Secondhand Stories: Hommegirls and Finding The Perfect Pair of Jeans
Levi’s® and HommeGirls team up for a conversation about great denim and staying true to yourself. Through the perspective of four amazing women—Ama Elsesser, Yulu Serao, Maria Osado, and Alicia Mersy & Zohar—we explore how finding your perfect pair of jeans is much like the journey to finding their personal style.
HommeGirls is a magazine and multi-media platform for girls who love menswear. But more than that, it is a celebration of individual style—you know, that thing you can’t just buy off a rack or a runway—and the myriad of HommeGirls all over the world who have it. (Meet a handful of them below.) And yes, it’s safe to assume that every self-respecting HommeGirl has at least one pair of jeans in her repertoire.
In fact, the search for your personal style is a lot like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans: It takes dedication, a sense of adventure, and the ability to see yourself not just as you want to be, but as who you really are. Style involves knowing that clothes tell a story, often many stories. Knowing that sometimes the jeans that are totally you belonged to someone else first. Someone who felt as comfortable in them as they did in their own skin. And with care those jeans will someday belong to someone else. Maybe your child. Maybe your lover. Maybe a stranger who picked them up for a dollar at a street market while backpacking around Southeast Asia. Maybe someone who scored them from Levi’s® SecondHand. That’s the thrill of discovery. And the thrill of self-discovery, when you realize who you are and how you are going to present yourself to the world. HommeGirl Ama Elsesser puts it this way:
“Certain things stay with you for a reason. And other things get let go.”
Four HommeGirls, Four Jean Stories
The power of vintage
When I wear a vintage T-shirt my dad gave me I feel very powerful, but in a way weak because I’m like damn, this matters so much to me.
The power of knowing who you are
You can wear something flashy that makes you feel good, but those things that make you feel like yourself? It’s really important.
The power of the perfect fit
You don’t go out and find the perfect fitting pair of jeans. It comes to you. They hug your waist right. They hug your butt right. The loose fit on the calf, tight on the thigh. Everything perfect! I went through a lot of different pairs growing up. It’s sad when you’re like, oh I don’t fit these anymore. But it’s a right of passage when you come into your full adult body and find the pair of jeans that fit you. Okay, this is me.
The comfort of old memories
I like to wear men’s clothes because they are more comfortable. I also have memories of wearing my dad’s clothes and stuff. I feel like I’m protected by them in a strange way.
The comfort of finding your fit
I like low-rise jeans because I like a little tummy in spring, summer—even in winter. I wore skinny-leg a lot in high school but now I find comfort in a bag.
The comfort of something that’s made to last
Most of my jeans are vintage. I like hunting for the deal and having something unique. My favorite pair I got in Malaysia in a secondhand market. They were like a dollar. I’m definitely going to wear them until they get holey.
The beauty of SecondHand
I really like to wear clothes that belonged to my grandma or my mom. Only because I imagine a lot how they wore it before and how they used it, and I like to think that my daughters are going to wear it one day, too.
The beauty of being seen
I have jeans that I love and they are special. I only wear them when I want to be in a good mood and I want to be seen.
The beauty of extremes
I love to wear very, very big jeans where my body loses its shape. Or jeans that fit me perfectly to measure. One of the two, but no point in between.
The joy of every day
(Alicia) I wear jeans for work, for riding around the city, for making documentaries, for cooking, for making fire…
The joy of stealing from the boys
(Alicia) I wear men’s clothing all the time. I always wear papa’s clothes. It’s cool. It’s more comfy. I feel good in them.
The joy of jeans
(Zo) I love mine.
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