Amy Ephron remembers what she learned from her Dad about being “blue jeans trashy.”

My Dad had some strange beliefs. I remember I once rented a house in Laurel Canyon. I was a studio executive at the time, it was convenient to Burbank, it was a very sweet house, and I could afford it. When I called my father to tell him I’d rented a house in Laurel Canyon, he said, “Oh dear, don’t do that. Laurel Canyon is full of love nests.”

I thought it was hilarious that he said that and evidence clearly of something that I didn’t want to know about – people’s mistresses stashed in “love nests” in the forties???

He also believed that women should always have flowers waiting for them when they checked into a hotel. The good news was that someone had sent you flowers. The bad news was that they were from your Dad. I remember I once went to New Orleans for the weekend. When I called my father and told him I was going to New Orleans for the weekend, he said, “Honey, do me a favor, don’t take any blue jeans to New Orleans. New Orleans is high heels and dresses trashy not blue jeans trashy.” I’d never thought of blue jeans as trashy although at the time, my girlfriends and I were certainly running around in tight blue jeans and high heels. I decided this wasn’t a conversation I wanted to have with my father and I hung up the phone and immediately packed my favorite pair of faded, pale blue, almost to white, blue jeans in my suitcase.



PHOTO NOTE: Aaron Stern’s new book, I Woke Up in My Clothes (Damiani), is being celebrated tonight at New York’s International Center of Photography (ICP). For more information about Stern and his work, go to

Amy Ephron is the author of A Cup of Tea: A Novel of 1917 (Harper Perennial) and the editor of One For The Table, a website about food, politics, and love.