Thursday, May 13, 2010

MY FIRST JEANS

When we were kids, jeans were not the ubiquitous youth-gear they are now. The only jeans brand that I can recall was AVIS (a spin-off from LEVI'S???), which sold out of a glass-fronted shop in the centre of Kolkata's iconic New Market. On the rare occasions that we stepped into the hallowed portals of New Market, I would gaze awestruck at the Avis Shop-window, so engrossed that I would nearly bump into the old canon that stood in the middle of the market courtyard. My cousin brother, Dadabhai, then studying to become an engineer at Jadavpur University, had a couple of pairs of stylishly faded indigo Avis-es. But he was a rare creature, orbiting our ordinary existence from his distant hostel life; so jeans were also something like Halley's comet, rarely seen, but never worn.

My first jeans was a hand-me-down from my cousin Tinnididi (who thankfully grew at a faster pace than me for all of twelve years, so I got lots of coveted second-handstuff. Unfortunately, she resolutely stopped growing after twelve, and my chief source of clothes ended there and then.). It was indigo at its indigo-est, with brown cord piping around the pockets. My legs being considerably longer than Tinnididi's, it was never really a comfortable fit, but I mulishly insisted on getting as much mileage out of it as I could, although I could barely sit down in it.

My first very-own, true-blue, first hand pair of jeans was gifted to me when I was twelve or so, by another cousin, Didia (who was my fashion inspiration for a long long time). It was a 'foreign' jeans - Didia stayed abroad with her husband and returned home once a year laden with goodies for all of us - so its NRI-status upped its fashion-quotient considerably.

It was hideously stone-washed in the fashion of the day, and horribly baggy, also in the fashion of the day.But baggy had its advantages - I could sit/lie/run/stretch in it comfortably. However, it was too precious for me to treat it like a second skin. I wore it only on special occasions - like on visits to cosmopolitan Calcutta and to birthday parties and suchlike. T-shirts were not good enough for my only pair of jeans. I wore it with pintuck tops and lace-embellished shirts. I even remember wearing it to my Mama's wedding (mother's brother), with a shot-grey full-sleeved pearl-embellished favourite top.

I might have looked like an awkward fashion disaster, but I sure felt awesome in my jeans.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PAIR OF JEANS LIKE?

23 comments:

Nazish Rahman said...

Hey u took me back to my childhood....i rem whenever visiting New Markety n i always looked at the AVIS shop as though it was the best shop in the entire market. It was my dream to really buy jeans from thr:)!!
My first pair of jeans was gifted to me by my dad when i was 12 yrs old n it was a cool denim moustache jeans though baggy but for those days its too cool...lol!!

* AVIS is still thr??

Nona said...

Avis! That is funny!

Where we grew up, there were tailors who could stitch jeans. And you used to get the clothing material for jeans in shops! So, if you could not afford Newport and Ruf-n-Tuf, this was a cheaper option.

Lazyani said...

Ahh Jeans! We never called them Denims. I lived in them throughout my college life and always found them comfortable, even more than the sleeping pyjamas.

Can you believe that I even played a cricket match in them?:))))

Butterfly Thoughts said...

Just hopped into your blog. Liked the post and became a bit nostalgic too.My first pair of jeans was also from new market some hoffmen brand. It was a sky blue colour and I too loved it.the best part was that after almost 7 years of buying that jeans I was able to wear it again in my college obviously after some weight losing:-)

The Scatterbrain said...

Hi! Back here after a long long time!
My first pair of jeans was a hand me down too. My first "real pair" was a grey, horribly baggy, horribly stonewashed pair too,I think from the brabnd "ruff n' tuff" (a local favorite with the boys). I was the only girl in my class to own a pair. I wore it once on a 'color dress day' to school and was pulled up by the vice principal for being "indecent"!!!!!

Tomz said...

My first jeans was the one presented to me by my sister..nowadays, the chance of seeing me without jeans only one out of ten.

lopamudra said...

Hey! I remember AVIS! My first jeans was from that very shop when I was 10.I had to fold the leg of my jeans since it was too long so I wore it for many years.

Kavi said...

My first was Flying Machine ! And i thought, how uncomfortable !?!

:)

seana said...

I remember that my mother bought us 'girl' jeans when we were small, which should have been fine since we were in fact girls, but my tomboy friend had real Levi's, which matched her brother's, so I suffered a crisis of authenticity early on.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Levi's - grandfather's gift And it was from USA.

Jaquanda Rae said...

I was born in 1983, right in time for the stone-washed/acid-washed jeans as we called them. Pretty baggy, a mix of white and blue. I wore mine on special occasions also :)

writerzblock said...

Oh I loved this post. My first visit here, and it made me all nostalgic!! Well, I won't say much about my first pair of jeans, its too embarassing!!!

Jyothi said...

WOW!If I remember right, the fashion then was half pants(it was called that but it was well below knee) and slacks(The ones that had strap under the feet).These I think are back in fashion now. :) Cause I only see the Khaki form of these on people now.I also got my first jeans around the age of 12.Very blue, very rough and extremely comfy pair.

Rajesh said...

My first jeans was in college. It was not a branded one, but stitched one. I was very proud of it and it was with me then for all special occasions.

SloganMurugan said...

I got mine well into high school and it was a classic blue Flying Machine.

And it was for special occasions.

However, for the past few years I have only been wearing jeans. I have 2 pairs which I alternate. I replace them when I tear the pockets. That's the part that tears first because of the keys, camera and change that I carry in my pockets.

So you can call me a only denim man. It's my second skin.

I have forgotten what a normal pair of pants feel like.

Aleta said...

In the US, Jeans are a means of life. Lol. I guess the first ones I can remember are the Levi's. We never went for the expensive jeans. I can't imagine how people spend so much on cloths!

Raja said...

Very well narrated post!
My first pair of jeans were from some shady market in Nepal. The brand was something like 'Hoffmen'

Nath0113anaelDrumm said...

Pen and ink is wits plough. ......................................................

radha said...

Coming back here after a long time.
We called them denims in my time. And we got them in different colours too including light green and beige. And we had them 'custom made'
Readymade jeans came much later. I did get a Levi's but that was when I already had my first kid! Even then it felt good!

Mina Jade said...

I always wore tracksuits when I was a child - later I wore tight black trousers. But I still have a pair of denim shorts.

OfficeTips said...

Great post as always! My first jeans was an unbranded blue disaster. I made a huge fashion faux pas by wearing them with my father's oversize checked shirt to the Sister's Feast in a convent school full of stylish girls :( What saved from utter humiliation was the fact that I was not the only geek to do so! That girl and I became fast friends soon after :D

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Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks for all your purani jeans memories.