Posts Tagged ‘riding boots’

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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