A few weeks ago, Talbots sent me a flier. It said their new line of jeans had a style to fit every body. I have a great pair of Talbots jeans that are tight, but not too tight and look good enough to wear to work. So, I packed up my optimism and headed off to the store. All the way to North Canton I’m thinking about color finishes and lengths and just having viable options.
Buying jeans is tricky for every woman. Ladies are not men - their bodies do totally different things, especially in the hipster area. But, jeans were originally pants for a guy’s guy. Work pants. Sturdy, no nonsense, riveted denim, the right number of pockets, I wear these only on the weekends and it’s not necessary for them to look awesome kind of pants. And, for some reason, women’s jeans always seem to want to return to their roots - square cut, straight legged, stopping somewhere south of the waist.
It’s part of the fashion circle of life. Designers have to change their lines every year or women won’t buy anything new - because they already have it. They’ll through colored denim into the mix or break out blue into 10 shades. Or, they’ll destroy the jeans that fit me perfectly in favor of something that doesn’t even go past my muscular calves. This year, not only do I have to contend with mid-rise hip huggers - something that didn’t fit me when I was 12, much less now - but the skinny jean is back as well (along with its even eviler counterpart, jean leggings). Skinny jeans are intended to be worn under a tunic or long sweater, giving the illusion of casual elegance while you’re looking for a wall to lean on because you can’t bend your legs and you’re losing feeling in your feet from lack of circulation.
I should probably at this point make a disclaimer that indeed, all women are not shaped the same and the years they announce curvy fit jeans are awful for women who like square cut jeans. In all of my years as a person buying jeans, I have yet to see a company do both cuts well, or at the same time (regardless of the fact that women of both shapes happily co-exist on this planet). I’ve heard that there are companies that make jeans specifically to fit or offer an extensive style range, but these jeans tend to be over $100 - and I can not talk myself into paying $100 for weekend pants.
To finish my story, I went to Talbots and tried on every style they had (in two sizes) and nothing even came close to fitting me. When the first thing the saleslady says is, “These have less stretch,” I know I’m in trouble from the start (An aside: why would they take away my stretch? What did I ever do to them?). I tried on boot cut, original cut, traditional cut, straight leg, modified boot cut and trouser jeans (which are mystifying on a number of levels). I skipped the “boyfriend jeans” because that is code for girls who are actually shaped like their tall, athletic boyfriends. Which I’m not.
I had gotten all excited, convinced myself that $70 was a reasonable amount to pay for jeans, and pffft. I was so wound up, that I spent an hour at Dillard’s and Macy’s trying on Levis. Which is crazy, because I haven’t been able to fit in a pair of Levis since I got down to 97 pounds my senior year of high school to avoid giving blood (I don’t like needles - sue me). Each time I pulled on another pair of ill-fitting pants, I would feel sadder and fatter and older. And, it’s ridiculous! After each jeans fiasco, I would return to the pants I wore in, in both cases 6P pants that fit fine. They go over my butt and don’t have an 8 inch waist gap. I can sit in them and I don’t look like I’m trying to relive my campus days or about to show those near-by a street map of Paris, France, when I bend over.
In conclusion, I will stick for another year with the jeans I have, even if they are more functional than fancy. The fashion planet will turn again and soon it will be the other women’s turn to curse the giant pile of bad jeans at their feet. Remember this piece of sage advice, if you try on jeans and they fit, don’t think twice, just buy them. And, if you can, buy two pair. Because chances are, you’re going to have to wear them for awhile.