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An Ode to a Denim Jacket

By Jordan Ensign

In my junior year of high school, I made what is quite possibly the greatest purchase of my life thus far. I am well aware of how dramatic this sounds; what could a 17-year-old possibly buy that is so spectacular? The answer: a black denim jacket.

I couldn’t tell you what made me decide to buy this jacket. Before this, I think the last time I’d owned a denim jacket was probably in preschool. Moreover, at the time, this jacket hardly fit with my personal style. I hardly knew what my personal style even was. So, I really can’t pinpoint what it was that made me whip out my debit card upon spotting this jacket. Regardless, I am deeply grateful for whatever it was that led me to make this purchase. Just about every day since, if the weather is anywhere between thirty and sixty degrees, I’m probably wearing it in some capacity.

It’s not a particularly warm jacket, so it really isn’t all that logical to treat it as a year-round staple, but I do. Either as an integral part of my outfit or simply as an extra layer for my walk to class, this jacket is present in winter, spring, summer, and autumn alike. There are many days–strong winds blowing my hair about or snow gathering on my eyelashes–that my winter coat would have been a better choice. Likewise, on those oddly warm Pennsylvania mornings, it’s only after I’ve locked my apartment door on my way out that I realize the jacket would have been best left behind. Ultimately though, these thoughts are fleeting. Rain or shine, it’s a good bet that the last thing I do before walking out my front door is shrug on my trusty denim jacket.

So, if it’s rarely suitable for the weather conditions, why do I keep wearing it? The answer, simply, is that I love it. I love how it makes me feel. Maybe that’s a lot of pressure to place on a single garment, but it’s the truth. That’s not to say that my confidence is dependent upon this jacket. Rather, it amplifies it. If confidence is my superpower, this jacket is my superhero cape. In any case, the reason I wear this jacket, even if it rarely makes sense weather-wise, is because it makes me happy.

Maybe, reading this, you’re thinking about your favorite pair of shoes. Your warmest knit hat. Your most beloved sweater. Whatever it is, I hope there’s something in your closet that makes you feel the way that this jacket makes me feel. When you walk out the door in the morning, there’s little better than knowing that what you’re wearing makes you feel completely yourself.

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