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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Emperor's New Skinny Jeans

The last time I found a pair of jeans that I liked, I think we were in the 20th century. Hip Huggers - as we old folks liked to call them - or Low Rise jeans as it's referred to these days - have taken over the racks. Sure, they look great...on women with flat bellies. If my belly didn't reveal just how much beer I drank, I would consider showing it off. It's the Plumber's Crack I have a problem with.

In my quest to find a perfect pair of jeans, I went to Aeropostal clothing store because I had some luck there with cargo pants. But it seemed every pair of jeans in the store were low rise. I asked the waif of a sales girl if they had any jeans that weren't. In her thin, malnourished voice she replied a flat "no."

It didn't bother me that they didn't have any regular jeans. What bothered me was her look of disdain at my question. They're not that outdated, you know - I should've told her. It's not as if I asked if she knew where they might still sell a Walkman.

So I relied on my old jeans to last me a little while longer. "Hang in there," I said, "I promise not to put you through the dryer for too long."

At the recommendation of my mother, my next shopping expedition was at Uniqlo. Ever hear of skinny jeans? Well, they have Super Skinny Jeans! And because I'm clueless, I thought the term "skinny jeans" meant that the jeans made you look  skinny. I had no idea that what they meant is you actually have to be anorexic to wear them.

The fool that I am, I actually tried on a pair. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment and I just had to see how far I could get in them. Getting them on was a reality show in itself but the real joke was taking them off. It was more like...flaying.

After I had managed to peel them off, the jeans were stretched out in the thighs and butt beyond recognition. I felt a little embarrassed returning them to the rack that way but as I see it, it was their own damn fault for making jeans that could only fit Natalie Portman.

Once again, my old jeans would just have to last a little while longer. Then it happened. A small tear developed by the back pocket. It was only a matter of time and I knew what would happen if I put it off any further.

I once wore a pair of Levi's jeans past its lifespan. The fabric was thin by the knees and bottom but I thought, Hey, what's the worst that could happen? I took the kids to the park to play and did our usual playful activities - played tag, chased them around and up the jungle gym. Then a mommy friend came up to me and said, "So, you wear purple underpants?"

Apparently, I had been parading around the entire park all afternoon in a pair of jeans with a huge split in the back.

It's just my luck to be embarrassed so thoroughly. Open flys, visible bra straps, mismatched socks - that's for amateurs! No, my clothes have to come apart at the seam it seems and what better place than in public? So the little tear by the back pocket of my true blue was foreboding.

I managed to get to Old Navy. Though I came away with three pairs of pants, it was the most confusing shopping experience of my life.

The Sweetheart, the Dreamer, the Flirt - don't they sound like psychiatric terms to you? But they are actually the names of the different designs of jeans you can find at Old Navy. The Dreamer is low rise, Flirt is mid-rise, Sweetheart is classic-rise...then there's boot cut, straight leg and of course skinny jeans (though now I know better).

Is there going to be a quiz at the end - since when have dungarees become so complicated?

Although I'm happy that I've warded off the Emperor's New Suit nightmare, I'm sorry to say that Old Navy jeans fit horribly. They're baggy all over as opposed to the Super Skinny sausage casing of Uniqlo. All I can say is, they must've been designed by a man.


  1. I have a bit of a poochy belly thanks to baby and beer and food .... Ok I will stop now but I have the best luck with Jeans at American Eagle and Old Navy ... No matter where I go they won't fit well because my butt is flat like Columbus' first map

  2. Oh, that's funny- Columbus' first map! Will have to check out American Eagle next, then. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Shopping for jeans is surprisingly frustrating! I had good luck at Gap a few months ago (though last time I was there, the jeans were all too skinny). Good luck with the search!

  4. I've never understood the low-rise jean phenomenon. I'm a Sweetheart girl myself, but even those make me feel like a plumber some days. I won't even touch the Flirts. Really, what's so provocative about my butt crack and muffin top flirting with you?

  5. Funny you mention this....Just today, while I'm at the doctor's office with our son, my wife takes off for the mall. I then receive a txt from her saying she found a wonderful suite..and she was going to buy it! She never buys anything because she says it won't fit correctly, or makes her look too big.

  6. It's a conspiracy conspired by voyeurs! If women felt comfortable in clothes other than dingy sweatpants, we'd never get out of them.