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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

I didn’t want to buy a pair of skinny jeans.

In fact, I was very much against the idea. So far, I had managed to ride out the trend and hoped that maybe next year would be the year of the boot cut, the year of the boyfriend jean with ample room through the hips and thighs. The year of the anti-skinny jean.

I always thought skinny jeans are for girls with legs that resemble twigs; not for women like me who have legs that look more like tree trunks.

That was what I thought until last Saturday.

I had never considered even trying on a pair of skinny jeans before Saturday. They never even crossed my mind or came under my shopping radar. They remained “over there” along with the mini-skirts, crop tops and gladiator sandals; on that shelf where I choose never to look.

That was what I thought before the dark brown riding boots.

For the last few weeks everywhere I looked, people were wearing brown riding boots. Amazing, wonderful, beautiful brown riding boots. I found myself coveting the boots like nothing else I could remember. I needed to have a pair. And then the realization hit: if I wanted the boots, I would need to buy a pair of skinny jeans to go with them.

Beautiful brown riding boots need skinny jeans tucked into them to be seen in all their glory. Hiding them under a wide-leg, boot cut would be a crime against fashion. Nothing but a skinny jean would do.

Fast forward to Saturday morning as I stood in front of the mirror in a change room at Old Navy, staring at my reflection for the first time ever in a pair of skinny jeans.

I did not like the view.

I thought I had done a good job selecting a this style of skinny from the wall of jeans, having really no idea what I was doing. I picked one that was supposed to offer more ‘room’ through the hips and thighs which is a good thing. I’ve given birth to two children, I need all the room I can get.

However, standing in the change room I realized it had been a bad choice. From the hips down it looked as though the jeans had been painted on to my legs and the waist gaped in the back. Anyone standing behind me when I bent down would get a show, and not a nice one. Let’s be honest, I don’t think it would be physically possible to actually bend down in these jeans but I felt the need to flush out every possible issue. I stared in the mirror and felt the dream of the dark brown riding boots slipping away.

That was until I met Mary.

I cracked open the change room door looking for my hubby so I could vocalize the horror of the pants but he was nowhere to be found. I ventured further out but still I couldn’t find him.

“How are those jeans working out for you?”

Oh darn. The voice behind me meant that I was going to have to speak to the change room attendant who, if past experience was any indication, would probably be a 17 year old child on whom a size zero would be baggy.

I turned around and was pleasantly surprised to see a woman my own age and size, with kind eyes and a quick smile.

“Not good,” I said, showing her the gaping waist of the jeans I had tried on.

“Yeah, I can see what you mean,” she said. “But if you go down a size in that style to fit your waist, you won’t be able to get them on. You have large calves, just like me.”

I probably should have been mad.

Her comment probably should have started the predictable downward spiral of self-loathing as my self-image and self-confidence tanked. But for some reason it didn’t.

The way she said it was just like she was commenting on any other aspect of my appearance, like “you have green eyes” or “you have long fingers.” She was just stating a reality of my anatomy, without judgment or ridicule. And in that moment we became sisters, fighting a battle against skinny jeans. If anyone could help me, it would be Mary.

Less than five minutes later she was back, her arms weighted down by no less than eight pairs of jeans. As she laid them out on the bench in my change room, I looked at the size she had pulled and expressed my concern. It was at least one size smaller than the ones I just tried on.

“Don’t worry'” she said. “These are all beginner skinnies; they don’t fit quite as tight through the leg. It’s what I wear. I promise they’ll look great.”

So I tried them on and surprisingly liked what I saw, not because of how I looked in the jeans necessarily but because of how I felt in them. I caught a glimpse of someone I used to be, before being self-conscious took all the fun out of shopping. A time before the idea that a mother of two needed to wear a ‘certain kind’ of clothes dictated all of my fashion choices.

I rocked those skinny jeans (if I do say so myself), along with the dark brown riding boots I later bought to go with them. Large calves and all.

Thanks Mary, I couldn’t have done it without you.

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My shoe squeaks.

Not really loud or anything but loud enough that it’s noticeable when I walk.  It’s been doing it for about three weeks now but I refuse to stop wearing this pair of shoes because it’s one of the few “work-appropriate” pairs of sandals that I have.

I’m not really surprised that it squeaks considering it’s made out of plastic that tries its best to look like leather.  That’s what you get for buying your shoes at Walmart for $19.00 I guess.  I’m not the kind of person who spends a lot of money on shoes; in my mind there are a lot more fun things to spend money on, like Stella and Dot jewelry.  Besides, if I’m wearing a drop-dead gorgeous necklace and earrings to match, a reasonable person would be too distracted by my fabulous bling to notice that my shoe squeaks, so I think it’s a reasonable trade off.

However, having a shoe that squeaks, especially in a work environment where you can hear a pin drop when you walk down the hallway, brings with it some unique challenges.  I find myself talking louder than is perhaps necessary to block the sound of the squeaking.  I also speak in situations where perhaps small talk is not necessary, again in the hopes that the sound of my voice will distract my companion from the sound.  So instead of being the girl with the squeaky shoe, I’m now the girl who talks loudly in inappropriate situations; not sure which is worse.

I have discovered, through intense research and testing, that I can somewhat reduce the squeaking if I walk toe-first instead of heel-first but, of course, that looks a little strange.  I just have to decide on a case-by-case basis if looking like I have a limp is better or worse than having a squeaky shoe.

I also experimented with walking slightly on the outside of my heel and it seemed to also quiet the squeaking.  That is until I ended up turning my ankle and falling to the ground.  Yep, it looked about as hilarious as you can imagine.

I guess falling down repeatedly is one way to distract people from the squeak, although it seems a tad drastic.  It would make the limp I mentioned in the “toe-first” scenario much more realistic though so maybe I should reconsider.

I wish I was the kind of person who didn’t care if their shoe squeaked when they walked.  I wish I could just get over it.  Apparently though, I’m not that kind of person.

Instead, I’m kind of like George Costanza in the “swooshing pants” episode of Seinfeld.  You know the one I’m talking about?  He’s going to a restaurant to meet with a prospective employer and notices on the way that the fabric on his (discount) suit makes a “swooshing” sound when he walks.  Having heard that the last guy got fired because his nose whistled when he breathed, George is obviously concerned – in the way that only George (and apparently myself) could be concerned.

INTERVIEWER: Huh, that’s strange. That sound again. Sure you didn’t hear anything?

GEORGE: No, can’t say as I did.

INTERVIEWER: Kind of like a… rustling.

GEORGE: Could be the leaves…?

I’m not sure which is worse, having a shoe that squeaks or realizing that I have something in common with George Costanza?

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