only “Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy.” You end up pursuing alternative lifestyles)

Next were my formative years (ages 11-14) when Jincos were all the rage. Are you f!#$ing kidding me? I’m supposed to put on the denim version of parachute pants, and that’ll make me skate better? No thanks.

After an unhealthy amount of “freaking” and “grinding” at bar-mitzvahs and middle school dances, which, by the way was always conducted in khakis, I started dressing to attract girls in my high school years. For all practical purposes, I had two options:

1. The Ashton Kutcher from Punk’d: Find a pair of stylishly torn jeans to match your pre-dirtied Diesel trucker hat… all that abuse and filth for only a $70-$80 price mark-up. You’ll be scooping honeys faster than you can finish the 12-pack of Coronas your friend’s older brother bought.

2. The Ashton Kutcher from That 70’s Show: Delicately offset your brown-ish Wallabees to your brownish corduroys and grow your hair out…Voila, you’re a preppy stoner that doesn’t dance at parties and scores chicks with glances from the corner.

As you may have guessed I chose option #2. Fashion wise, I haven’t changed much since high school. Am I old enough to put aside my childish aversions to denim and join the rest of humanity in their standard for comfortable fashion?

Sincerely, "Levi Strauss"

I'd like to open this topic up to the peanut gallery before officially weighing-in on Mr. Strauss' denim dilemma. Have any of you had a similar experience? I must say I can really relate: I refused to wear jeans until about sixth grade, and have had a love/hate relationship with them ever since.


  1. i think cords and t's are hot! stick with it...

  2. reminds me of a time when i was visiting Vanderbilt, regained consciousness from a black out in a random girl's room who was talking smack on my sweat pants: "you're wearing those out? guys don't wear those here. you won't get any girls looking like that." well, she was wrong. twice.

    i'd give myself a pat on the back, but i'll give credit where it's due. nice going sweat pants.

  3. My boyfriend has the same look, secretly the reason I fell for him in the first place...
    But he's not quite as funny as you are ; )