Several years ago, I ducked into a small Vermont thrift store. I was in the midst of a summer at camp, and most of my pants had drowned in the torrential rain that dominated my stay there. Strapped for cash and time, I prayed that the thrift store would yield some leg-covering fruits. And lo and behold, 15 minutes later I exited the shop clutching a perfectly faded, comfortable pair of jeans.
The jeans hit just above my ankle, which I found to be awkward, but I rolled the hems and wore them anyway. They graced my legs for the rest of the summer as I rode horses, swam, and made crafts projects, and I brought them out the next summer for the same purpose. When my waist, which had filled out a bit more by then, began to protest the ever-tightening waistband, I shoved them into a drawer and promptly forgot about them.
For some unknown reason, I've lost a bit of weight over the past few weeks, so when I rediscovered the jeans in my wardrobe, they actually fit again. My immediate thought was that I should shred them a la Margiela or cut them into shorts so that the awkward length and generally odd cut would no longer plague me, but I put the idea on hold. "You know what?" I said to myself, "You can make these work. You're older now, you have more experience with fashion, and you should at least do some experimenting."
So I did.
In my first look, I decided to embrace the sort of casual slouchiness of the pants by pairing them with a draped top, beret, and combat boots. I tugged the jeans low on my hips, and printed belt kept the waist defined.
Not bad, right? This look is actually very "me."
My next attempt involved embracing another aspect of the pants. The cut was slightly different from what I'm used to, because they happen to be vintage. So I tugged up the waistline of the jeans and paired them with sleek retro items - a black romper, white plastic earrings, vintage white belt, and studded wedges - and felt very much the club kid. A touch of lipstick and hair piled on top of the head were finishing touches.
I was happy with how this one came out too. It wasn't quite my usual style, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
So I guess I did, after all, make these bad boys work. However, I did manage to excite myself with the prospect of tearing them to shreds Margiela-style, so who knows how they'll end up. So many possibilities. . .