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My Denim Dilemma As outfits go, in my eyes, a jeans and tee-shirt combination is always a winner. There is nothing like being able to slip on my favourite pair of jeans (unless I’ve gained a pound or two, then it’s more of a struggle than a slipping action), and throw on a tee or shirt, add some ballerina pumps or my trusty biker boots as weather gets cooler, and effortlessly stroll out of the flat in the mornings. But maybe that’s the problem; perhaps I’m looking a little too effortless. Some might even say boring. Kate Moss manages to look effortless at all times, however she is far from wearing my boring fail-safe ensemble. She steps out in leather mini shorts and feather coat and looks enviously fabulous, whilst still maintaining that, “oh this old thing” attitude. Not all of us, me included, can look as good as Victoria Beckham does in boyfriend fit jeans and baggy white t-shirt. However she managed to hit every gossip mags’ headlines when she stepped out in exactly that outfit last year in L.A. Makes me believe it’s not the jeans that are boring, but the lack of change. Victoria is rarely seen with a hair out of place whilst wearing her trademark perfectly tailored dress and heels combination. It’s most likely the striking change in style that attracted the attention, rather than the jeans themselves. It’s not as if I don’t enjoy beautiful pieces of clothing as much as the next fashion loving girl does. I love to buy daring items from the high street, stand out vintage pieces and I lust after Avant Garde designer outfits. However I very seldom wear any of these items I buy when I get carried away on a shopping spree. Just recently in fact, I went out with the last of my week’s measly student budget to find some winter warmers for my wardrobe. I came home with a beautiful woollen dress with Peter Pan collar, and it’s still sitting in there with the tag on two weeks later! Instead I’ve been traipsing out of the house in the same old jeans, with the only variation being between vintage tees and plaid shirts. Only once, did I dare to swap the jeans with a pair of high-waisted shorts, but of course they were still of the denim persuasion. It’s not just jeans that I adore in general. It’s the specific cut. Trends still change within jeans, with a new style every season. From wide leg to

drainpipe, jeans come in all sorts of shapes, so there is room for variety. However I favour the skinny leg jean. Most clean cut, most youthful, and above all doesn’t drag on the floor and absorb street dirt. I must admit I’m quite snobbish about my cut of jeans; you wouldn’t catch me in a pair of the boot-cut persuasion. And if a friend of mine wore a pair, she wouldn’t hear the end of it. While sitting down thinking of ideas for this particular piece, and of course coming up with the idea revolving around my jean dependency, I had a little revelation. It was a shock to me, I always knew I thought very highly of a good fitting pair of jeans, but I did not realise I was quite so fixated on the garment. So, as an experimentation I banned jeans for a week. At first this was easier that I first expected; day one I sampled a simple black skirt I usually only wear on evenings out and I received a few welcome compliments, day two I wore the fore mentioned denim shorts with a high waist. Again, another hit. Day three I wore a blue flowered vintage playsuit that had sat in my wardrobe gathering dust since purchasing, and I was very glad to finally get some use out of it. On the fourth day I wore some tailored ankle length black trousers that I bought for a job interview and hadn’t been worn once since, another hit. I was enjoying myself. I felt like a slightly new person each day, and loved to have the variety that banning denim brought to my outfit choices. But on day five, tragedy struck! I gave in to the allures of denim. I couldn’t handle going cold turkey, after I showered on that fateful day; I opened my wardrobe and found a pair of my favourite jeans, neatly folded and invitingly simple. I pulled them on and broke my so far successful run of the “NO JEANS” rule. I can’t say I was devastated, I felt rather content when leaving the flat in the comfort of my snug jeans. I was a little disappointed in myself though I must say. I couldn’t keep up with even a week of making the effort to look good, interesting, and different. Kudos to the fashionista’s who do it every day. Although they often step out in huge faux leopard fur coat, artistically ripped tights, and huge sunglasses that seem to be the unspoken uniform of the fashion brat pack, which somehow I just don’t think I could quite pull off.

So it seems to me that at the mere age of 19, I’m stuck in my ways already. The week (well, four day) experiment proved that mixing things up a little gives me confidence and brings a little more fun to my day. But will I forever be sporting jeans? Wearing lo-riders well into my seventies? Well maybe not, my arthritis and sciatica might call for a fabric and cut that provides easy movement of the limbs. However, for now, I am quite content to pull on my jeans and go through the day looking effortless and casual. If it’s not broken, then don’t attempt to fix is what they say. I won’t fix it, however I might throw in some chic oversized sunglasses for good measure, and a bit of a confidence boost to boot.

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Circular column by Deborah White