By John Vieira
I have a pair of jeans that I love. That I genuinely care about. Which is weird.
I love the idea of style. I have a Zegna suit, and I know that I look sharp every time I decide to subject myself to existential loneliness, and go to a peer’s wedding. But at the same time, I’m a ‘creative’. I work at a design firm, where I can wear a t-shirt to work if I want. Even a t-shirt with a band or an 80’s cartoon if I feel like it. I often have to remind myself to dress like a grown-up, and I don’t always do a great job at it. My perpetual Vans Authentics are nice looking tennis shoes, but they are still tennis shoes. I almost always wear a shirt with a collar, but it usually is plaid and has pearl snaps. As far as pants, why spend a lot when Levi’s 511’s have always worked so well for me?
Can you really wear raw denim jeans every day? And you don’t ever have to wash them? I would have paid $165 just for the right to wear the same pants every day and have everyone think that it’s acceptable. Even better, my $165 came with a nice pair of A.P.C. New Cures, that looked, and mostly fit, like my beloved 511’s.
After a breaking in period of deep knee bends, power yoga, and other things only Chuck Norris would do in jeans, I started wearing the A.P.C.s every day. I had hoped nobody would notice, I would just wear the same pants every day and fly under the radar, laughing all the way past the washing machine I wasn’t using. But something else happened. People noticed. They noticed the hell out of them, and me. People wanted to talk to me about my A.P.C. jeans, and raw denim, and selvedge denim, and the life of denim, and even how good my lower half looked.
Suddenly I was viewed as both (kind of) stylish and knowledgeable, even though all I set out to be was lazy. And something else happened. I bought in. I started to love these jeans. I took stock of them when I de-pantsed every night, admiring where they were getting soft, admiring the mark my wallet was beginning to make in the back pocket. They felt alive, a reflection of me I hadn’t ever had in clothing before. In a world where we measure our accomplishments in Foursquare mayorships and Playstation trophies, and other fictional benchmarks, I started to love the pants that reflect the way I actually live. Jeans showing wear marks is probably equally as meaningless as Farmville to measure things, but it’s physical, it’s visceral. It makes me, a guy in an office, feel like a real life John Marston, roaming the nascent expanse of the American West. A man who earns the way he looks. Which by the way, was like a grown up.
I wanted convenience, I got style, and I got something real. How could these not be the best pair of pants I’ve ever had?
John Vieira is a designer living in Portland, Oregon. Some guy tried to break into his bedroom window last night while he was sleeping. It was intense. Follow John on twitter @thelegendofjohn or read his blog at jcv.me
Ed Note: Thanks for the great post Johno!
Ed Note (2): For a designer, you have a great way with words John!