Thirty Thousand Streets

Sunday, January 06, 2008


The January sales are an occasion for me to stock up basic clothes as well as the odd extravagance.. things such as hoodies, socks and jeans.

When it comes to denim I like dark, indigo, rigid denim. I don't really get jeans that have had some kind of wash or treatment, or have been hand distressed previously by some poor sod with sandpaper and a basket of rocks somewhere. Surely the point of a pair of jeans is that you have them for years and they age naturally with wear, becoming a garment particular to you, no?

It's bizarre what a modern fetish jeans are, and how much something that originated as durable workwear, can cost. There are some dizzyingly expensive jeans to be had these days.

I opted for a couple of pairs from from Uniqlo in the sale, which were nice quality selvedge denim. Unfortunately the only jeans in this style were the seemingly ubiquitous 'skinnys', when I'd probably opt for something more like a straightforward 501 fit these days. But, they're straight leg and have quite a nice sillouette so I guess I can pour myself into them and get down like that. Having sported the baggier styles for years it does feel different though (and I more self conscious) and I seem to recall Umberto Eco having written an essay on jeans in Faith in Fakes where he contrasts the introspection bestowed by slim-fitting jeans, against the meditative freedom permitted by the loose fitting monk's habit* (though I guess as a professor of semiotics at Bologna university you can forgive him for missing out on the whole 90s hip-hop fashion thing).

Anyway, my jeans are cool, but bluer than Barry White, and seem to take the concept of colour transfer to a logical extreme – bestowing anything worn above or below them of a lighter hue a noticably blue tinge. Needless to say, if you had some white leather scarface-style sofas from Linda Barker's range at DFS, these babies would be out of the question.

So, I've given them a soak in the bath for a couple of hours this afternoon, then wrung them out, and hung them out to drip dry in the bathroom. At the end there was a lovely blue tidemark in the bath which I dutifully cleaned. I think my housemates were slightly bemused by it all, but hopefully, it'll shift some of the dye.

*As The Name of the Rose attests, Umberto Eco's kinda big on monks.


Pentadact said...

Jeans are definitely some weird social virus. How did we all come to decide we wanted blue legs? The ubiquity of black coats makes more sense - black is sort of a logically reductive choice, and has some practical advantages. But blue legs?

Partly because of my reactive aversion to that notion, I have only one pair of truly great jeans (grey), and have never been able to find their like since. The few jeans-store staff who can even comprehend their configuration are perpetually out of stock of whatever esoteric cut I evidentally require.

I think your infectious blue jeans are just a more physical manifestation of the frightening cultural homogenisation already taking place.

doppelganger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doppelganger said...

I have several pairs of jeans that I have loved intensely...

If there is a Heaven and I get there, I shall awaken in a pair of black, mid 90's baggy skateboarder things loathed by all but me....

Zeno Cosini said...

Unfashionable as it is, I only like jeans that are flared. Not boot-cut, actually flared, though I realise this is now the fashion equivalent of seppuku. It's because my legs are short and thick. If I wear anything straight-legged or tapering I look like a tentpeg.

It's nigh-on impossible to get flares now. Gap stopped doing them. Uniqlo never did do them. Levi do one style, in a half-hearted way, and not in my size. I've not got anything against skinny jeans - but they don't look good on me. Believe me, I've tried. So the tide of fashion has rolled out and left me flipping disconsolately on the sand.

The Eyechild said...


Well we do live on the the 'blue planet', though I guess that's being worked on as we speak – so Ultimately grey might be a smart move.

I went through a phase of not actually wearing jeans that much. Then got back into them, Go figure.


Much as I love a crisp new pair.. I also tend to wear them until the pockets give way, and not before.


Well you know, stopped clocks and all that.. when flares come round again you should stock up, and dig yourself in.

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