Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Perfect Fit

Today is Jeans Day at the Academy. For a five dollar donation to the Walk for Hospice, we earn the right to wear jeans and be out of dress code for the day. Although I lived in jeans for my four years of college, it still seems odd to wear them to school. It wasn’t until 1970 that students were allowed to wear them to classes at Newburyport High School. Before that, I remember occasionally getting singled out at the front door to drop to my knees and have the length of my skirt measured! Once the jean restriction was lifted, girls went from mini skirts to denim clad legs. We haunted Newburyport’s head shop, Siddhartha’s, and bought our hip-huggers and bell bottoms.

Jeans have come far from those days when the brands were Levi, Lee, or Wranglers. They were inexpensive and had only several deviations in styles. The color was indigo and they were so stiff that they needed several washings before they were soft enough to wear. The rips and tears were genuine. Although still the choice of the masses to wear, jeans are now part of the global economy and manufactured off our shores in a variety of styles and colors. Jeans: a cultural history of an American icon (687.1 SUL) by James Sullivan is a fascinating look from their beginnings on the western frontier to their place in our wardrobes today.

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