The transition of jeans and genes or maybe it’s just aging

Mom would never let me out of the house in these!

Jeans! How they’ve changed over the years!

I wear them a lot in the fall/winter. I wore them when I was a kid too only we called them dungarees. They were different.

I remember getting a new pair when I was a teenager (probably from Sears). They were stiff as a board. The snap poked your belly and you had to inhale to zip. It would take a year of washings to get comfortable.

Some of this may have been because of my genes (the other kind that goes with chromosomes). My predominant gene at the time was lust, mating or just looking hot. Looking hot takes a toll. It’s hard work and not at all comfortable.

The beat-up jean craze came about because they are so much more comfortable. If you can buy them already “broken in,” so much the better (as long as they still were snug enough to strut your stuff).

Over the years manufacturers started adding a little stretch. First it was in the waistband. (No I’m not talking elastic waist Mom jeans!) Then a little here and there.

They became more comfortable. They came out in a sort of knit denim. Just like pajamas! I have a collection of jeans from skinny leg to boot cut, from more stretchy to less stretchy. Then I have a pair or two of the old style.

Thick, sturdy. You can muck a horse stall with them. They wear like iron but there is no give. They are not forgiving of a big lunch. Forget the French fries!

Damn things never wear out. Ever. Your only hope is that they shrink and get too short. Wearing any pants that are too short is not cool. (Gotta be cool!)

I grabbed a pair of those this past week. After wearing my “knit” denim for the last few weeks, they felt like Spanx. (For the record, I don’t have any Spanx so I’m not sure how they feel. I can’t stand the constriction. In addition to losing my “I want to be hot” genes, I seem to have acquired “I don’t care” genes!)

Still…I wore them all day. (I kept checking for horse stalls to muck and pigs to feed.) Then they went into the laundry with a note to self to put in the donate pile.

They are very cool looking. Some young girl whose “I want to be hot” genes are still trumping her “I gotta be comfy” genes will appreciate them. As for me, I’m back to my soft limp ones that don’t pinch, poke or chafe. And the French fries!

I wonder what the age is for trading out genes and jeans.

68 thoughts on “The transition of jeans and genes or maybe it’s just aging

  1. I have just been informed by my teenage daughters that jeans now have to be a bit too short to qualify as cool. What we used to make fun of as “high water pants” and now the thing.
    And I have one pair of jeans from my HS years in my closet too. Still in good shape but, sadly, now one size too small.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must have had others, but the only jeans I remember from my teenage years were my cut-off jeans. And then there were all those pedal pushers.

    Last week I bought a pair of green cords. They were tighter than I expected them to be–from the waist band all the way down to my ankles. Surprisingly, they were really comfortable, I think because of the spandex. Comfort trumps everything else these days. I’m not sure when that started, but it’s been a while. I’m still happy, though, when they also look good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love a little stretch in my jeans. But, like you, I have pairs that hang on hangers for only those “special” (translate – weak attempt at ‘hotness’) events. But I face being old every time I shop for jeans. I cannot in good conscience spend money on jeans that already have holes in them (“distressed?”) Not. Gonna. Happen! I guess that makes me “old.” ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You made me laugh as just today I set out to buy new jeans. It’s been awhile and I couldn’t believe how many different styles, materials, and general shapes to choose from. I was surprised to see how many different “stretchy” materials are being used, yet they’re still marketed as jeans. I don’t care for them all that much, and prefer leggings if I just want stretchy. I will never understand the ones that look like they’ve collided with a lawn mower!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always wanted to like jeans but while I have a couple of pair, I rarely wear them. I just never feel comfortable in them and I’ve tried several brands, styles and fabrics. Maybe one day..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still struggle with the “relaxed fit” because they never look good on me. So they end up sitting on hangers on the far left side of my closet. But the “regular” ones are always too tight in the waist and legs. As sick and conspicuous as it sounds, I feel like finding a custom tailor for denim. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I lived in jeans as a teen/young adult. Here, I wear shorts and capris as often as jeans. But I have a couple pair of black Lee jeans that I wear when it gets frosty out.

    I am all about comfort ~ if clothes aren’t comfortable, they get tossed in the donate pile asap!

    Thanks for a fun write.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I used to look ‘hot’ in jeans (but they weren’t called jeans when I was in high school) I’ll never forget a striped pair I had – TIGHT. I had to lay down on the bed to get the zipper up. Not comfortable, but comfort is not what I was looking for. I was dating a new guy and wanted to look my best. I walked around the town and noticed an ‘older’ man checking me out (perhaps 25?). Made me fee yucky, so I went home and took off those jeans. Later that night I visited my new boyfriend at his home. He introduced me to his older brother, visiting from another state.
    Yup, the same guy who was eyeing me earlier that day in town.
    I gave away those striped jeans….!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I went shopping for jeans recently and couldn’t find anything that suited me. So many different cuts, and they either didn’t fit right or I didn’t care for the look on me. One discovery I made was something called Jeggings. Jean-leggings. Ack. I bought a pair khaki color, and after wearing them for a while, I really don’t like them. I don’t understand the whole Leggings things. They’re too tight and they show every bulge.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ahhhh jeans and shoes of days gone by! If they weren’t hurting they weren’t helping! So glad that things have changed….and that we just don’t care anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a child, I remember living in Levis. During my teenage years, designer jeans were all the rage. Since I dress up for the day job, when I’m at home, it’s shorts and t-shirts in the summer and sweats in the winter. I found a nice pair of NYDJ, they seem to fit okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t remember what I wore as a teenager. I remember Wrangler but there may have been others. I remember bleaching out a pair of jeans and making them all splotchy. My friend’s father was horrified. I remember cutting them off when they got short which they always seems to do.


  12. I still have old, non-stretchy, dungarees. Folks can’t believe they’ve held up so well in the wash year after year, but they do! In my case, having lower rise jeans with a wee bit more room under the rump (don’t think too hard about that please:-)) minimizes any pinchy places when I sit and stuff.

    “I kept checking for horse stalls to muck and pigs to feed,” LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I moved into the “don’t care–got to be comfortable” phase long ago, but I remember having to lie back on the bed to zip my jeans. And yes, they were called dungarees way back when I was a kid–stiff as boards–forever! But you never worn them with holes it or falling off so your underwear showed! I still cannot get used to the guys wearing pants half off. How do they stay up? Times have changed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw a guy with big baggy pants and he had a belt strapped around his thighs. I asked if it was comfortable (he could barely walk). He said no. I asked why he did it. He said the ladies like it. No ladies I know…..It really looked ridiculous.


  14. I never could get jeans that fit me comfortably. I am a little “hippy” and the low rise jeans never looked good. I like a tight leg. I have one pair that I love and when I tried to get another, they had changed the style. I hate when they do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am STILL looking for a pair of jeans that make me happy. Even 1% Elastane stretch too much. I prefer Levi’s but there are so many styles, stretch, and wonky sizing that I am losing hope. Last month I finally went to the men’s department at JCP and bought a pair of guy’s Levi jeans. No stretch, all cotton denim. I like them a lot but still not what I remember about loving my jeans. That stretchy stuff drives me crazy. You are right about the metal button poking your belly! Still searching and I hate trying on jeans but I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Old Navy or the The Gap is a good suggestion. I am going to try Tractor Supply too because I found that they have Ariat jeans without stretch. Stretch works for me if they don’t do what you said… make it possible to take them off without undoing the button and zipper! Tell me your favorite jean that you really love right now, Kate… 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m a beaner — LL Bean. You may not like them but they have a lot of options. The only jeans I can take off without opening are a pair of DKNY jeans that are low rise (hate low rise, won’t buy again!). They won’t fall down but are loose.


            • I get the knit fabric which you probably wouldn’t like but there is a heavier style, maybe Comfort Fit that’s available in skinny, regular and boot. I have a pair in the skinny. They are my go to when I want to look hot. (Perhaps I should use the word tailored as it would take more work than is possible to make me look hot.) It all depends on the cut and whether the sizes work for you. Good luck. We have a local Bean store so it makes it easy.

              Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah yes, jeans… I too remember them being called dungarees. There was even a song “Dungaree Doll!” However, stretch type jeans were a blessing for me. I am so not proportioned and so if they fit in the waist, the thighs were HUGE…if I could reverse my tummy and my butt I might be in business. But, the advent of”jeggings” is a denim joy!

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