A Love Letter To The Rip In My Favourite Blue Jeans

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 months ago | Features

Image: Rosie Dalton wearing the Charlotte Ankle Jean in Free

Denim is one of the most universally versatile fabrics in the world, but it is also one of the most environmentally dubious – which is due to the vast amounts of water required to grow conventional cotton. It is for this reason that I gravitate towards responsibly made or vintage denim wherever possible and always try to get the maximum wear out of my jeans. Thankfully this is pretty easy with denim, considering it is the one fabric that I can rely on all year round.

With origins that trace back to early American workwear, denim is not just hardy in terms of weather conditions, but also the conditions of every day life. In other words, a well-made pair of jeans will withstand the pressure of being worn every. single. day. And so that’s generally how I like to approach my jeans. In the summer time, they are perfect when paired with a simple white tee, but once winter rolls around, they will also keep you cosy and protect you from the elements such as wind and rain.

Which is important, because getting a lot of wear out of my denim makes me feel less guilty about the environmental stress that is often caused in the production phase of creating those items. For that reason, I was both saddened but also a little proud of the small tear that recently developed in the knee of my favourite pair of vintage Levi’s

This is the pair that I picked up secondhand at an op shop and then had tailored so they fit me just right. It is also the pair that I have worn at least four times a week for the past three years. Which means they have seen everything from friend’s birthday parties, to busy workdays; and weekends on the couch, to evenings on the dance floor.

I have worn this particular pair of vintage blue jeans with T-shirts in the height of summer and turtlenecks, coats and scarves in the depths of winter. They work just as well with my white sneakers as they do my black heels and have thus become an integral part of my wardrobe. Which is why I actually feel kind of proud of the small tear that recently developed in the knee – despite not really being a ripped jeans kind of girl.

So, in the couple of weeks since that rip first appeared, I have found myself contemplating a sartorial crossroads: whether to replace my beloved blue jeans, or try to mend them. The timing is important here, because as the weather finally starts to shift towards proper winter, I am now in need of my trusty blue jeans more than ever. And no pair fits quite like those blue jeans, nor feels quite as much a part of my personal style.

So ultimately, I have decided that they still have some life left in them. And, with a good tailor on the line, I plan to have these beloved Levi’s patched up – with what I am not quite sure yet. I have been exploring the idea of contrast fabric, or using another shade of blue denim to mask my little rip. But ultimately, I have decided to think of that small imperfection as a symbol of my love for those jeans.

The sad truth is that eventually my trusty blue jeans will wear out. This is just the temporal nature of clothing (especially those items that we wear all year round, every day of the week). And when the time does come to finally replace them, I will remember with fondness just how well those well-made jeans have served me over the years. And thus be resolute in my decision to buy good quality, responsibly made denim that will see me through any situation, no matter the season. Because at the end of the day, nothing is more sustainable than the clothes you actually wear.

 

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