CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL | 002
It's easy to see that there's history embedded in the fibers of these jeans. Their exact age is unclear but it's fair to assume that they're at least 15 years old and they were worn a majority of my high school experience. I even had my first ever make out sesh in these bad boys.
ITEM: Boot Cut Jeans
AGE: 15+ yearsLOCATION: Arlington, VA
WHO: American Eagle Outfitters
WHERE: AEO @ Tysons Corner in Mclean, VA
HOWMUCH: estimating under $40
My high school experience was a mixed one. I was a Foreign Service kid which meant I'd travelled a lot when I was younger due to my mother's job. Typically we'd move every 2-3 years depending on her post but when it came time for me to go high school, she thought that I should stay in one place. High school is hard enough without having to change schools mid-way and have to start all over; so she took a post back in Washington, DC. Little did she know that I would end up changing schools my Junior year anyway and those 4 years would be a major transition.
Freshman and Sophomore year were hard. I had just come from living in an overseas country where the music was different, the clothes were different and everything was just - different. I was a fish out of water. I was different and if there's one thing I can remember about those first two years especially, it's that I wanted to be anything but different. I had gone to school with a few of these kids back in elementary school but they had grown up in the same place, with the same people and I had disappeared for 3 years. Naturally I tried to fall in line and one of the ways to be like everyone else is to dress like everyone else...right? Enter these jeans which were one of the first things I remembering wearing a lot during high school (aside from maybe ball chain necklaces). I think I purchased them at Tysons Corner Mall in McLean, VA. It could have been Pentagon City (which was closer to where I lived) but I don't remember that they ever had an American Eagle.
I remember buying these hip-hugging boot cut jeans and thinking how great looked. I remember how comfortable they felt and I wore them easily every day for weeks on end. The knees softened up and eventually gave way to these holes and I remember the feeling of satisfaction. It made me feel like I'd accomplished something in some weird way (this is before you could buy your jeans "pre-worn" kids). I don't remember a single pair of skinny jeans when I was in High School. At this time everyone was wearing a boot cut, flare or even wide legged jeans (you can google JNCOs) over their Chucks, Vans or maybe you'd even have some Adidas Superstars. You'd see hallways of kids with wide legged jeans and just the shell top of their shoes peeking out. The constant shuffling and dragging of your heels is how you wore out the back hem and you'd look completely ridiculous if you wore anything with a heel afterwards because of the tattered or entirely missing hem.
Even though I was kind of getting away with looking like everyone else, I was very aware of how unlike everyone else I was. I was Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. That scene when she walked through the lunch room and didn't know which table to sit at, that was so real to me! Unlike the movie however, I didn't join the popular group or throw any elaborate parties. I can remember having a lot of crushes and 1 short lived relationship but I didn't seriously date anyone until College. I managed to have my first real kiss with the guy I dated and I can tell you it was in a friend's basement and I was wearing these jeans with a top I'd gotten from Delia*s. It wasn't amazing but I was probably 13 and excited that someone even liked me. I don't think we dated more than a few weeks but our "relationship" wasn't much unlike me, super awkward.
I was self conscious because I felt very unsure not only of my appearance but of myself. I wouldn't really grasp myself as a person until much later in life but I ultimately had a bit of a breakdown my Sophomore year. I got very depressed and I didn't want to go to school because I started to realize that most of the people I was trying to be friends with, weren't my friends. I was trying way too hard to be a part of a group that I just wasn't cut out to be with. On top of that, I was doing badly in school because it was so big and I couldn't get used to how different the system was from the schools I went to overseas.
During this time it was also a struggle to communicate with my mom. She was a straight A student and even graduated early from high school to attend college. She hated high school as a kid as well but rather than letting it effect her studies, she excelled so she could leave everyone behind. Naturally this made it difficult for her to understand how I couldn't do the same. After a lot of fights and endless nights crying myself to sleep, the solution became starting over in a new and smaller school.
Junior and Senior year I went to a small private school and flourished. The smaller classes and more intimate relationships I was able to build with my peers and teachers allowed me to get a scholarship to college, my relationship with my mom became stronger than ever and I actually looked forward to the future. My college experience and what would follow is an entirely different story but these jeans have been with me all along the way. We've been through many struggles and a lot of firsts (not only my first kiss but later my first love) and we've travelled a lot. They're still probably the most comfortable jeans I own and I still refer to them as my "pajama jeans". I don't wear them in public any more but I occasionally like to wear them around the house when I'm doing housework. I'm a bit smaller than I was then so the slouch is lower but we continue to hold it together over a decade later.