Actress Dame Joan Collins has said that wearing jeans is tragic and people are not impressed. However, she may have a point
Joan Collins has called us all ‘tragic’.
She said we are unelegant and what we wear is unflattering. Once before she said what we wear makes us look fat and like spiders. I don’t know whether to agree or disagree. The ‘us’ I speak of is the majority of the human race.
And Joan has a serious issue with us.
Because we wear jeans.
Are we tragic?
I have been personally victimised by Joan Collins. I never thought I would say that in my lifetime, but she has gone and made me feel slightly inadequate. I, like many self-respecting people, wear jeans. I wear them quite a bit, actually. Flared jeans, cropped jeans, skinny jeans and wide-leg jeans. All the jeans you could ever dream of have sat quite comfortably (though not always) on my backside.
Is it time to take a good look at ourselves in the mirror while wearing jeans and ask are we tragic? Because Joan is a Dame. She has one up on you and me, you see. And that win came directly from the Queen. So the Queen must think we are tragic too! Oh, for god sake, someone come and take these jeans off me because I can’t take this scrutiny and judgement anymore.
Why can’t I wear my high-rise ripped cropped light denim wash jeans from Topshop in peace?
The actress made the comments in an interview with Vogue last year where she discussed in detail her hatred saying: “Everybody’s going to end up in jeans and T-shirts, which I think is tragic… I hate jeans. I hate them, they’re so unflattering. And I hate jeans with holes in the knees, or holes anywhere. I’m not keen on T-shirts with logos, either. I like to be comfortable, but I want to be elegant, too.”
It’s strange when you think that at one point in the 1980s Joan Collins had her own denim line and during her teenage years, she begged her mother for her own pair of jeans. In a 2010 opinion piece for the Dailymail, Collins wrote about what jeans had once represented for her after seeing Judy Garland wear them in Summer Stock.
“As an impressionable teenager, this epitomised to me what a modern, emancipated woman should look like, and the rolled-up denims emphasised the character’s desire not to conform to the demure buttoned-up collars and white gloves look of that generation.”
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The loss of individuality
So why the change? Well, our capitalist culture, it seems. In the same piece, she writes: “Fast-forward a few decades and suddenly there is nothing nouveau or counter-culture about wearing a pair of blue jeans. In fact, it’s more like wearing a uniform.”
Reading through both pieces, I don’t think that Joan is calling us tragic – it’s the situation that is. In the Vogue interview, she says: “Because nobody dresses up anymore. If you do, then people stare at you, or make cutting remarks… well, maybe not cutting, but they’ll say something like, ‘Oh, look at you! You’re all dressed up.’ I find that very sad, because it will be the end of women buying elegant clothes in stores.”
In many ways she’s right. The art of dressing up outside of an occasion is a lost form. She comes from a time when people always dressed in their Sunday best. What she says about the remarks that people make is true and every woman will have had a similar experience. You dress up a bit more than usual to meet friends and you are met with questions. ‘Why? How? Where are you going?’ Your heart sinks a little and you make a mental note to never do it again.
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However, this is our society now. Women are busier. We have less time on our hands than ever. Comfort and ease are what we desire rather than glam and high-maintenance. Individuality has been lost somewhere in the decades but I don’t see jeans as a uniform – a pair of jeans is a revolutionary piece of clothing for women. When they work, there is nothing better. After that, it is up to you how you style them.
Jeans can’t be blamed for the loss of individual style, that plight was caused by something much bigger.
Trying our best
In a parallel world where the last 60 years didn’t happen, we would still be wearing dresses, heels and lipstick to the corner shop. But, we aren’t. The world is a lot different now. Elegance looks and feels different from the days of demure dresses and pearls. I am sure we would all love to be a little more glamorous day to day but life is sometimes exhausting.
When the occasion calls for it, we know exactly what to do, but most of the time a pair of jeans will do. Most importantly, we just want to feel good and that is completely individual.
So, wear the jeans with pride even if Joan (and possibly the Queen) think it’s tragic.
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