My love of the denim cutoff didn't really grow out of adherence to trend, but out of a deep obsession with all-things late 60s/early 70s. For years now, I've been trying hopelessly to emulate the style of denizens of the French cinema/music scene. My heroes, Francoise Hardy and Jane Birkin, could both work denim like no other. They looked so effortless in their denim cutoffs, pulled high on the waist paired with bohemian or mod tops.
In recent years, the likes of superstars Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny have only helped to continue the search for the perfect pair. That's the thing though: I'm having a really, really hard time finding the perfect pair? One that sits high on the waist, fitting snug around the waist, hips and gradually getting looser when they hit the thigh.
My first pair of denim cutoffs made their way into my closet when I was in 7th grade. At the time, I was on my first phase of Jane Birkin madness, seeking a pair that would justify prove that I was somewhat semblant of the aforementioned music. The pair was from Urban Outfitters (let's talk about the shift of aesthetic in that store at a later date, shall we?) with white lace trim at the bottom. The pair, three years later, has now become somewhat ubiquitous with the many lace-detailed pairs that grace (read: stick) the legs of other girls. However, this doesn't make me love them any less. After all, they will still be my first pair of cutoffs -- besides the ones I made a prior that turned out horribly wrong. My second and third pairs of denim cutoffs came a year later from a vintage store in the East Village that must crank out hundreds of pairs a year, bringing in $8 for each pair of mom jeans they cut and receive for free. I love the feeling of actually making natural holes in a pair of denim, living in them until they rip. Several of the belt loops are holding on by their last straws and I rip in the buttocks area proves their life might be ending shortly --or at least until they find themselves a patch.
This is where having more than one pair comes in handy. Jeans, until their eventual deaths, remain works in progress. We wear them until they can no longer be worn without a wash, fading with the sun and the suds. When one pair becomes loved -- and consequently damaged -- beyond the point of repair, there will be another to follow, in a similar, perfect light wash and preliminary rips. While the perfect pair may just come once in a lifetime (I don't think I've found it yet), I have hope that they will one jump out, much like the candlesticks in Pier 1 commercials . Because, when it comes down to the basics, each pair is a separate enterprise, just in a very similar way.