Sometimes you just don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Here, writer Jen Thomas reminisces about her favourite pair of jeans…
I resisted you for years. Everyone said you would be bad for me, that I’d waste hours of my time and buckets of tears trying to find you.
Lo and behold, the others that went before were too short or unsupportive, making me feel bad about myself.
I gave up all hope, envying other women who could seemingly swan into any shop and pick up their dream pair, while my curves and bum (enough to even make a Kardashian blush) were left without.
If I had to endure another shop assistant looking me up and down before suggesting something ‘floaty’ with ‘an empire waist’ (seriously, who wears them?), it would have tipped me over the edge. I was a devout fan of wearing a dungaree dress with my band T-shirts instead, but that all changed when I found The One.
The truth is, I wasn’t even looking when I found you that fateful afternoon on the high street. I was actually after yet another uniform black dress.
I’d been rifling through the racks, frustrated that there was an abundance of smaller sizes – anything 16+ had already gone. But there you were, hiding on an incorrectly marked hanger behind some dresses.
I double and triple-checked the label as I couldn’t believe you were my size, before rushing to the changing room, trying not to get my hopes up. As soon as I tried you on – a washed-out black denim, high-waisted pair that hugged in all the right places – I knew my search was over.
The perfect pair of skinny jeans – I know, skinny! Bootcuts be gone, there was nowhere to hide with you.
You had just the right amount of stretch so I avoided the dreaded gaping at the waist, no longer having to ruin my look with a belt. And your high-waist style meant I wasn’t flashing everyone if I crouched down or raised my arms above my head. At 5ft 8in, I’m not short either, so you really were a denim miracle.
My fashion sense has always been ‘more is more’ with animal print, stripes, florals and clashing prints, regardless of what fashion says I should be wearing. So, after a few weeks I decided to customise you with some floral embroidery and a few well-placed studs.
You looked great with a pair of well-loved stompy boots and a leather jacket, or just as stylish with a leopard-print shirt and sneakers. You even made a plain white T-shirt look amazing.
You made me feel ready for anything and proud of my curves, and I wore you everywhere.
You saw me through many festivals, surviving the trek back to the tent in a typically British downpour and looked all the better for it, with wellies and the essential poncho.
You were there when my awful ex slipped and fell in the mud doing a double-take as I walked backstage to interview the bands in my dream job as a radio presenter, and you won me compliments from colleagues and friends who never thought they’d see me wearing jeans.
I wore you on many unsuccessful, eye-wateringly boring dates. But you were there on a successful one, too.
My boyfriend loved you and the confidence you gave me. Why would I cover up my shape with an oversized jumper or long T-shirt when you looked so good?
I spilled cocktails down you on a raucous girl’s night’s out (spending half-an-hour trying to dry you off under a hand-dryer probably wasn’t my finest hour).
You had ink stains from where I had my tattoo sleeves finished, but no matter how many times I washed you, you didn’t lose your shape or let me down. You seemed too good to be true.
Sadly, our love affair came to an embarrassingly dramatic (and public) end, as I was settling down in the cinema to watch the latest blockbuster when I felt something give. An enormous hole had appeared all down my right inner thigh.
I was mortified. You’d served me so well for so long, but I’ve never been so glad that a cinema is dark. I tied my jacket around my waist and shuffled awkwardly home after the film ended, trying not to flash the flesh.
I haven’t had the heart to replace you yet. You set the bar so high, but fortunately fashion has moved on over the last five years and curves are being catered for better than ever before.
I can shop online without fear of being judged or looked up and down for daring to try something skinny or fashionable. I know it’s only a matter of time before I find another pair.
You’ll always have a special place in my heart, though.
Thanks for showing me that jeans can be for everyone.
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