Denim skirts play a big role in my life. This isn’t something I planned or hoped for, but in my advanced age I’ve learned that fate has its own plan for us. Apparently, my plan involves a lot of denim.
In high school, I had many denim skirts. I was particularly fond of one I purchased at Wet Seal, a new addition to our mall. It was a little longer than knee length and flared out slightly at the bottom. My mom said I looked like a “church girl,” by which she meant I looked like a woman that would go to my grandma’s church, where women don’t wear pants and all dress like the Duggar family. In retrospect, she was right. It didn’t matter that I bought that skirt at a kind-of-skanky Wet Seal; I was pure church girl in it.
But that wasn’t my only denim skirt in high school! I also had a shorter one that I used to wear with brown argyle tights and t-shirt from my massive Hot Topic-Goodwill-Delia’s collection. Where I purchased brown argyle tights, I don’t know, but I wore them often. When an elderly man at Wal-Mart approached me and said, “I’ve never seen anyone’s legs look like that!” I took it as a compliment. I probably should not have.
In college, I wore that same denim skirt on my first date. That is, my first non-high-school-dance date. As if the denim skirt itself wasn’t going to take his breath away, I added a hot pink t-shirt and my Chuck Taylors, which I was still in the habit of wearing everywhere, with everything. This was seriously what passed as an acceptable date outfit for me. Back then I was like, “Why are losers always attracted to me??” If only I could go back in time and say to myself, “Girl, look in the mirror!” and give myself a slap in the face. While it might be an embarrassment now, it got the job done (finger snap) and I dated that guy for two ridiculous months. I look back on that period of my life fondly, because I was living away from home for the first time and it was the most exciting thing I’d ever experienced. I thought I knew everything, when in reality, I had a hell of a lot to learn (about denim skirts, mostly).
You might think that one denim skirt would be enough to carry me through my undergraduate education, but you know me. I’m never content to rest on my denim laurels, so I bought a denim mini skirt with a frayed hem. I wore this one on a date, as well, but with a different guy. I’m pretty sure there’s an old proverb about how a lady needs a new denim skirt for each man in her life, lest she bring the baggage from her old relationship to her new one.
Even though I always think I’ve rid myself of these skirts, every time I go through my closet to do a purge, I find another one. Just this month I got rid of that frayed hem skirt, because whenever I came across it I thought, “I don’t know, maybe someday!” Eventually, I had to be honest with myself and realize that the skirt and I were at the end of the road. I donated it, so hopefully some other young woman will experience the transformative power of a denim skirt.
At the moment, I have only one denim skirt in my closet, and that’s a dark pencil-ish skirt I wear to work. I tell myself it’s different because of the wash and the cut, but this might just be another skirt I look back on in a few years with confusion and disgust.
I think my denim skirt addiction may be cured, but yesterday at a thrift store I did buy a denim shirt because it reminded me of one I saw at Urban Outfitters. That’s kind of like taking up heroin to get over cigarette smoking. This will be me someday: