Ripped jeans are our generation’s shoulder pads. They’re a trend that just won’t last. Every generation has at least one. The 70’s had patchwork skirts and sweater vests. The 80’s possessed leg warmers and hammer pants. 1990 through 2010 had popcorn shirts, velour, trucker hats, and denim on denim.
While many can’t see it now, it’s likely that in the future we will look back on the destroyed jeans we wear today and wonder what in the world we were thinking.
Instructor Ann Kirkendall’s most regretful fashion choice from when she was in high school was dressing grunge with “ill-fitting jeans and cargo shorts.” Kirkendall said, “I was never a girly-girl and I was a huge fan of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others, so grunge seemed custom-made for me. Looking back at photos now is a different story.” Her “slovenly, unwashed” grunge look does not bring back particularly fond memories. At the time, though, she was only following a popular trend.
Bell bottoms are another trend that has not passed the test of time according to Instructor Jay Gainforth. He wore them all through middle school and thought nothing of it, the same as high schoolers now have been wearing ripped jeans since they have been able to choose their own clothes. Much like ripped jeans, bell bottoms were entirely normal for everyone when Gainforth was in school but now looking back he’s not sure if they were his best choice. Gainforth recalls everyone wearing them but now nearly everyone agrees bell bottoms were “ridiculous and looked bad.”
Ripped jean wearers reading this article probably don’t believe they will ever regret wearing these pants, but Kirkendall didn’t think her grunge pants would go out of style. In her mind, cargo shorts and baggy jeans were made for her. Unfortunately, looking back now at yearbooks, she feels quite the opposite.
The messy and wrecked pairs of jeans are a fashion that will probably not last into the next generation. It’s not even that the jeans look bad when we wear them; it’s that most fashion is on a cycle, falling in and out of style. Ripped jeans are definitely on their way out. Some trends like denim jackets or converse sneakers can last, but ripped jeans are the leg warmers or the sweater vests of our generation; they won’t be around forever, and one day we likely will cringe when we see pictures of ourselves wearing them.