DIY (But don’t sometimes.)

I made up a destroyed Denim Company for a semester of branding. This was one of the ads. When we did the photos the cops came. Someone thought my friend was being kidnapped. Then the newspaper came because they thought we were protesting something.

I made up a destroyed Denim Company for a semester of branding. This was one of the ads. When we did the photos the cops came. Someone thought my friend was being kidnapped. Then the newspaper came because they thought we were protesting something.

My promo piece was ironically a destroy it yourself kit.

My trade show promo piece was, ironically DIY…a destroy it yourself kit.

I have to start by saying that today’s age has made me hate acronyms and abbreviations. I think it’s rude to assume everyone knows what the sam you’re saying. While you save time and brain wrinkles not spelling out words, the rest of us live in a fog until we can get to a computer with google because our flip-phone is the intellectually challenged cousin of the smart phone.

That’s right. I’m 28. Literally a child of technological revolution, social media and the information super highway (kids today are like whaaaat? The internet….it’s the internet.) Still, I refuse to upgrade. For that, I feel my brain continues to function well in manual and I am present in life for things like stimulating conversations and enjoying a rainbow through my eyeballs instead of an instagram square from my camera phone. But on with it before I start to wrinkle, acquire 80 years of piss and vinegar and really start to complain about kids these days.

Aside from my seemingly turn of the century mobile (hey, I can text tweet), I am a with-it person. Pretty quick. Down with it. But like any human I have had moments. Two maybe. The day I finally voiced how sick I was of seeing that feat. guy in everyone’s music videos, I got schooled by my roommate that feat. meant featuring…after she stared at me for 30 seconds trying to figure out if I was for real. Yeah. I was for real.

So when my soon-to-be-sister-in-law kept referring to things as DIY, I would just nod my head and be like, “Oh, yeah, cool!” and then wonder why in the world I haven’t heard of them. I would rack my brain through new designers I’ve seen in Vogue. A store? Target’s featured brand? No, no. Just a lovely new way of dumbing down a complex set of words: Do. It. Yourself. Now that I figured that out, I’m glad to be a participating member of society once again.

Growing up we had other words for DIY. Crafty. Resourceful. I feel like it was less trendy and cool back then, though. I didn’t sell a whole lot of old rummage clip-on earrings with my own puffy paint designs no matter how many doors I knocked on. I think that particular enterprise made me 47 cents and some Dutch mints. For a short stint in high school I used Hello Kitty bandaids to hold together rips in my jeans…and my mother was a seamstress. Sometimes I’d just wear one on the knee of my jeans even if there was no hole. I thought it seemed cool. Nouveau. It never really took off.

It got me thinking, though, of DIYs that probably should never have been DIY-ed. Taking a scissors to clothing seemed to be a reoccurring theme in my thought process. My dad loves to cut the sleeves off almost anything. I now have to preface with “don’t cut the sleeves off this” after a few things I’ve bought him underwent Ron shirt surgery. The man hates sleeves. Tumors for shirts.

In college, destroyed jeans were huge. Hollister and Abercrombie had to have made a killing from student overage checks those years. It was a trend that gave my grandmother heart palpitations and possible night-sweats. “You mean those are brand new?! You paid for them! I could just give you some of grandpa’s work jeans.” If you asked for some for Christmas, believe you were NOT getting them.

The alternative to paying was…of course…to DIY. Grab a scissors, some sandpaper, do your thing then throw them in the wash a couple times. The whole idea was alright. I didn’t mind a little distress in my jeans for a certain look, but I realized the trend had no chance at longevity or dignity the day one of the most consistently inebriated girls on campus wore hers to a basketball game. It was basically a belt with some dangly stuff that wrapped around the legs a few places. Either they were just really worn out (which, feel free to throw away then) or she was the kid in first grade who always ended up over-cutting her construction paper hearts (not so much a heart anymore). She was asked to leave. I assume to find actual pants.

For me, taking a scissors to clothing has always been a wrong and unpleasant experience. I should have just stuck with that sentiment. But one night before us girls went out I had this great idea to turn one of my favorite t’s into a cropped I-don’t-know-what to wear over a tank. Cropped was in and so were Ed Hardy cut up t-shirts. A few weeks later looking at pictures, I blamed my roommate for letting me go out like that. She said she didn’t know what I was doing, but thought I had a vision. “Yeah, it wasn’t your best idea,” she said. No, it wasn’t. It should have been somewhere with a can of pledge dusting a coffee table. It will perpetually haunt me.

Really, unless it’s Ed Hardy or any denim between 2003 and 2006, a good rule of thumb is just to trust the intentions of the person who made it. If there isn’t a gaping, frayed hole right below your butt cheek, it’s probably because there shouldn’t be. And if your jacket isn’t crop rows of crystal studs, it’s probably because you’re not a disco ball. But shooting up your clothing within an inch of it’s life with a Bedazzler is possibly a whole other story altogether.

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