I find it ironic but correlated that the popularity of boyfriend jeans has risen with Feminism, a word that tries to blur lines between men and women. The boyfriend jean archetypes the blurred line we’re striving for—the boyfriend jean essentially is the girlfriend’s jean and the girlfriend's jean is the boyfriend's jean. With androgynous clothing too becoming more mainstream, it’s hard to really draw the line between men and women’s clothing.
Which makes me more exuberant than ever.
Anyone who went to day camp with me back in the day will tell you I dressed like a boy from my Knicks baseball cap down to my brother’s basketball shorts. I refused to leave the house looking like a girl. I wasn’t going Caitlin Jenner on my parents (too soon to use her name as an adjective?), I would just rather stick my curly fro under a cap and hide my unpainted toes with big chunky sneakers. As I got older I geared towards more manly attire— I loved the structured silhouettes, the button downs, the baggy jeans. One of my guy friends left his locker open for me throughout high school where he left a myriad of H & M men’s sweaters for me in case I wanted to lavish in his men’s clothing. Or in case I got cold during the day.
The acceptability of women wearing men’s clothing must have originated from a one-night stand. The girl is about to endure the walk of shame and slips on her man’s jeans and wrinkled button down. We see movies and advertisements of women in nothing but their man’s button down and we find that to be sensual. They look like a hot mess, so to speak. I never really thought twice about the act of wearing men’s clothing and the promiscuity it exudes. But it’s come to my attention that not all boyfriends are into the boyfriend jean trend. The Youtube junkie in me came across a Man Repeller Valentine’s segment between Leandra and her Husband Abie that depicted the struggle.
“What do you find to be my most Man Repelling garment?” Leandra asks.
Before Abie has a chance to really answer she says, “I think I know, you hate all my baggy jeans so much.”
“I don’t like the boyfriend jeans anymore,” Abie says.
“They’re not boyfriend jeans. They’re husband jeans,” Leandra chimes in.
“I feel like your skinny leg in that wide jean… there’s just so much floating fabric,” Abie explains.
Trying to understand her husband’s sentiment about boyfriend jeans, Leandra says: “I would feel uncomfortable wearing women’s jeans as a man.”
I guess we really are reaching equality through clothing. If we want women to continue wearing baggy boyfriend jeans, we’re going to have to let men wear skinny girlfriend jeans. Which won't stop me from pondering the outdated question: How in the world are they breathing in there?