Friday, 30 October 2009

Fashion passion

A few weeks ago I was riding in the back of a car with a board pen in my pocket. During the course of the journey, the pen lost its lid and leaked into my jeans, causing a reasonably large black mark on the pocket area. It also stained the jeans of the person sitting next to me in the car, leaving a similar mark on his jeans.

In conversation with him, last weekend, I discovered that he had thrown the jeans away, and today I was asked whether I intended to get a new pair. I'm genuinely confused by this concept - the stain does not detract from the usefulness of a relatively new pair of jeans in any way, and I really cannot see a reason to replace them simply because of a cosmetic imperfection.

So, how do you deal with your clothes? Would a stained pair of jeans be replaced, or not? How much damage does a piece of clothing need to take before you'll stop wearing it? I would certainly err on the side of keeping rather than replacing something, assuming that it still performs its role, but then I tend to place less weight on appearance than function. What do others think?

7 comments:

BAM•B said...

If it were me in that situation, I definitely wouldn't chuck the jeans away. I would probably keep them for wearing around the house, certainly for use during activities such as DIY. I might even wear them to somewhere like a supermarket. But I doubt I'd wear them when going out somewhere like a restaurant or even the cinema. If they were my only "nice" pair of jeans then I'd buy a new pair to have for socialising, but I wouldn't throw the damaged pair away.

Interesting that you see clothes primarily in terms of "usefulness" and performing a role. I wouldn't call myself a fashionista, but I own clothes that I like to wear when I want to look a certain way. Even my day-to-day casual clothing was bought because I liked how it looked as well as how it functioned. In fact, the first reason I pick something up in a clothes shop is because of what it looks like. Only then do I consider how functional, hard-wearing, etc. it is. True, the secondary consideration probably has the final say in most situations, but if I didn't like the look of a piece of clothing I wouldn't even take usefulness into consideration.

TheTelf said...

"I wouldn't call myself a fashionista, but I own clothes that I like to wear when I want to look a certain way." - I sometimes I buy clothes because I like the way they look (usually because they have something funny written on them), but I don't think I have ever bought a specific item of clothing because I think that it would look particularly good on me.

"But I doubt I'd wear them when going out somewhere like a restaurant or even the cinema." - Can you explain any further why you wouldn't wear them to these places? I can't think of any reason I would reject clothing, that was otherwise suitable to wear in public, to wear to a particular casual destination.

Hanspan said...

Sounds like a complete waste to me... Keep them for scruffy stuff or take 'em to the dry cleaners and see if some sort of specialist clean won't do the job.

TheTelf said...

"Keep them for scruffy stuff" - Same question as for Bambi: why keep them just for scruffy stuff? I can't imagine a situation I would wear jeans for that I wouldn't wear jeans-with-a-stain for.

Hanspan said...

I have smart jeans and I have scruffy jeans. The former I would wear to a club or somewhere smart, the latter I would be less likely to. Also, if something's stained already, then it doesn't matter if it gets more dirty. Like covered in paint or something.

BAM•B said...

I guess it is simply the fact that I am in some way self-conscious, as I would guess the vast majority of people are. It wouldn't be so much that I would be worrying what others thought of me for wearing something with a big ink stain on it, more that I would be very aware that I was wearing such a garment.

Incidentally, would you still be comfortable wearing the stained jeans if the stain was, say, over the crotch? Or if it wasn't an ink stain but bolognese sauce instead?

TheTelf said...

"Incidentally, would you still be comfortable wearing the stained jeans if the stain was, say, over the crotch? Or if it wasn't an ink stain but bolognese sauce instead?"

Yes on both counts, I think, assuming the bolognese sauce was a stain that had survived a wash, rather than actual wet bolognese sauce. I might draw the line there.

Admittedly, in the past I have stopped wearing khakis with a bleach stain on the crotch, but I maintain that it was impossible for anyone to look at them without making impure assumptions, and as such they were regretfully retired.