Levi’s Love Letter: Why My 501 Jeans Are Such an Essential Part of My Wardrobe
Christina Mychas shares more on how she renegotiated her style by going back to her denim roots.
Many of us spend our lives searching for fragments of ourselves in people and things we encounter. We weave these pieces together to reconcile who we think we are, who we want to be, and who we really are. Christina Mychas had to try on a few different versions of herself before she reconnected with who she’s always been at the very core. This rediscovery of self-fit flawlessly—like the perfect pair of jeans.
I used to be a shopaholic, a full-blown emotional spender. I was always interested in fashion, but somewhere along the way, my interest and passion became my vice of choice. I felt stuck—and guilty. I couldn’t make progress in my life because of the way I was choosing to spend my money. I had been curating a wardrobe for a version of myself that I believed I should be, which left me with a closet full of clothes, nothing to wear and confused about my style. After attempting minimalism, getting rid of everything and feeling no enjoyment from my wardrobe yet again, I realized I just needed to learn how to enjoy these things in a way that wouldn’t hurt me. That’s how I got to Minimalist-ish—a space where I could reap the benefits of minimalism, declutter and let go, and find ways to focus on pieces that were special to me and without guilt.
Curating my personal style started with what I already had—and it made perfect sense. I grew up with frugal, Ukrainian-immigrant grandparents who reused everything and a resourceful, hand-me-down-embracing mom with amazing style herself. I mean, my parents were bikers. I’m talking boots, denim, t-shirts, leather jackets and Harley-Davidsons—the whole nine yards. Levi’s were a standard part of their uniform and quickly became mine as well. But growing up, we wouldn’t go out and buy new jeans every season. Whenever I had any rips or tears, my mom would patch up my Levi’s with parts of other worn-out jeans. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing, but my fellow classmates didn’t agree and would tease me for my cut-and-paste jeans. Looking back, I wish I held my chin up proudly because this personalized approach to fashion has become such a deep part of my personal style today.
My mum was very much a Canadian tuxedo kind of girl; Levi’s were her thing. She’s effortless, edgy, gritty and a bit undone. She formed what “cool” meant for me, and she did this with ease—that’s how I wanted to move through the world, with ease. We all idolize our moms in some way, don’t we?
I shopped her closet and mine and landed at Levi’s 501s. They stand the test of time and only get better as the years pass—timeless and durable. Putting them on was very instinctual. We often underestimate the impact of clothing on us, but feeling at ease in what you’re wearing allows you to stand just a little bit taller and move through the world feeling confident and capable. My love for the 501s and Levi’s as a whole, has grown as I’ve grown older—from my first pair of classic light-wash blue 501s to my growing, colour-coded vintage collection featuring various washes from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Beyond being my favourite fit, they also hold significant sentimental value since I grew up with denim my entire life and it was such a memorable part of my childhood. With my mom’s vintage Levi’s jean collection and my own in hand, my wardrobe slowly but surely became one that could reflect who I was, am and will grow to be. My iteration of the effortless, yet definitive and impactful style, my mum reflected into the world.
There’s something about the perfect pair of jeans. Buying them is a deeply personal experience. It isn’t trend-led. It’s more rooted in getting to know yourself, your shape and your lifestyle. There’s a thought that’s almost ingrained into our minds that the perfect pair of denim is the one that makes us feel the smallest, lifts our booty the best, or whatever else. But having gone through my journey, I feel compelled to say that a good pair of jeans is one that makes you feel confident and, quite frankly, the most at ease.
All the unique experiences you’ll have and all the people you’ll meet along the way will help you define your personal style, like the denim patches on my childhood pair of Levi’s—you’ll feel the most like yourself when you put them on. Stylish, but yourself.
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