Once the beloved Levis had been handed down to every brother and sister, had been hemmed and unhemmed repeatedly so that a series of white lines circled the now-too-short-for-even-the-littlest-sibling length, there was only one thing that could save them from the horrible fate of the garbage heap: cutoffs.
Cutoffs were a last-ditch effort to preserve your best friend. When the knees had given out and were patched a dozen times over, and Mom threatened to burn them if you tried to sneak out of the house with them on one more time, you could take the scissors to your jeans and revive them for a summer or two. Well, that is, if the seat (butt) was lucky enough to have made it through the trauma of hand-me-down days, or could be salvaged with a well-placed patch.
Cutoff jeans, made into shorts of various lengths, were a summertime tradition, ready to be worn with triple-striped, knee high tube socks, a pair of colored Nikes and an iron-on decal tank top. Just don’t bring them to a public pool—“The Man” still fears the shredded unkemptness of the cutoff jean
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