It was back in the 80’s. Neon socks, studded belts and leg warmers filled the halls of my high school. That’s when I learned what the color “chartreuse” was and how to spell it. And how to wear it. I had soft limey yellow socks that could light up the night. And make my eyes cross looking at them. And, for the first time, I also had jeans.
Like my daughter, I couldn’t stand the feel of jeans. The tougher, rougher material felt abrasive, not to mention a bit more snug than those polyester (cringing yet?) stretchy pants. But once high school hit, the desire to “fit in” pulled hard, and I recall spending hours trying to find a pair or two that didn’t feel like a tourniquet.
Eventually, like any other teen, jeans became a staple of my wardrobe. And jeans, way back when, were “skinny”. So skinny, we had to unzip the bottom of each leg just to get them over the ankles. And once over the ankles, getting them the rest of the way became nothing short of a contortionist’s warm-up. Back then, jeans were so solid, they probably made Kevlar blush.
Once my daughter hit high school, the fashion sirens came screaming. The knit pants and gauchos were becoming an embarrassment for her, but she felt stuck. With buttons (still) off limits, and her sensory concerns, shopping for pants felt like an exercise in futility. But shop, we had to.
Transitioning (love that key word?) from young girls to juniors was a close to a chasmic leap for her, not unexpected for someone with Asperger’s. Somehow, we stumbled on a store with some interesting “acceptable” hip pieces, and found a “miracle.” Skinny jeans.
Initially, I laughed to myself, remembering wearing them. But while she was trying on new shirts, I took a closer look. No buttons. No zippers. They looked like denim. They felt like denim. But they s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. Hallelujah.
Thankfully, the school allows these.
Thankfully – and you can see the relief on her face – my daughter can now, comfortably – wear jeans. Real jeans. Fashionable jeans. Skinny jeans.