I have a confession to make.
They found me last October while I was vintage shopping on Toronto’s Dundas Street West. I’d dabbled in jeans of the mom variety and boyishly vivant trouser pants before but these were next-level baggy: a pair of loose-fitting, denim carpenter jeans.
For the past decade, like the rest of society, I’d been your devotee—ever since Kate Moss and Pete Doherty happened, off-duty models became the new style icons and the invention of super stretch—but I was starting to get tired. The surge of confidence that once came with zipping up a pair of virtually painted-on skinnies (confession: I used work at American Apparel), had faded and wearing them suddenly made me feel basic and unimaginative. Sure, there had been a smattering of roomy jeans on the runway in the spring 2016 collections—you could practically drown in Dries Van Noten’s voluminous denim, at Off White the jeans veered dangerously close to raver pants and the entire Vetements collection skewed oversize—but there wasn’t anything I’d felt a particular connection to or desire to try. Until now.
So when I stumbled on this brilliantly baggy pair, I clutched onto them for dear life and immediately made my way to the change room, heart fluttering in anticipation. Vintage denim can be a crapshoot: Will I be able to zip them up? Will they restrict my breathing? Will they make me look like a pregnant kangaroo? Mercifully, they fit and I couldn’t help but marvel at they way they looked. Baggy jeans are generally a haute lazy look, but the high waist on these hit me at just the right spot and I looked, unexpectedly, really good. I folded up the rough-hewn edges of the hems, that had been hacked off by a previous owner, to expose the tiniest sliver of ankle. And in that moment, skinny jeans were the furthest thing from my mind. These babies were coming home with me.
There’s a sense of carefreeness that comes with wearing baggy pants. They convey a certain level of ease and comfort, as if I’m so confident in my appearance that I don’t even have to try to look good, I just do (and in pants that most people would consider atrocious, no less.) They feel like I’m wearing sweatpants, but look like I’m on the cutting edge.
I assumed I would have difficulty adjusting to my new life as a mistress of the baggy, but learning to style these jeans has been fairly painless—they’re much more versatile than I initially expected. They can be worn casually with a plaid flannel and flat boots on days when I’m feeling particularly DGAF. When I want to look like a Parisian minimalist, I pair them with a sleek turtleneck and heels. Once I wore them with my boyfriend’s oversize, long-sleeved Raptors/OVO shirt, with a pair of lace-up Victorian granny boots, and they still looked amazing. These pants have become my unrelenting secret style weapon.
Sorry, Skinnies: it’s not you, it’s me.