I have a love-hate relationship with denim.
As I sit here typing, I am wearing Wal-Mart capris a size (or 2) too big. I love that they are so comfy. I hate that they make me look 2 sizes bigger. They never see light of day beyond my garden gate, but I cannot bear the thought of parting with their well-worn comfort. They are the fashion equivalent of your granddad’s ginormous moth-eaten sweater with egg down the front, but sometimes, let’s face it, you just want to slob out and why not? Wearing these bad boys, my husband gives me a rather wide berth and I am guaranteed an early and well-rested night. They are denim man-repellant, and as such, they occasionally prove useful.
But, what about those times when you really WANT to look good?
Ladies, our style choices are virtually endless. We can have high rise, mid rise, low rise, lower rise, pubic bone rise, builder’s crack, plumber’s crack, don’t do crack, camel-toe, super skinny, wish you were skinny, never gonna be skinny, sausage casing, muffin top, bread-loaf top, or – that always attractive and super-flattering alternative – the 80’s mom cut, complete with impossibly high waist and pleated front.
For those of us really wanting to push the fashion boundaries further still, there is also the elasticated grandma jean, clearly designed with all-you-can-eat buffets in mind. These are generally available at Wal-Mart, and I would recommend buying them 2 sizes too big to make the most of their man-repellant qualities.
You would think, given our massive array of uber-stylish choices, it would be easy to find something to fit.
While I agree in principle that women come in all shapes and sizes and that it is very difficult to develop a one-shape-suits-all jean, why oh why is it so difficult to produce fashionable jeans that suit anyone other than a 16-year-old cheerleader with a body of carved granite? And even then, is it ever really appropriate to see her jiggly bits when she bends over to retrieve her pom poms? I, for one, think not.
And what is more, apart from toddler clothing, is there really any valid use for a 2-inch zipper?
Jeans shopping is grimly exhausting – from the library stacks of folded denim in every shape and size but your own to the horrors of the dressing room, it is an experience most of us would just as soon avoid. Dressing room lighting comes in 2 types: Dickensian Dark or Interrogation Bright. I feel as if I am either disrobing in a 19th century brothel or a Cuban jail cell. For the record, what sort of genius figured overhead lighting and cellulite were ever going to be a good combination?
Probably the same genius who recommended the funhouse mirrors.
Like most women, I do possess precisely 1 pair of well-fitting jeans. I also have about 20 pair of improperly fitting jeans purchased in sales, on the spur of the moment, during flights of fancy or utter madness, from catalogs, on vacation or gifted from friends.
My ill-fitting jeans are the bullies of the dresser drawer, pushing their way to the top in hopes of seeing the light of day, forever disguising and burying my single pair of well-fitting Cinderella jeans beneath a collage of blue denim. Occasionally, I will try on a pair just to see if they fit better than the last 50 times I tried them on… but inevitably, they wind up being returned to the drawer, another expensive mistake I regret, rejected for their “muffin” or “sausage casing” effect, or because, after 5 minutes of wear, they will be sagging or riding up in all the wrong places.
Inevitably, I find myself detangling the blue spaghetti and unearthing my favorites. Cinderella and I are off to the pub while her 20 ugly step-sisters are stuffed unceremoniously back into the depths of my dresser drawer.
I feel a little sorry for them, actually. If only I had 20 ill-fitting friends who would suit them…
Originally posted 5 April 2014
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