“You need to help me with my outfit for tomorrow, what are you gonna wear?” a friend texted me last night. I replied without even thinking, without even looking at my phone, my fingers tapping out the one remaining mantra which unites all women across the world. “Probably just jeans and a nice top.”
On average women speak 13,000 more words than men every day, but are any of those words as powerful as the phrase “jeans and a nice top”? Probably not. It’s the one thing we all collectively and instantly understand, the one outfit for every occasion, the uniform for nights out wherever you are, whoever you are. You cannot go wrong with jeans and a nice top.
Do boys have the same insider language? Somewhere, right now, is there a boys WhatsApp group full of selfies and exchanges about which jeans and a nice top to wear? Probably not. It’s a signifier of the sisterhood. It’s something so deeply engrained in our collective psyche we don’t even stop to think about it anymore.
But when you’re out tonight, queueing for the toilets, on the dancefloor, shivering in the smoking area, just take a second out and look around you. I guarantee you that every woman in this room has gone through several outfit variations before landing on this, the Old Reliable, the jeans and a nice top.
Because it’s too cold for anything except jeans and a nice top. Because it’s jeans and a nice top season. Because it doesn’t really mean anything, because it’s an amorphous idea of fashion rather than an actual tangible outfit, everyone has managed to put their own stamp on it. Because everyone will always be searching for the elusive nice top. Because you always feel comfortable in jeans and a nice top, it’s always the vibe you need.
I will probably wear jeans and a nice top to my own wedding.