Posts Tagged ‘jeans’

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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I have a problem finding pants that fit.  Perhaps I should qualify that statement.  I have a problem finding reasonably priced pants that fit.  I’m sure if I wanted to go to some hoity-toity boutique and drop $250, then I could find a pair of pants that fit.  But that’s not going to happen.  I have a mortgage, a car, a husband who likes to play hockey and kids that like Lego.

I’m also not a fan of spending money on clothes.  There are much more fun things to spend money on, like Stella and Dot jewelry.  When there’s sparkly jewelry to buy, the clothing underneath just becomes background anyway.  Everyone’s looking at the bling, not the clothes I also happen to be wearing.

But I digress.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the female body.  The fact that I am a female and do, in fact have a body, does not seem to have imparted me with any type of wisdom in the area.  However,  I have come to realize that every woman’s body, though different, has a few similar traits.  (Note, when I’m discussing the female body I am not including female models in this group – their bodies don’t look like any female I’ve ever met in real life).  Female bodies are generally curvy.  Most often those curves do not occur in the areas of our bodies that we want them to but that’s another issue for another day.  Those of us who have reached a certain age have grown to accept our bodies the way they are and are simply looking for clothing that helps us do the same.

I don’t know many women who have a waist that is larger than their hips or thighs.  No matter what size the woman, the hips are generally the widest point of the body.  I consider this to be a fairly obvious fact to anyone who has, I don’t know, ever looked at a woman?  But apparently this is news to those out there in the world that design and make reasonably priced pants for women.

So the million dollar question becomes, do I buy pants that are a bit tighter in the thigh than I am comfortable with or do I buy them to fit those parts of my body and deal with the back-gape?  This becomes particularly difficult with dress pants which, in many cases do not include belt loops so there’s no chance of wearing a belt to fix the gape.  So that leaves either wearing shirts that are long enough to cover the gape or resorting to fixing the bulge with office supplies.

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It is a little embarrassing when the clips “unclip” at the most inopportune times but it does add a little excitement to a regular day!

I do, from time to time, succumb to the draw of the Reitmans Comfort Fit pant.  No snaps, no buttons, no zippers. Fairly brilliant actually.  However, I try not to dip my toe in that well too often because I realize that choosing comfort over coolness is a slippery slope.  Next step: wearing running shoes with dress pants and choosing a functional backpack over a cute purse or heaven forbid, deciding that accessories are optional.

My husband did manage to buy me a pair of jeans for Christmas that were pretty good.  A little bit of back-gape but at least they’re jeans so I can wear a belt with them.  They were from Old Navy which was a bonus because they didn’t even cost that much.  This past weekend he called me from the mall asking if I needed any more pants – Old Navy was having a sale and they had some cords on for like $10 each, the same brand as the jeans he bought me so they would definitely fit, right?

Wrong.  Oh so wrong.

He bought two pairs (in the exact same size as the jeans) and brought them home.  When he gave them to me he mentioned that he thought they looked a bit smaller than the jeans but he double-checked to make sure the size was right.  Not a good start.

I tried them and in less than 10 seconds I was hanging my head in despair.  They were so tight if they were jeans they would be jeggings.  Which I guess would make them cordings – or maybe leggords?  Yeah, the name is not cool and neither was the look.  I don’t think pants are meant to be so tight that you can actually see the thigh-ripples through them?

I peeled them off (with some difficulty) and stuffed them back in the bag.  The look on my face must have told the story because my husband didn’t even ask.  We have not spoken of them again.  We’ve been married long enough.

The problem with pants continues.

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