Throughout my 22 years, I have always gotten dressed for the thrill of it. Every morning, as I add each piece on top of one another, its as if a compilation of my personality, mood, and identity materializes, transmitting my inner goings-on to the outside world. Other than the weather, I never conditionalize my clothing, meaning that, for the most part, the way I present myself is something I have crafted solely to jumpstart my creative energies and put me in a comfortable place. However, its taken me years to get to a place where my inner monologue is the only script influencing my daily garb. As an elementary schooler, I made my mom buy me gauchos even though I just wanted to wear my funky Japanese anime tops. Later, in middle school, I squeezed myself into those Hollister jeans that barely made it above your groin even though I sincerely believed they restricted circulation to my lower extremities.
What this boils down to is comfort. Comfort can be physical but when it comes to clothes, its more so a matter of the mind. You want the confidence of a sky high heel but with the grounding of Bean boots. That’s a hefty request, dontchya think? Comfort is a quality that should never be sacrificed, firstly, because doing so prevents you from wearing something to its fullest potential but also because there are too many styles, both current and past, out there for people not to love what they embellish their bodies with.
And here’s where my mom jeans steal the spotlight. Not to be confused with boyfriend jeans, mom jeans are timeless, relaxed, and don’t rely on the patriarchy for credibility (mic drop). Mom jeans are defined, by me, as denim with a snug, high-rise waist but whose legs have a good degree of give. They remind you of something your neighbor wears when she’s secretly tending to her pot pants instead of her petunias. They let you kneel, squat, and assume other indecent poses and are so durable that you never have to worry about uncomfortable thong exposure or any chance of ripping down the bum or thigh.
I recently purchased a pair of classic mom jeans at the thrift store but, like everything I ever thrift, I instinctively took scissors, thread, and other materials to them, making them mine in every possible way. I chopped off the pant’s hemmed cuffs and embroidered one of the front pockets. Still not quite right, I added a sunflower inside the pocket (cue Natasha Bedingfield’s, Pocketfull of Sunshine). Slipping the jeans on for the first time, I immediately noticed that they were far baggier than the skin-tight pants I wear almost daily. I turned around to look in the mirror, taking in the jean’s extra fabric that gave no mention of my butt. At first, I wondered if maybe I should change and just wear the jeans around the house instead. Why though? I thought. What’s wrong with not showing off my every nook and cranny? They are, for that matter, MINE to show or not show.
Walking to the front of the classroom that day to sign into my 8am, I wondered what people saw. Were the pants stylishly large or did they hugely miss the mark? Likely one of those moments when you think people are paying more attention to you than they actually are, I sat down, a little insecure but also basking in the glory of the pant’s extra space. As I got up to leave class at the end of the period, my friend, who was sitting next to me, said, “Why are you always so stylish? Will you just dress me?”. It wasn’t that this comment went straight to my head and sparked a career switch but rather that someone had noticed the outfit in its entirety and imperfections. That was all it took. Throughout the day, there were a few more comments from other wonderful women in my life. They appreciated the embroidery and flower, all the little details I hoped would be the jean’s focal points. These jeans bore my handy work and the compliments I got were a testament to me reaching deep within my closet to pull out something unpredictable and slightly outside of my comfort zone. The pants forced me to be comfortable with opposing Seventeen Magazine’s suggestion of dressing for your body type and flattering your frame, instead showing off something less to do with me and more to do with what my creativity had the ability to devise.
Whether you flaunt it, or don’t, when it comes down to it, clothing is all about how you swing it. Just be sure to knock um’ out of the park.