Last week, I ordered Mike some new jeans. It had been some time since the last jeans. I'm fairly certain his jeans were older than our last two children, maybe our last three. He was pleased to know that I ordered the exact same size as last time, slightly different style. In the elevator on Thursday, on our way to the midwife (the height of romantic outings these days), I admired his person in those brand new jeans. He definitely wore those jeans well. Perhaps just to be kind, he turned his attention to my jeans. He said something sweet and appreciative, without sounding completely unbelievable to this eight months pregnant mommy. And I told him that I was wearing "vintage jeans," all the rage these days. My maternity jeans are twenty years old.
I've mentioned them before on these pages. They are soft and faded and are truly comfort for a tired body. I hadn't really worn them since last spring. I had skirts and capris for the summer months. When bedrest began, the temperatures were in the high 80s and low 90s. I had last had a winter baby eight years ago. Then, there was such a long gap between Katie and Karoline that I gave all but a few sentimental favorite maternity clothes away. So, when I woke up Thursday morning and it was forty degrees outside, I went for those old, old jeans. And I paired them with a jean jacket I bought in college. Vintage jeans, vintage jacket.
I love denim. Those very old jeans look great. They are faded, to be sure, but they are still very presentable. Denim is like that. It's the ultimate mom fabric. Denim is the most frugal fabric on the planet; I am quite certain it's true. I have no khaki pants or skirts from twenty years ago. I have no rayon skirts from even five years ago. They stretch out and wear out and frankly, they get dirty in a home where little people frequently grab my skirts. But not my denim. My daughter is wearing denim skirts I bought when she was born. My denim apron has gotten better with every washing. And my jeans...I do love my jeans.
Erin assures me that pregnant women get a pass for wearing pants. Her arguments are sound. I've never seen men's pants with maternity tummies. And I've never seen a man who looks like I do right now in jeans. So, there's no chance they 'll be mistaken for menswear. And every maternity shirt or sweater I own falls well below my hips, so I think I'm more than modestly covered. As a matter of fact, last time I was pregnant, I discovered that once a week, my jeans were more modest than my skirts. I wore skirts almost exclusively through the spring and summer of Karoline's pregnancy. Except when I went to chiropractor. Both the good doctor and I were very glad that I was wearing pants while he manipulated my legs and hips. Yep, pregnant women should be allowed to wear pants, particularly when they've been on bedrest for six weeks, have absolutely no warm clothes to wear and don't want to pay extravagent prices and shipping to buy warm maternity clothes, particularly when they might not even be pregnant this time next week. Nope. I'm going to make do with what I have. These jeans work nicely for my weekly dates with my husband to see the doctor.
Denim can be darling, too. I'm a big fan of embellished denim. No one does it quite so well as J. Jill. And I remember fondly some floral patterned denim overalls I wore seventeen years ago when I was pregnant with Christian. I wish I could wear them now. I loaned them to my friend Alicia and never got them back. Alicia is now a nurse-manager in Labor and Delivery at the local hospital. When I was admitted last month, I almost asked her about those overalls. But since her youngest is fifteen, I doubt she has any remembrance of them at all. Perhaps only I get emotionally attached to denim.
Now that I think about it, the only three other things I saved when I gave my maternity clothes away are all denim. One is shirt that is a denim floral. It is the first article of clothing my mother-in-law ever bought for me. I love that shirt. I don't think I'll give it away. Maybe I'll make it into quilt squares when I'm expecting a grandchild. Of course, first I'd have to learn to quilt. The other shirt is a denim with floral embroidery. And then there is fair aisle sweater in denim hues. Do you sense a theme here?
My husband is a big fan of denim. I like to pair denim skirts and jeans with feminine tops--fun buttons, lace flourishes, interesting knit patterns. He likes to bring me too large hoodies with various ESPN logos on them. And he likes me to wear them. Fortunately, these sweatshirts, which come from his place of employment and are distributed fairly regularly to the staff, are always too big for me. That means they fit perfectly right now. It also means they fit well on a snuggly Sunday, watching football in front of the fire and eating halftime junk food. Denim and sweatshirts. Comfort and cozy. I won't even try to make a case for feminine except to say that my husband finds the look cute--just as cute as he found it 25 years ago when the sweatshirt sported the name of our high school. And perhaps that's the real lesson of denim: feminity and modesty are in the eye of the beholder. And if it were up to my dear husband, I'd be forever in blue jeans.