By Sara Crampton
As a passionate wardrobe curator I’m constantly searching for timeless, universally flattering fits to build out my essentials, while continuously checking in to challenge myself as to whether my new favourite wardrobe piece that’s lingering in my cart is genuinely a good investment or the consequence of being influenced. I know, the irony.
My road to finding the perfect pair of jeans hasn’t been as direct as I would like to admit. I’m envious of ‘style stories’ where teenagers have simply opened their mother’s wardrobe to discover vintage 501s, seemingly completely skipping the awkward moments that I'm about to share. With hindsight of course, these horrendous style experiments, (which I’m having a big internal LOL over that are apparently returning), have made my current conscious shopping habits that much sharper and more fine tuned, teaching me the ultimate style lesson - that classics are the only investment worth making.
But before we get too far ahead, a brief recount of the jeans that have left an ever lasting impression on my personal style journey.
The year was 2002, I had spontaneously decided to get an ear length hair cut with a side sweeping fringe and as a very awkward 13 year old was heading to my first music concert to see Destiny’s Child. A pair of low rise, bootleg, patchwork jeans was grounding my look, accessorised with a white studded belt, a bohemian top and of course a pair of white Etnies. I was going to omit the fact that I also had two broken arms and was wearing braces, but I think you really deserve the full mental picture.
If you were a teenage girl and didn’t own a pair of Sass and Bide jeans in 2005 it really felt like you were only one in the entire world. My $11.20 per hour casual wage wasn’t helping me reach S&B ownership as quickly as I would have preferred, so I found a pair on sale that was in the extra tall length (I don’t think I had even hit my peak height yet of 165cm), just so I could feel part of the club. Not knowing that you can actually get jeans hemmed, I opted to roll the hem up a few times over, and of course wear them with my Havaianas.
I had read in a magazine that you could DIY a pair of super cool denim shorts by simply cutting the legs off of a pair of jeans you had in your wardrobe. We all know how this ends. I had a pair of very thin, slim fit pale jeans that I genuinely believed were the right candidate for this task. One leg of course ended up longer than the other and instead of a loose flattering fit on the legs they were basically a pair of denim bike pants.
I wish this was the end of my denim evolution, but even as a seemingly well researched 20 something, I tragically fell victim to the bright coloured skinny jean of 2012. And not just in one colour, but it was as if a rainbow appeared in my wardrobe overnight. I swear If I heard the term ‘Pop of Colour’ one more time I might have actually lost my mind.
The ‘Mom Jean’ trend that arrived in the mid 2010s was the beginning of my realisation I had been doing it all wrong. And a trip to Paris and finding myself amongst rows and rows of vintage Levis cemented my love for this classic high rise, straight leg silhouette. Fitted at the waist, and skimming straight down, elongating my legs in a rigid yet comfortable denim is exactly what I had been searching for without realising it.
They say fashion trends are circular, but I really had to wait the full cycle on this one. At least now I can be the parent in the fashion stories with their wardrobe being raided by their kids and introducing them to, ultimately the best style of jeans ever. You’re welcome.