Forever in Blue Jeans 1980
Some people look great in jeans, some people look like they were born in denim! Suze, looks great in jeans, and sure l am going to be bias, but she does. Now aside from the fact that l fancy my partner and therefore it’s my perrogative to say ‘she looks great in jeans’, aside from that – she just does. Not all denim though, just blue denim, and because she likes blue denim, she wears blue denim more.
I have one pair of jeans, they are of the darker blue variety because l don’t like the classic blue denim jeans, and l have never liked them, because l just don’t look right in them. When Suze and l first started dating, she bought me a few pairs, one of the classic blues and a pair of faded somethings and my dark blue pair, and l never wore any of them. Two went back and l kept the dark blues back, as l might ‘grow into them’, not physically but mentally sort of thing. Only this year did l start wearing them, and considering that she bought me them in 2013, l think five years of getting used to looking at them is pretty good!
I don’t wear them that often, l wear them when l go out and it doesn’t require some kind of formal fabric. You see most of the time l prefer wearing chinos or when l am home, jogger bottoms from Bamboo, as they are really soft and have no snags, or threads or abrasive finishes. I don’t like anything rough on my skin as it has a tendency to feel the slightest thread and then bug the living crap out of me when l am wearing them, to the point l just want to rip them off and throw them away!
Considering my time spent in the fashion industry, and also, more surprisingly, in 1991 l was voted by my store as one of the Top Jean sellers – l hate clothes shopping – l mean seriously detest, l have the patience of a two year old eagerly looking to escape the confines of a nappy, l don’t need to be there! Luckily with online shopping, it is made easier, but also, l tend to wear clothing in a pretty respectable way – so am not needing lots of new clothing every year. Suze in the past has bought me fresh boxers and socks, but l am one of those guys that wears things till within an inch of their last life. So socks and boxers are only thrown about when it might offend paramedics if l was hit by a bus.
Which is a strange thing my Mother used to say ‘Make sure you have clean underwear on in case you get hit by a bus!” Which is stupid, because if l was hit by a bus and for the record l have been, but if l was run over by a bus, which oddly l also have been, well, not true l slid under it, and it was slow moving. But if l WAS hit by a bus, who cares if l have clean underwear on? Surely l might soil myself anyway?? So who would know? “Oh my goodness look, this fella’s got dirty underwear on!” Can’t see that happening somehow!
Some people just make denim look good ….
If that was me above, l would be more like Mr Bean below ..
…….. l am just too clumsy!
I remember back in the late 70’s wearing those damn flared jeans and l would trip over them all the time! They just looked gawky all the time, they were darn awful, there is NO polite way of describing flared jeans, l mean what buffoon even thought they were trendy?
l was no John Travolta, who made everything look cool, even if it did look hopelessly stupid!
So l was really pleased when jeans from the 70’s moved forwards into the 80’s. In 1980, l was 17, and l was determined to buy myself a pair of the skinnies. Well they weren’t specifically called skinnies, but they weren’t baggies either, they were just tighter, and whilst at college, my girlfriends had said that my Corduroys were a bit old fashioned, and l agreed. So one Saturday, l ventured out on my own into Woking with the intention of getting myself some proper jeans, and the new fit in town was these snuggies, or lycra type jeans, l can’t remember what they were called, but they were to me like spray ons! They were a lycra stretch slim fitted jean, and everyone said l would look good in them, and the girls said it would make my bottom look cute!
Well l was never a vain chap, but if the girls said it would make my bum look cute, l figured well yes indeedy, why not?
Oh how l genuinely wish there had been a reliable go to guide back in 1980!
Instead, l was the gullible one beset upon by the cheeky gum chewing bubble blowing Cockney sounding, shite swearing eager to please Saturday sales assistant on commission who l think said everyone looked good in whatever they had on! But l was young and somewhat naive and no expert when it came to denim – ever, and in truth, l hated shopping. My ideal purchase time is and was to walk into store like a ghost, pick something off rack, check label, go to the counter, pay and walk out, go home and then discover l had bought a tutu or something. But as long as l am in and out in five maybe ten minutes l consider that excellent! [Perhaps you can see why online is better and also Suze buys most of my clothing!]
My Mother looked somewhat perturbed when l declared l was going clothing shopping and asked if any of the girlfriends from college would be there to help or even that nice hairdresser boy, who was always so suave? She called all my male friends a boy. I answered that l would be fine and l would take my time and look properly. “I mean Mum, how hard can it be, seriously, l want a pair of jeans, it’s not rocket science is it?”
Truly? I think rocket science would have been easier, because it was not as simple as blowing in the wind!
Well, it was an absolute nightmare is all l can say, five hours from 10am to 3pm, l trudged through Woking, in stores out of stores, in stores out of stores! I was pissed off, mithed, hacked off, fucked off, angry, upset, disappointed and just generally frustrated to hell and back! There were all sorts of styles, cuts, makes, fly button, zipped, too many blues, too many colours, too many cocky staff and know it alls, those who wanted to measure me for this and that, those who were patting my bottom all the time and those who were patting other parts of me? Like what gives l was thinking, why when all l want is a pair of slim fit style jeans in dark blue, why is THIS so hard??
In the end, and it was about 4pm on a Saturday afternoon l walked into a store, that was Zonkies, or ZZackos or Zomething as far as l was concerned! I walked in, bedraggled and losing the will to live, when this absolutely stunning girl walked up to me and complimented me! She was older than me and instantly went into all this sales glib, and as tired as l was l perked up.
It was at that point that she must’ve thought “Gotcha! You are mine little man!”
I told her what l wanted and she bought out a pair of dark blue slim fit styled jeans and ushered me into the changing rooms … it was that simple! And yet ……… well, they didn’t look right, they were snug on my rump, and they were ooooooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaay …ish But!
“Come on then lovie, let’s see you in them!” She called through the curtains.
“They’re wrong l think?” I answered walking out. “They seem a little bit long?” I said as l flopped along the carpet with at least 10″ of jean on either leg flapping out with every stride.
“No love, that’s the fashion. got to have them long see, so you grow into them, that’s the beauty of stretch to fit.”
“Grow into them? What do you mean grow into them, l am not small now, but l would need to be a foot taller to fit into these?”
“No, just tuck them up and then iron them, you will not see it.” She answered knowledgeably.
“So fold them up on the outside and iron them?” I asked somewhat bewildered.
She looked at me as if l had three heads. “No . tuck them up on the inside of the leg and iron them love! You were joking with me there weren’t you lovie?”
“Er, yeah sure, can you show me what you mean please?”
“Yes of course me darling!” She bent down and in the same process running her hand down from my groin to my leg, instantly placing me into an awkward position. Then started tucking the leg lengths up into themselves until they looked near perfect. “There we go, when you get home, just run a hot iron on them, make sure it’s hot, but not too hot otherwise you will burn them, and that will not do, no one wants burnt jeans do they?”
Well the way she did it they looked great and so l bought them, all £27.99 worth of them! I walked out a happy buyer, and l was happy all the way home and l was happy when l told my Mum l had a fantastic pair of jeans, and l was happy as l got into them to show her, and l was happy when l walked back downstairs with my 10″ of fabric hanging out and l was happy when l told my Mother all cocky like [she who thought l could never find a pair of jeans] that here were my jeans!
I was very happy, so very happy with myself right up to the point that my Mother’s face darkened and l could see little vessels on the side of her neck and head starting to throb.
“How much did you say these cost you?” She yelled her blue colour rinsing with her purple and her colour fast becoming deep red.
When l told her she seemed to pop like buttons off a ripped shirt!
“You have been scammed and hung out to dry like a rotten fish, take them back right this minute and get your money back!!!”
There were no if’s and maybe’s, no talk of hot irons – just lots of ‘stammering buts’ from me! So l walked back into town, walked back into the shop and then had to try and negotiate for a refund in a time when getting a refund was NOT easy because it wasn’t broken or faulty and l had bought it fair and square, and after fifteen minutes of pleading, the girl laughed at me and sent me packing, with the quote of to her friends “One born every minute!”
Back home, and that wasn’t sitting with my Mother one little bit, especially the ‘born every minute comment’ and she basically said that come Monday afternoon, she would get this sorted or all hell would blow! I thought l was safe, not realising that my Mother meant that she would frogmarch me down into the store and create all types of merry hell after l got back from college – which she did. She threatened the store with the police, trading standards, the press, and with each threat her voice got louder, and mightier and shriller to the point customers were walking out of the store or watching from outside.
The manager of the store was giving what nots back, and so this battle continued for nearly an hour, until the manager exhausted gave my Mother the money back and demanded that neither she or l ever set foot into the shop again!!
As we were walking back, she looked very proud with herself, and turned to me and simply said, “Well you may not be forever in blue jeans sonny Jim, but from this point on, l will still buy for you, but you will join me so you get more used to it all!”
Tough going admittedly, l would be 20 before l tried to buy something else from a shop by myself. Perhaps if l had known back then l was on the spectrum, it may have explained a lot, or maybe it wouldn’t have done who knows?
Any way how about you, did you ever get scammed over, or were you a natural when it came to buying clothes for yourself?