• Sheryl

The oversized denim jacket and its view on home

On contemplating what the world looks like from the perspective of my one oversized denim jacket, I came to 2 conclusions: 1/ The denim jacket, like me, is an onion. 2/ It is a symbol of home, and self-acceptance.


You may be wondering, do you not have more pressing things to think about? (like *ahem* deadlines and world issues, Sheryl). But over the weekend, denim jackets just have been a recurring piece of clothing around me: on my friends, on strangers, on myself. And I came to question why it was that I found it almost too comfortable to accept how much I enjoyed that one denim on denim outfit I wore last week that was not home clothes.


The oversized (emphasis on oversized) denim jacket is like an onion. It can hold layers. Stylistically speaking, it is an incredibly versatile jacket, best for:

  1. Your foolproof lazy girl outfit essential to look socially acceptable even with home clothes underneath.

  2. Being thrown atop oversized sweaters and hoodies without looking like a snowman.



If I could wear only one jacket out, it would be this oversized denim jacket. (Yes, one from Urban Outfitters because alas, I was young and oblivious to the wonderful world of vintage denim jackets.) Which I did, considering that in the 1 and a half days I actually stepped out of my room, my now tropically-inclined body temperature refused to part with sweaters, hoodies, and long sleeves that I could grip. Plus, with some Covid-induced social anxiety, its oversized nature was like a friendly, nudging hug. Holding within it, my literal need for warmth. And metaphorically, layers of excitement mingled with slight social panic.


The denim jacket is so ubiquitous. It is versatile, practical, comfortable, homely, and basically everything a hoodie has to offer, but just that bit more fashionable. It is safe. It goes with anything.



Essentially, like an onion. In a cooking context.


But because of that, it fades into the background. It becomes a silhouette.


While admiring some friends' very aesthetic living room, I caught myself wondering what 'home' and 'self-acceptance' would look like from the perspective of my denim jacket. This one denim jacket that I own - who has witnessed so many wonderful moments of 'home', witnessed my personal growth over the years and melange of terrible sweatpants outfits.


Like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, except that instead of jeans, it is a jacket. And instead of 4 girls, it is between past and present me, and the silhouettes of friends and strangers past.



Let's start with home.

Featuring some familiar silhouettes, a very aesthetically pleasing jacket rack and a cosy living room.



Perhaps the years of separation have made me all the more emotional and nostalgic. But as I sat, huddled in that late afternoon sun, just basking in that moment, I realised with a jolt how content I felt. How relieved that the banter was just as cheerful, like nothing had changed. And also, how these little moments make the journey worthwhile.


I remember a friend, whose dark denim jacket had the coolest drawing on it.

And another oversized denim silhouette was that of a vintage jacket I borrowed from a housemate. One that accompanied us up a rooftop cinema when it was fine to huddle amongst a crowd pre-Covid.

Or recently, over the weekend, two denim silhouettes against the warmth of candlelight, food, and laughter amidst old friends.

The moments less documented.



Self-acceptance


Have you guys ever put on an outfit, liked it, went out, just to still feel awkward in it when you meet people? Like it was not good enough to help you fit in. Then it is just easier to go back to those safe essentials and feel ... well not quite confidence, but more like finding comfort amidst pieces that you are familiar with? Pieces that can kind of meld into the background, such as the denim jacket?


I love hoodies. I love oversized sweaters. I love how awkwardly comfortable I feel in them. And I most definitely enjoyed the sweater and denims I wore last week. It was simple and comfortable, but nowhere near anything remotely creative.


And it is precisely because of that that it becomes faceless: a part of my personal style journey that I, in most days would dismiss as insignificant. Or not good enough. If identity is constructed based on the everyday, I find it ironic how I base my journey on that one day I wore something extremely bold or that one particular event. All these 'goals' and 'destinations', when it is the journey that largely goes unnoticed.


You know how onions make you cry? Well this denim jacket is a little bit like that.

On one hand, it protects the layers of thoughts I hold close. On the other, to fully acknowledge it is to accept oneself for who you are. And in that sense, it is a tad scary- to bare one's soul and tell the world:


this is me. Just plain ol' me.



And as always, thank you for reading.

Also, stay tuned for some Brick Lane Market visuals!


And just a friendly reminder, you are enough :)


-Sheryl










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