Tag Archives: shopping triump

Hunting for jeans

4 Nov

Is my body really that unusual, or does everyone else just have a smaller, flatter butt than I do?

This is the question I have to ask myself after my latest attempt to shop for jeans.  Now granted, I have raised my own standards – I will settle for nothing less than 1) well-fitting, 2) comfortable, and 3) flattering jeans. These need to be workhorse pants, able to stand up to everything that motherhood throws at you –  food stains, repeated trips down a dusty slide, and the constant bending over without revealing too much in the plumber’s crack area.  Oh, and I don’t want to spend a fortune for a pair of pants that will be lucky to surive more than a few seasons.

As luck would have it, I finally saved enough points on my credit card points for $250 at Bloomingdales. First stop: Bloomingdales Stanford Shopping Center. I go straight to the “premium denim” section and grab a handful of jeans that look good on the hanger.  Same problem every time: they won’t fit over my hips (and if they do, there is a huge gap in the waist). I guess I have what they call a curvy figure. Exasperated, I consult the sales guy – who prides himself on knowing his designers inside and out. He suggests the Joe’s Jeans in Honey, which do fit better than the others but rest so far below by navel that I feel like I’m going to audition for an Aerosmith video. I’m generally a fan of Joe’s Jeans (my current go-to pair is the Socialite cut) but I decide that I can do better.

Expanding my search, I decide to use up a block of precious babysitting time to trek north to the Bloomingdale’s in San Francisco Shopping Center. There is something about free money that makes me a more adventurous shopper, I bravely browse rack after rack of the “in” jeans right now – skin tight spandex jeans which go by the cozy name of “denim leggings”.  It’s my day to be open-minded, right?  So I take a few into the fitting room, thinking, maybe I could pull these off with a tunic-length top to cover the rear? After just a few unsuccessful tries to zip them up, one pair finally cooperates and I reflect on what I see in the mirror. There is no need to be self deprecating here, but one word comes to mind – bulge. Now mind you, I take pilates classses once or twice a week, and feel pretty good about the shape I’m in. Dieting and losing weight is not an option for me. I realize that denim leggings are just the next generation of skin-tight Jordache jeans of the 80’s. I avoided those then for the same reason – they make women with normal bodies feel fat.

denim leggings make women with normal bodies feel fat

In case anyone hasn't seen the latest trend in denim - here it is: Jean leggings (I'm told they are also called "Jeggings")

After the shock wears off, I realize I need to rethink my strategy.  Back to browsing the racks, I finally make it to the sale section (conveniently hidden way in the back of the store).  Instead of looking for the needle in a haystack, I pick only based on fabric and color, and ignore the size on the label. Instead, I eyeball it. Do those pants look like they will fit over my hips? Great, let’s go.

This story has a happy ending. The secret is, Alterations. I found two pairs of jeans that passed the feel-good test when I put them on, had enough stretch to facilitate bending and sitting comfortably, and flattered my front and back sides. I pinched the gaping waistband with my finger in order to verify that the waist would sit correctly (not too low) if taken in.  (There is nothing worse than sitting in the sandbox with my daughter only to realize that my rear cleavage is showing.)

Still, because they are on sale, I am spending $100 on a pair of pants (including cost of alterations) that feel like they were made for me. It’s certainly not a bargain, but guess which pants I now wear more than any others? Yep, the pants that I altered just for my proportions – they look good, feel good, and welcome my body when I put them on.  I wear them every week – and even though they get plenty of washes, I hang dry them to extend their life, and hopefully will still be wearing them a year from now.

Ha! Victory over denim leggings! After all, why should I struggle trying to fit my body to the pants, when I can make the pants fit my body?

Although I am pleased as punch about this outcome, I’m still holding out hope that someone out there is making jeans off the rack for a body like mine, for less than $100 a pair. If you have any clue of where to look, please let me know. I’m an average height, average weight woman with curvy hips.

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