2010 No-jean challenge: A review

Yesterday brought the end of my no-jean challenge. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

I can't say a month without my jeans was easy. Every morning I would walk through my closet and wistfully gaze at my bootcuts and straight-legs. I'd affectionately touch the softly faded denim and mentally count down the days until I could wear them again. I cursed this challenge. When I went shopping, I'd automatically imagine how a certain sweater or blouse would look with my favorite pair of jeans. My eyes were drawn, almost against my will,  to denim featured in magazines I subscribe to. It seemed that everywhere I looked there were people in jeans - strutting proudly at the supermarket, drinking coffee at Starbucks, chasing after their kids at the playground. I began to feel downright depressed.

Then something strange happened. I began to venture out into skirts and dresses, and discovered that they were as comfortable to wear as jeans and perhaps even more flattering. I felt much more feminine, and even pretty (which is not a word I would use to describe myself.) I remembered why I lived in skirts as a high school and college student: they were easy to wear, and encouraged me to feel girly and sweet.

Near the end of the challenge, I realized why I favor jeans so strongly: they cover me up. Like most women, I struggle with negative body image and am especially self-conscious of my legs. I have terrible anxiety about exposing my gams in public. Shorts terrify me. Because of this fear I abandoned my skirts and dresses years ago. I am learning to accept myself, flaws and all, and venturing back into feminine shapes is a courageous stance towards self-acceptance.

Now that the challenge has ended, will I fall back into my daily uniform of denim? I hope not. Because life is too short not to live bravely. Bring on the skirts and dresses! Today, though, I'm wearing my blue jeans. Just for today.

Would a month without jeans be a challenge for you? How would you make it work? 

Vintage thrifted blazer; Raygun navy tee; Gap long-sleeved white tee; Seven For All Mankind jeans; ancient Cole Haan boots; Forever 21 belt; Nordstrom Rack necklace

(This tee is the bomb. I saw it on the host from Man Vs. Food and had to have it, as it pays homage to three things dear to my heart: Iowa, the Beastie Boys, and Brooklyn, NY.)


  1. Your jeans are great - I have almost completely given mine up. I went from wearing jeans 2-3 times per week to now only wearing them 2-3 times a year. Once I realized skirts and dresses were so much more comfortable in Texas weather I was done with jeans (for the most part). I can't see your legs in the pics, but they seem to be holding you up just fine - so they are perfect, absolutley perfect. Please don't ever think otherwise :)

  2. Although I can't see them under your jeans ;) your legs look like they would be great. Skinny and long. I know it's easy for me to say that, but I am being totally honest. I think it's cool that you challenged yourself stylistically. I actually have the opposite problem. I NEVER wear jeans. If I wear pants it's usually black stretch jeans. Do those even count?



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