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Torn Blue Jeans: a Poetic Commentary

Updated on March 5, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

A lifelong reader & writer, Liz writes poetry; articles on this, & other sites; & playing with words. She also enjoys movies & reviewing.

Salvage the Jeans!

Fashionably worn and torn
Fashionably worn and torn | Source

Ragbag Fashions

Yankee born and bred,

(even though a California native girl)

How could I help it,

(New Englanders for parents?)


All forms of waste

make me rant and rave...

always have.

Spoilt food, spilled milk;

over all I have shed tears.


Now my nicely-broken-in and

fully comfortable jeans

have ripped at the knee.

"Oh, woe!" (I moan), spying

yet another threadbare spot.


The rest of them--still good--

I'm loathe to create rags!

But wait! Salve my conscience,

save the jeans--

through fashion's latest craze!

What Is Going on Here?!

I do not understand this craze!
I do not understand this craze! | Source

And You Paid Good Money For Those...Those...Rags?

I wrote this poem a long time ago, back in April of 1993, when the craze of wearing ripped clothing suddenly appeared on the fashion scene. (The poem got a minor revision in May of 2010.)

As "fashions" go, it is a rather long-lasting one, and also one I still do not understand. Yet still, nearly every day I see someone proudly wearing jeans and shirts that are torn and ripped.

These tears have the appearance of fabric stress from age, showing as they do a portion of the threads from the weave in the cloth still present across the horizontal direction of the rip. The people sporting these threadbare and torn clothing are usually teenage girls. The pants often appear partially faded in color as well as looking threadbare and torn. Ironically, these same kids would no doubt recoil in abject horror at the thought of having to wear a pair of jeans that had actually ripped while being worn!

I do not know what has happened in the fashion industry to popularize this ragbag look, but when I was a kid, clothes that were that worn out were just that--rags--and they were duly torn up the rest of the way and added to the collection of rags for cleaning up all manner of messes.

When I was growing up, you simply did not go out in public places in torn clothing with your skin showing through. (And I'm not implying by any means any kind of sexual fantasy perversion like some uptight self-righteous folks like to see in everything.)

Quite simply, it just looks tacky, poorly groomed, and slovenly. The only time you would be out and about in such clothes would be if you were under the age of 10 or 12, and playing outdoors at home. Your "play clothes" might well be on the tattered side if you were a boy, or a tomboy as I was. You wore your sloppy, torn clothes for play, to save your good clothes for going to school, or out shopping or anywhere else with your folks.

Nowadays, people are going out and spending some pretty fair sums of money to buy pants that are already ripped and ragged looking! What kind of short-circuit has happened in our brains, here? If that's the look they really like, then why not just continue to wear pants that are worn out and torn? They would surely save themselves a lot of money. I just had this same discussion all over again recently with my own 15-year-old granddaughter. It was as pointless as ever; she could not, (or more likely would not), recognize my point.

As it is, the joke is on them, and the designers and manufacturers are, as the saying goes, laughing all the way to the bank at all the people stupid enough to spend good money on already-ripped clothes.

© 2010 Liz Elias

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  • DzyMsLizzy profile image
    Author

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi, Victoria Lynn,

    Thank you. I guess poetry is just not very interesting to most people, or to HP, as poems aren't 'money-makers.' That probably explains the low views. This is one of the earlier pieces I wrote here, when I first started. I began with transcribing poems from my old hand-written books...and then I learned what HP was REALLY about. LOL

    Thanks very much for the shares--this hub is currently on the new "Zzzz" status....as is a related poem of mine, 'I Beg Your Pardon, Go BUY your ads." it voices my opinion of 'designer jeans.' From one end of the spectrum to the other. Hee hee hee...

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    LOL! So true and funny about the jeans. Your poem is so cute! Why don't you have more views on this hub? You should. I'm sharing it!!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image
    Author

    Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi, KoffeeKlatch Gals--

    I know what you mean. Wearing torn clothes was a symptom of dire poverty, not a fashion statement. Kids who wore torn clothes to school were the target of bullies or at least were outcasts and teased mercilessly. I saw it happen to a couple of classmates over the years. It was embarrassing for them; and meant that the family was below poverty level, and couldn't afford decent clothing, or else you were "from the wrong side of the tracks."

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Interesting poem. I know what you mean about not going out in public is torn jeans. I would not have been caught dead in a pair of ripped jeans when I was a girl. Nowdays kids seem to think of them as high fashion.

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