internetsdairy (internetsdairy) wrote,

Fashion: A Personal Journey in Four Snapshots (Unillustrated)

1. Denim jacket (c. 1981)
The first item of clothing I can remember expressly asking for, as opposed to just passively receiving, was a denim jacket. I wanted a denim jacket so I could be more like Welsh communist Shakin' Stevens. I was Shakin' Stevens' biggest fan! I didn't have any of his records as such, but I did have a poster of him. I say poster, it was half a page cut out of Look-In showing the lyrics to 'Green Door' with a photo of Shakin' Stevens sitting inside a concrete pipe. Did Shakin' Stevens live in a concrete pipe? His Wikipedia page doesn't say. Maybe he lived in a concrete pipe while his house was being renovated.

I really wanted to look like Shakin' Stevens.

A year or so later, I still wore (and presumably fit into) the denim jacket, but I was less concerned about resembling Shakin' Stevens. I decided I'd make the look more my own by pinning all the badges I owned* onto the back of it in the shape of an 'R' (my initial). I'd guess there were 30 or 40 badges. All different kinds - a Close Encounters of the Third Kind badge, a Darth Vader badge, a badge in the shape of one of the butter golems from the Country Life adverts, a furry Gnasher badge with googly eyes - it didn't matter what they were, it was the overall form of the constellation that was important.

You might be imagining what this jacket looked like and mocking olden days me but remember this: before the end of the decade, grown adults were wearing jeans with massive transfers of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble on the front.

Even though I was only about ten at the time, I knew the best fashions are practical as well as stylish, and I remember thinking the 'R' made out of badges (which made the jacket uncomfortably heavy to wear) would make good armour against anyone shooting or stabbing me from behind.**

Shakin' Stevens was convicted of drink-driving in 2002 and banned from driving for two years.

Reactions: I don't remember anyone directly commenting on my denim jacket, either with the 'R' of badges or without. But when I wore it, every 20 seconds or so, I would do that move Shakin' Stevens did of sort of going up on my toes, jamming my knees together and putting one hand behind my head, causing my grandad to ask, 'Is there something wrong with that boys legs?'

*Apart from the cloth Snowdonia National Park patch I'd got my mum to sew onto the denim jacket's arm - that would have been too much of a hassle to move.

**I just tried to work out what armour class an 'R' made of badges would give you in Dungeons & Dragons, but it looks like they've changed the system between editions and I got confused.
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