The jeans conundrum

by | Dec 20, 2014 | Shahnaz Blog (Previously They Throw Rocks)

I have talked about fashion before and how clueless I used to be.  I’m OK now, I think.  Considering that I’m wearing something totally hideous today, I still think I’m alright.  The difference is that, today, I know I’m wearing something hideous.  The funny thing about clothing and fashion is that it’s all subjective.  It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.  They talk about the 80s coming back.  And if I would have saved all my clothes from that era, I would be rocking it right now.  Then again, when I tried to wear those clothes 10 years ago, I was very much the outsider.

The thing about fashion that has eluded me is its superficiality.  I think I’ve been anti-fashion since I was a kid.  I felt it wrong to judge someone based on their looks but rather on their merit.  I’ve also been anti-make-up for the same reason.  Of course, things have changed as I’ve aged.  Make-up has become my friend and I’ve rationalized it as an art.  I enjoy the challenge of a look and so I’ll think of make-up as an internal personal growth rather than an external superficial cover.

The topic of this blog post is really jeans.  I was in a conversation with my cousin about why jeans was considered as casual wear in the United States.  She stated to me that in Europe, the doctors wore jeans and a white lab coat and it was perfectly acceptable and the US folks would go to Europe and tell the doctors to dress appropriately.  Why?  Why are jeans not acceptable?  When I think of denim, it’s a sturdy material.  It takes a beating.  It’s perfect for the work environment.  You don’t have to worry about special care for your work clothes.  You just throw your jeans in the wash and go.

No!  In the US, it’s taboo.  One has to wear silks and wools and things that look good to work.  What is the definition of things that look good?  That’s a different topic, but back to jeans.  I could wear a blue navy suit perhaps, or a blue navy pair of pants with a jacket to work.  That would be fine.  However, if I were to wear a dark blue pair of jeans and a matching dark blue jeans jacket, it would be unacceptable.  I’m still trying to figure this out.  I don’t even have possible explanations.  The only thought that comes to mind is that jeans have traditionally been worn outside of work in laborious situations and hence people think it’s not appropriate for hoity toity types?  I do not know, but I wonder.  So, I post this one out there and have you all help me understand the rational as to why jeans are considered as a casual and non-work type clothing.


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