#100wears: The Red Denim Jacket

This post was written as submission to the Fashion Revolution Zine #002. They didn’t want it but for me this will be the first one in monthly series about my most worn garments. #100wears because we all know that #30wears is not even close to ambitious. The red denim jacket definitely got more than 100 wears but nobody counted…


It was 2003. The big switch in what I wore had happened a few years ago. My parents were upwardly mobile. We had started to shop in mall stores instead of market stalls and second hand shops, a big leap for (still) post-soviet Latvia. My early adolescent insecurities had dissipated. I was 15 and felt very cool.

I had the confidence to pull off pretty much anything and enjoyed garments with shock value, so, when this fast fashion denim jacket – classic cut but in bright red – came in my wardrobe, it became a *neutral* filler piece. Maybe exactly because of being so easy to wear this jacket hung around and accompanied me everywhere: school, parties, travel, coming-of-age adventures, leaving my parents’ home, and changing countries of residence.

The frequency fluctuated, but I wore my denim jacket pretty constantly until this spring. It had faded heavily on the outside and had a lot of wear and tear, despite my seamstress’s efforts to conceal it. I wouldn’t care too much about the beyond mint condition, but the shape also felt dated. Our 14-year relationship was coming to an end.

With a heavy heart I followed the rules of my wardrobe (“if you are not thrilled to wear it now, it has to go”), and set it apart for the next community clothes’ swap. I know that we overestimate the qualities of our belongings just because they are ours. So I assumed that this swap will be the funeral of my denim jacket, that my community – by not wanting it – will confirm that this garment is dated and too worn out to be desired.

But turns out that classic cuts do live forever! That red jacket now lives with my friend Alba, and I hope that the leprechauns of my youth still hide in the pockets urging her to take her chances and enjoy life at its fullest.


What are your *forever* garments? How old is the oldest wearable item you have? Do you still wear anything that you wore in your adolescence?


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