I come to tell you a story of a different time, a time when pleated, tapered, fanny-pack supporting jeans were all the rage, a time when kids and adults alike slipped on their NOT t-shirts and BK Dymacel shoes and hit the dance floor to do a strange and awful dance called "the Electric Slide." There was a horror that terrorized us all during that time: some people say they still have nightmares about it, and others, though they try to deny taking part, are forced to live with photographic evidence that they fell for the evil force, as well. For this was a monster that lived in drawers and closets across the nation, hanging in their splattered glory, waiting to be paraded around town by an army of clueless fashion victims. Where I'm from, we dare not speak the monster's name, but for those who can't forget, the name still haunts us in our nightmares and our dreams: Acid Wash Jeans. You may think you're safe from such a thing, ayuh. But you're wrong, kid. You're terribly, terribly wrong.
Now listen: many of us have fallen for the 80's fashion revival. Leggings, leg warmers, and pieces of chunky neon plastic jewelry have all touched our sense of nostalgia and ended up in closets across the country. And now, American Apparel, the store that seems hell-bent on returning us to a time when paisley stirrup pants were considered to be a good idea, has launched a line of acid wash jeans in several colors, ensuring that hipsters can rock the ironic hell out of A.C. Slater's busted-up hand-me-downs.
Let me repeat that, okay? American Apparel is selling acid wash jeans. In several colors. Is there no end to this madness? What next? NOT t-shirts? Hammer pants? Paula Abdul limited edition LA Gears? I understand that fashion is cyclical, but aren't there certain pieces that should be left in the past? Are we going to have to start wearing our pants backwards, Kriss Kross style?
To make things worse, it's not just American Apparel that's riding the acid wash train; Urban Outfitters and even Target are also selling the heinous relics, which means that the fad is here and most likely won't be leaving any time soon. I suppose it speaks to the weird nature of fashion: those of us who lived through the first round of acid-wash madness can't help but see the nastiness in the jeans, yet kids who were too young for Round One might just see them as awesome retro pants to wear with their "I heart Edward Cullen 4-Eva" t-shirts.
I realize that fads and trends are beyond me: people will see these jeans, love these jeans, and wear these jeans all over town. And all you have to do to sidestep a trend, really, is to not buy into it, no matter how popular it gets. Will acid wash jeans be the only pants available for the next few months? Of course not. But they'll be around for a while, anyway, until people once again turn their noses up at the speckled denim and move on to the next trend or resurrection.
And so acid wash jeans will have their short-lived day in the sun, before they disappear for another twenty years, lost to time and good sense and evolving fashions. And just like in every horror movie ever, when that blissful twenty-year time period is up, the kids will think they can make the old acid wash work, and the old acid wash will return in its most horrifying form to wreak havoc on closets and dressers across the nation, until they lose their power once more and fade into oblivion.
But they'll never ever die, for everyone likes a good horror story now and then.