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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Out with the Old; In with the New Jean Jacket

Did you ever have a piece of clothing or a jacket that was the most prized possession in your wardrobe? Perhaps you never wanted to part with it? But then it got worn out. What then? It happened to me today with a favorite jean jacket.

Thrifting is my jam and has been since my teenage years. It was way uncool then, but that was how my family could afford some things for me before I headed to college. In the years since, I have found some unbelievable clothing (NWT—means new with tags), household goods, and replacement parts for items I could fix inexpensively that have endured the years - all through thrifting and the thrill of the hunt. The disposable society of yesteryear was a bonanza for thrifters of all ages. Today, thrifting is a booming business and somewhat overpriced (depending on stores, locations, and areas within a state) because more and more people are finding value in the idea of not paying retail prices for something that has never or barely been used, worn, or opened.

When we first moved to Maryland, I sought out the thrift stores in my area. When times were good (Ryan had good blood counts), the kids would join in on the fun. Well, they didn't think it was fun until I had them checking pockets for cash and coins, and then I'd take them over to the toys and books for a spell - maybe buy them a little toy or game for a dollar. On one of these occasions, I found a Levi's denim jacket that was hardly worn, or it may have been new (I can't remember). That was over 25 years ago (we will be in Maryland for 28 years this summer) and a darker blue than how faded it is today. If you have been a steadfast reader of my blog over the years (Thank you!), you must have seen me wearing the jacket in many of the photos I posted along the way. It fit me perfectly no matter what I wore under it (except a thick sweater), and I especially loved the angled pockets.

It has gotten so worn in the last couple of years that I started patching it up with cut-up denim pants. For some flair, I even appliquéd a few little ladybugs on the new denim patches (on the back yoke).

Since the weather has warmed up a bit, I swapped out my black down jacket for my denim jacket. It's an excellent weight for the spring, and I can still wear it into summer (in air-conditioned places). So, when I lifted it up to put it on today, I noticed bigger holes than usual and thinning denim in many areas. Ugh! I love this old jacket! Its time was running thin in more ways than one.

As a good thrifter, I had a few jackets waiting in the wings (closet) that had only been worn on very few occasions. I tried them all on this afternoon and settled on another Levi's jacket (I completely forgot about this one). It's about the same color as my first beloved, which was all those years ago.

I'm thankful that for two-plus decades, I wore that old beat-up denim jacket; I'm even proud of it. It made me feel good whenever I slipped it on, and I probably didn't pay more than a few dollars for it. Look how it served me well.

I think the newish jacket will serve me well, too. It fits great and seems a wee bit heavier, but that will change if I put this one through the paces of my last one. I ceremoniously removed the pins on the old to carefully place them on the new—like a military officer changing ranks—ushing in a new season.




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