Goodbye, faithful blue jeans

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Over twenty years ago I did not live in Bainbridge, but was driving through to a high school football game in Donalsonville. I had a hankering for a new shirt and stopped at Belk to see what they might have. At that time, they carried a brand of shirt made by the Gant clothing company.

The shirt that caught my eye at Belk that late afternoon was expensive, but I just had to have it. So I bought it. It had the famous three-button collar and the little tab in the back right above the center pleat. It was a great color, too.

After twenty years, I still have that shirt. I don’t wear it because it’s about to fall apart. The collar is frayed and the material is so worn that it is see-through. I still have that shirt because it is one piece of clothing that I like so much I cannot throw it away.

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It’s just a shirt, but do you have shirts or pants that you like so well that you simply wear them over and over until you wear them out? I do that with a few things, especially blue jeans.

Some people are buying blue jeans these days that look like some of those I have worn out. By that I mean they have holes throughout the pair of jeans. Very popular are the horizontal holes that are on the thigh portion of the jeans.

I guess I transitioned from diapers to blue jeans. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not have a pair of blue jeans. At one time, the brand had to be Levi-Straus and I still like them best, but will buy other kinds depending on price.

Just a few weeks ago, I threw away a pair of blue jeans. That was what is called a “watershed event.” After saying all I have said about wearing out precious pieces of clothing, you might be wondering, how worn out were those jeans?

To give you an idea, I decided to say “Good-bye” to them when I tried to put my wallet in my back pocket and the next thing I knew, the wallet had run down my leg and fallen on the ground. I wondered, “How did that happen?”

I picked up the wallet and tried again. Sure enough, the simple act of putting my wallet in my back pocket resulted in the wallet running down my leg and onto the ground. I felt above the back pocket and there was a hole there. Same size as the breadth of the back pocket. The material had simply given way.

You know where a back pocket is, don’t you? I figured if there was a hole there, someone might see my underwear! I had overlooked the holes in the legs and the frazzling of the cuffs. Those sorts of things gave the jeans character and made them look almost stylish by today’s fashion. But, seeing my underwear; that’s a horse of a different color. Or might I say, some skin of a different color.

So I made the decision that as soon as I had worn them that day and taken care that my wallet wouldn’t get lost, I would say sayonara to that pair of Levis. It was hard to do and broke my little heart, but I’ve got another pair that looks almost as bad…I mean good!

Some clothing just gets better as it gets older. Old shirts, shoes, even underwear feel like they belong the older they get. Maybe there is some hope for me as a person.