I was waiting in the line to collect my daughter from her netball class when a mum walked past. Something she was wearing caught my eye. I would almost go as far to say it was revolutionary. She was wearing loose fit jeans. Not straight cut, I mean proper loose fit jeans, the kind the Happy Mondays sang about during the heydays of the Madchester scene.
The sight of these jeans inspired me to take radical action. I spent the next couple of days scouring the Internet and buying jeans to update my wardrobe with trousers that were a looser, more comfortable fit than the ones I owned.
For a little while I’d been getting annoyed with my jeans collection. It had not escaped my attention that whatever cut of jeans I bought, they are always tight fitting.
Don’t get me wrong, skinny fit jeans have their place. A pair of well made, well fitted jeans can be a wonderful addition to any wardrobe. Nonetheless, I feel the need to rally against the rag trade. Enough is enough: We need jeans that do not restrict movement or blood supply.
I think us parents are the ones that need to spearhead this demand for change. It is, after all, us lot who can be on our hands and knees, looking for a lost piece of LEGO one moment, playing football the next and bundling kids into cars to take them to school shortly afterwards. All of this requires free movement and yet for years now the denim industry has been making trousers that are ever tighter. That mum I saw: She is at the vanguard of this change.
You know I said I bought some looser fit jeans? The first pair to arrive were a pair of Levi 505. They’re relaxed fit as opposed to lose fit but are superb. Well cut but not too tight. Alas, the second pair to arrive was a pair of straight cut Levi 514s.
I’ve had to sell them on. I spent 20 minutes wearing those trousers before my calves started objecting. It wasn’t so bad, but most of those 20 minutes were spent sitting at a desk so I wasn’t active at all.
Straight cut should mean straight cut. Straight cut should not mean skin-tight-but-with-a-few-extra-millimetres-of-cloth-to-give-the-appearance-of-straight-cut. This, however, seems to be the position consumers are in. I’ve had real problems in the past buying jeans that aren’t too tight and it seems to be getting ever more difficult. The trend for ever tighter trousers simply has to stop. Sooner or later someone is going to lose a leg when their blood supply gets cut off, possibly both legs.
I can also think of no better time to demand change. We’ve all spent the past two years in and out of lockdown and even when we have been allowed to socialise, numbers have often been limited and venues like theatres and nightclubs have been shut. I hesitate to say sartorial standards have slipped, but they have changed. Tracksuit bottoms matched with a smart-top have become acceptable business attire. I know for a fact some retailers have been selling the previous year’s clothes because nobody’s been updating their wardrobe.
As COVID restrictions have eased, some of us have been going out a little bit more, myself included. Having spent so long in tracksuit bottoms, I’ve noticed my jeans collection is just unappealingly tight.
In case you’re wondering, my waist size has not increased. It’s not the case that I’m trying to fit into jeans that are too small. Buying jeans that are a sensible cut is simply proving to be a massive challenge.
Where do you sit in the Great Jeans Debate (this post on the Real Men Real Style blog makes for interesting reading)? Are you a Happy Mondays fan, desperate to see loose fit jeans make a comeback? Do you prefer jeans so tight you have to Vaseline your legs to get them on? Maybe you are an extreme jeggings fan? Whatever your opinion, leave me a comment. I feel this is a vital issue that requires discussion and debate.