By Marcie Everhart
I’m inspired to try to recreate certain outfits seen on the Internet, in magazines, on TV. Why do certain ones speak to my heart, while others not? The ones that appeal to my imagination evoke a feeling or a memory or a desire. And such was the case when I saw this beautiful young woman, dancing happily in her denim-on-denim ensemble in this Free People “freestyle” street promo video.
Was I ever that carefree and silly? Haha! Yes! As a pre-teen in the 1970s, the last time denim-on-denim and embellished denim were HUGE! Her childlike abandon is what struck me.
We’ve read that wearing denim-on-denim today is about varying the shades, so that there are interesting differences in wash, finishes, and stitching. Think dark and light. Contrasting stitching versus invisible stitching. This happy girl, though, can wear it however she wants, I say, and get away with it.
But here’s Debbie Harry of Blondie doing it her way back in the day, with the dark and light.
Here’s my take, using varying shades of denim.
ABOVE: The jacket is Sonoma, purchased a few weeks ago at Kohl’s, and the jeans are GAP, skinny fit supposedly, that I took scissors to myself. The cropped jeans trend this spring is great on one hand for us short girls (because everything needs hemming!), and you can just chop it yourself and leave it ragged. It’s a fix that takes two minutes, and most of that is hunting for the scissors. On the other hand, it’s really tough to hit the right length so that you are not shortening further your already short leg visually. Don’t think about failure when you have those scissors in hand. Think about showing off your cute ankle-tie sandals or the jaunty top of a short bootie, which is ultimately why this trend is happening.
ABOVE: Cowboy bandanas haven’t been cool since, well, embroidered denim, lol. At some point (minimalist 90s probably), scarves just became annoying clutter. Now, I love having something tied at my throat, which is practical (covers an aging neck, if it bothers you) and fanciful (the colors, patterns, and knotting options are endless).
ABOVE: You guys have no idea how hard this “modeling” thing is! As the shutter clicks, you’re thinking “what am I doing with my hands, my feet, oh-lordy, my face!” Then later you notice something on your body is crooked, creased, crumpled – what is all this junk in my pockets? Haha. We’ll get better at it. ;^)
ABOVE: I was very close to my grandfather, who was a truck driver for Yellow Freight Transit when I was growing up. He gave me several trinkets of his life to remember him by, and one is his “Million Miler” belt buckle, awarded to drivers who drive millions of miles with no accidents or incidents. This hand-tooled leather western belt with a floral design (spring flowers popping up in an unexpected way!) was also his and sports his initials in the back. He was a very happy, very loud guy, laughing and joking with hundreds of his CB radio friends that he’d never actually met. :^) His “handle” was The Slingshot. Professional truck drivers were the guardians of the highway, keeping them safe for all, in that other time, and I’m thrilled to see “trucker” hats and jackets popping up in fashion retailer lines now. These guys were heroes of the highway in the 70s.
ABOVE: A trucker belt calls for a trucker cap to go with! Trucker caps are like the anti-fashion of fashion. Haha. All of this stuff was so uncool at one time. Now that I’m older, I could care less about cool or what’s in for this week. I want to wear the things that fit my identity and express who I am. For that day anyway!
ABOVE: In this photo, I try a necklace crafted with leather strips and a dangle of an Indian chief’s head in full headdress. I support my local artisans and artists as often as I can, and this was purchased at a monthly event in the old Farmers Market in Oklahoma City called The Flea. I like the way it dissects some of the expanse of denim.
ABOVE: Me, ya’ll.
Here are some links to “trucker” jackets in current lines.
There’s a whole slew of options from Levi with even patches and pins add-ons available.
Nordstrom’s offers many including this one from Free People.
This adorable one from BDG with just the right amount of destruction is available at Urban Outfitters.
This very abbreviated one at Anthropologie can help define the waist line of a flowy dress.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
Retired truck driver Marshall Gravitt and his name-sake granddaughter Marcella…me. My grandpa could also rock a straw hat like a badass.
A Little Background Music
I heard every truckdrivin’ song there was growing up! But this one was my favorite, and it kicked off the whole genre. This guy’s voice rumbles like a big ol’ truck. Yeah, country music as working man’s music. So as you start your work week, remember, friends — Keep On Truckin’. :^)
Photos were taken at the historic Belmont Hotel near downtown Dallas, TX, which was built in 1946 by Dallas’ most “idiosynchratic” architect, Charles Stevens Dilbeck. Originally known as the Belmont Motor Hotel, the building is an example of Art Moderne (late Art Deco) style.