October 4, 2016

JAIN | On Denim Jackets

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I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the Green Dragon lately. If you’re unfamiliar with this on campus café, it’s located under Sibley and is where all the ~cool kids~ hang out. By cool, I don’t mean Cornell cool. These people don’t talk signing bonuses and bottom lines, whatever those two things are. Located where the fine arts building meets the architecture building, the Green Dragon embodies all that is interesting about Cornell. While lots of the people who hang out there aren’t particularly artsy majors, you’d never really realize that. Yeah, someone might be working on a CS project in the corner, but you’d never suspect they were an engineer. A big part of this phenomenon is the way everyone there dress.

Last week, on a particularly cloudy and breezy day, I walked into the Green Dragon wearing my practical blue rain jacket. If it rained, I would be prepared. I looked around for a table to sit at and noticed an interesting trend. Every table had exactly two people sitting at them. Inspired by my suddenly mathematical mind, I looked around the café for an equation to solve on the wall, on some Good Will Hunting shit. I came up empty-handed, but noticed another interesting trend while looking: every person in the café was wearing a denim jacket.

I had a denim jacket when I was in fourth grade. I remember this because my mom took a picture of me in it on the first day of school. I wore it with denim shorts, Harry Potter glasses and a Lands End shirt. After my photo shoot at the bus stop, my mom immediately had the photos printed and plastered them all over our lovely family home. These photos remained on the walls of my house for a while and always reminded me of one thing: I was really cool in fourth grade.

Looking back at my fourth grade self, I wondered if he would look as cool as everyone else in the Green Dragon did. Outside of the fact that I was eight at the time, which may be considered cool now thanks to the Cornell 12 year old, I’m almost positive I would still look silly in a denim jacket. But the question remained: why did I still want one so damn badly?

That night I online shopped ’til I dropped. I was actually in bed so I had already dropped, but that’s just semantics. I looked at a wide variety of denim jackets. I went to the typical places one would go to find something relatively chic, like Urban Outfitters and Uniqlo. I even explored upscale options. FYI, a Saint Laurent denim jacket only costs $1,400. I did this for a while, but finally came to two conclusions. First of all, the cool Green Dragon patrons probably didn’t buy their denim jackets at some everyday retail store. I’m not exactly sure what vintage means, but their jackets were obviously vintage. My other thought was more of a question. Was I even cool enough to pull off a denim jacket? It had been 13 years since I last wore one, but I didn’t feel exceptionally different than that little eight year old on the walls of my home. If I bought a denim jacket, would I even wear it?

Today I find myself sitting in the Green Dragon, writing this column, but also looking around constantly. I don’t see any denim jackets today. It’s not exactly cold enough for a jacket, but regardless this got me thinking. Are denim jackets just a trend? Will they go out of style soon? Will the one I ordered fit me?

Akshay Jain is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]College Stuff appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.