I couldn’t even tell you the last time I wore a pair of jeans. As my style became more and more vintage inspired, the denim in my wardrobe began to disappear. I began wearing more dresses and skirts and the times when I did wear pants I leaned more toward tailored, high-waisted trousers which flattered my slightly larger thighs and smaller waist ratio. Lately, however, I’ve experienced moments when a pair of jeans would have really come in handy. Being the only vintage person among my friends I’ve come to realise that even when I think I’m dressed casual, comparatively, I’m dressed to the nines. That 1950s day dress that I feel is casual enough for a BBQ is what most of my friends would wear to a wedding. Ordinarily this doesn’t bother me too much but I thought I’d see if I could find a nice pair of high-waisted jeans. A lot of fellow vintage lovers have recommended Freddies of Pinewood but I can’t bring myself to buy jeans online – I just don’t trust it – my waist to hip ratio is so different I really need to try them on first and I’ve had one too many change room experiences where I left vowing never to try on denim again. Don’t even get me started on “skinny jeans”.
Seeing as I inherited my thighs from my mother I felt it only right that I whinge to her about my dilemma. A few days later she appears with a bag full of jeans. I had no idea my mum was a denim hoarder. Those flared jeans I sewed ribbon on in 1995 and threw away more than ten years ago – there they were – and every pair of jeans I’d thrown away since. But that’s not why my mother was showing my this magical bag of jeans past – there, at the bottom, was a pair of AMCO Peaches that had once belonged to her. I had often heard my mum talk of these AMCO Peaches that fit her hourglass frame perfectly in both waist and hip but I assumed them to be a mythical jean she’d imagined over the passing of time. But no, here they were, in all their 1970s straight legged glory. Still, I was skeptical – what were the odds of jeans that once fit my mum fitting me as well. Pretty high apparently. They are amazing. Fitting me perfectly around the waist and hips. Now enamored with my new (to me) jeans I decided to do some research into the brand.
There isn’t much to be found online about Amco unfortunately. According to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney: The Amco label was established in the USA in the 1960s, in 1979 it was purchased by Wrangler, which later sold it to the Hartman Group. In the mid 1980s Myer Grace Bros purchased the label and used it as their house brand. It is now owned by an Indonesian company and distributed in Australia by Boydex. A pair of men’s Amco jeans form part of the museums collection. Amco Peaches, which is what my mum wore, were made specifically for women and came with a rather hilarious advertising campaign in the 1970s which you can watch below. From what I could see by searching online, the only place you can buy Amco jeans these days is on Ebay – thank God my mum never throws anything away!
If anyone knows of a brand that exists in Australia which specialises in vintage-style jeans let me know!