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Jeans and urban decay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was leery of the skinny jeans trend. I think the last time I wore a pair was in junior high, and like many other tragic fashion styles of that time period, the skinny jeans of the 1980s, in retrospect, seemed to rank right up there with acid washed jeans and jelly shoes.

Jelly shoes actually attempted a comeback this year, but the world just wasn’t ready for their return. I saw many pairs on a clearance rack last weekend. Like jellies, I figured skinny jeans would also quickly come and go, but the trend hasn’t died yet. I think it will remain alive as long as designers continue to create ’60s style shift dresses, shapeless shirts, empire waist blouses and other roomy tops. Skinny jeans are necessary with these tops because they indicate that the person wearing them is, indeed, thin. Otherwise, an empire waist shirt looks like maternity wear.

I now own several pairs of skinnies, but I bought a dark pair by Younique this weekend for around $20. I’ve purchased the clothing brand before that’s typically geared toward juniors. A quick look at the company Web site says Younique is all about “trash culture.” I’m not so sure our “junior” generation would be pleased knowing they are a part of such a culture, but in light of the “girls gone wild” trend, I sometimes think it is an appropriate label.

The Web site also says the acid wash is alive and well. I guess acid washed jeans of the 1980s were a symbol of urban decay, which is another take on the idea of a “trash culture.” Perhaps acid washed jeans would be even more symbolically relevant today if they were to make a comeback, but I’m still not sure I’m prepared for their return.

Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.


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