If I had a dollar for every “denim issue” published, I would be a millionaire. (Check out this month’s Nylon magazine for another great example.) We Americans looovvvvee our dungarees. So much so that we’re willing to spend hundreds (and I means HUNDREDS) of dollars on a single pair. Hudson Jeans even launched a couture jeans collection (Couture Denim, Vogue UK). And not only do we spend a ton of cash on jeans, we spend a lot of time on them too — ripping, snipping, bedazzling, tie dying, etc.
What gives? Why are we so enthralled with this basic, cotton fabric originally used for wagon covers and tents back in the 1800’s. Of course we can attribute some of our love to the fact that jeans are an American original. Certainly Levis banks on this. And yes, the right pair can highlight the tush “just so.”
But this can’t explain it all.
We love our jeans (jeans shirts, pants, jackets, vests, skirts, purses, even shoes) because they, more than any other clothing item, represent what’s so amazing about the American dream.
Let me explain.
At their core, jeans are basic, inexpensive, functional items. On one level, this makes them the perfect work or play attire. Both activities are core to our culture. But on another level, with some styling, riveting, or sewing, they can be transformed into the must-have “date wear,” couture fashion, or even works of art. As Americans, we believe that no matter where we’re born, from which family we come, or in which social class we’re raised, we can transform ourselves into any kind of person we dream of. All we need is some creativity, hard work and ambition.
We are what we wear is never more true than with jeans.
So the next time you plunk down $250 for a pair of jeans, realize that you’re not just buying some high priced denim pants. You’re reaffirming the American dream. Now, isn’t that worth it? 🙂