I use the subway as my barometer. Once I’ve officially started a seeing a pattern of women wearing the same confusing thing on the subway, I know it’s a trend. Inevitably, I’m late to the party. Flared jeans hacked off above the ankle and hovering above a pair of clunky white leather sneakers? Surely this girl’s marching along to her own drummer, I think. But then I get off the subway and I see another woman with the same crop. Same loose threads a flying. Same white sneaks.
Oh. It’s a thing. With rules. Now I’m on the lookout.
How many pairs do I see on the streets in a given day? One pair? Two pairs? Now they’re at the park, too? It’s official. I start wondering how long it will be until a pair wends its way into my life. A month? Two? Three years from now, when I finally climb aboard only to discover that people are now wearing jeans with zippers in the knees? I don’t know. Maybe they never make it into my drawer—or onto my body—at all.
Here’s the thing: you’ve got to find your own way. You either dig something or you don’t. And sometimes you come around to something and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes a trend seems so abhorrent that you’re just positive you’ll never and then your friend who always looks fabulous shows up wearing a pair of cropped flares and before you know it the thing that looked bizarre looks amazing. So chic!
It’s funny how these things crop up. (Pun, of course, intended.)
One minute you’re feeling perfectly comfortable in your pair of neat and trim skinny jeans and the next your telling your husband that no, you can’t watch another episode of The Americans, because you’ve got things to do. And things is trolling the internet for the perfect iteration of the cropped flare to suit your inner wild woman. (Inner sheep? Ewe?) And maybe after lots of searching it turns out that cropped flares might just never be your thing, but a cropped wide-leg? Minus the stringy bits? You can dig. Sailor pants? Okay! Let’s do this. In white? In blue? In indigo? Maybe I’ll buy nothing and maybe I will. Maybe it’ll take me a year.
I guess the point is that we get to have fun. And we get to take risks. We get to be perplexed and we get to change our minds. We get to dress up like our much cooler friends if we want to. We shouldn’t throw our money around like lunatics or exploit people in distant lands for the sake of a little trend fix, but if we want to experiment with what it feels like to wear a cropped pant? I say we go for it. We get to live a little. And if living a little for you—or me—means wearing some ivory-colored cropped pants with your trusty sweatshirt of the same color and a pair of high-topped sneakers, and if that makes you feel sort of like a painter out of central casting circa 1950, and if feeling like an old-time movie painter makes you feel wonderful for whatever the reason, well, then, terrific. Break rules when you want to. Follow trends when you want to. Don’t forget to have fun. Three cents for a Wednesday.