Friday, April 20, 2012

Together Again (OOTD)

My earliest memory of having a jean jacket (as we called them "back in the day") was from middle school. It was the late 80s, and I think it was stone washed (not acid washed - two totally different things, you know) and boxy, with an almost dolman-like sleeve. I seem to recall that there were panels set in the shoulder, that sported a checker-board pattern, in varying shades of washed denim blue. It may have had an elastic waste band. But I can't confirm that. I thought it was very cool. Though, I'm pretty sure that back then, I would have said, "rad" and not "cool." It was a *cough* really long time ago.

I can't remember if I wore denim jackets in high school. I don't remember jackets from high school terribly clearly. I remember wearing the letterman jackets of upperclassmen boys from time to time (I know, so high school and kinda lame, isn't it?) and eventually my own letterman jacket (I'm not telling you what I lettered in. You can't make me). But I have no other lasting memories of jackets or coats from back then. I can recall certain sweater vests, baby-doll dresses, and scrunchies. But jackets? No. Definitely fuzzy on those, for some reason.

College. Yes. I had jean jackets in college. Well, I had one I borrowed regularly from my roommate, until finally I broke down and got my own. It was a man's jacket and of course, I swam in it, it was so big on me. But I think that was the point. I think it was sort of a medium washed blue. Nothing special. Probably from the Gap or Old Navy. 

In my mid to late-20's, I definitely had a denim jacket (I think by then, that's what we were calling them). I still own that one, in fact. I wore it pretty regularly and I can still remember the day at work, while living in upstate New York, that I layered it over a solid black tee with a stripy scarf (muted colors) from the J. Crew outlet store in nearby-ish Massachusetts. My supervisor and another co-worker, while stopping to talk to me about something work related, commented that I was finally "dressing like a New Yorker." I'm not entirely sure what that meant (had I, for instance, dressed recognizably like a Californian up 'til then? Was that a good or bad thing?) but I do remember feeling faintly pleased with the remarks - which I'm nearly certain were intended as compliments.

I think, before eventually moving back to California, and my current home here, in San Diego, I bought this darker-wash denim jacket. You know, to kind of switch it up with my tried-and-true older more-medium-washed one. They're both from the Gap and have a very similar cut to them, and while this darker one never really got as much play in my wardrobe as the older one (I think I found it to be sort of boring and blah, and now that I think about it, denim jackets were sort of on their way out, by then) I hung onto it anyway, along with the one that had made me a New Yorker. They've been taking up valuable real estate in my closet for about the last 5-6 years, pretty much unworn the whole time. But guess what? Guess who's been rewarded for her pack-rat tendencies? Can you guess who's back...?

Jacket: Gap Denim Jacket (old; similar here, here, and here)
Dress: Akin Tunic, Anthropologie
Necklace: Kate Spade 'Hang in There' Necklace (similar here and here; lots of eyeglass pendants on Etsy here)
Belt: J. Crew (similar here and here)
Ring: ??? (super old; minimalist version here and a fierce version here)

Which only goes to show that maybe you shouldn't always listen to those well-meaning books and magazine articles that tell you, most earnestly and sometimes even stridently, that anything in your closet that you haven't worn in the last year or two absolutely must go.

Some things, I think, never really leave us.


  1. I remember jean jackets! And silky disco jackets. Thank goodness it's the denim that's maintained it's popularity, and not the other!

  2. I bought my denim jacket in 2001. That was the summer I was working at Gap and got it on a discount. I was very pleased with myself. I have not stopped wearing it. It comes out of the closet every spring, like clockwork--it's one of my dearest closet staples. It's SO SOFT. Honestly, I never realized that it was considered out of style until this year when they are back "in." Whoops. I agree with you though that some things are just worth holding on to!

  3. I've don't really listen to what's in and out so I have my denim jacket since high school. I do consider it a staple just like a white dress for the summer and leopard flats, they always come back season after season, at least in my wardrobe.

  4. Please tell me what you lettered in!! PLEASE!! Haha! I've had various jean jackets over my life. The one I remember most is the one my mom swore was perfect to wear in every single one of my child "modeling" headshots. I think it was Levis. Also, I used to have this awesome denim bomber jacket from the Gap about 10 years ago and now I'm wondering where the heck it is?! I don't think I got rid of it, but haven't seen it since moving to SC. :/

  5. I read this article yesterday about jean jackets taking over harajuku in Japan.

    I kinda hate shopping lately cuz it does feel too recycled from high school and middle school for me. I dunno. I sort of wish I packratted some of my old clothing though.

  6. I think my GAP Jean jacket is the same way. Goes to the hip and I have to roll up the sleeves to make it look more fitted. A couple years ago when cropped jean jackets were in, I coveted a few of those. Do you have any like that? Do you think a cropped jean jacket would be as versatile as the regular/classic one?

  7. LOL I too remember them "back in the day". I for one am happy that those are no longer in my closet but they did get replaced eventually, from Gap as well funny enough (almost like yours:p), and just like some people here, they go back in rotation b/w spring and fall:)