I am a 26 year old woman. The following is a complete account of my thought process before, during and after I recently purchased two pairs of jeans.
Shit. I really need new jeans. Ok, yes, I have a drawer full of them already. But what’s even in here? A pair of H&M low risers I bought a couple years ago that don’t fit anymore — they say they’re a size 28 but that’s a damn lie if I’ve ever heard one. Two pairs of momjeans that I made the mistake of getting tailored BEFORE Thanksgiving last year. Needless to say my butt has swollen a little since then. They still look good, don’t get me wrong, but it wouldn’t exactly be work appropriate to wear something with this much of a risk for camel toe. Another pair of H&M jeans, with the back pockets I studded in 2012 before I lost those ten pounds, stopped wearing them, and then gained the ten pounds back. I used to wear these when I worked in the dairy section of Whole Foods. They actually don’t look so bad, except that some of the studs have fallen off. I’ve been saying I’ll remove them for months now, but instead I just wear them to work with long shirts and sweaters. Why am I so lazy? I don’t even like studs anymore.
What else? The mid-rise jeans I got from the gap — now, these are a true size 28. I say that because they actually fit. Just the right amount of stretch, too. But I wear them almost every day, and they’re not exactly sexy, just average. So I only wear them to work. And every time I wash them, the little pre-distressed hole in the leg gets bigger and bigger. Soon I won’t be able to wear them anywhere.
Ok, these pants are yellow so they don’t count. And these…sigh. My American Apparel easy jeans. With the waist right up to the belly button, super stretchy…they make my butt look great. But they’re so flimsy. The fabric has worn thin and faded substantially. There’s little knick marks from where the cats have pawed at my legs. And then, oh no… There are all these little holes near the crotch where my inner thighs have rubbed together. How have I never noticed these before? Ok, I really have to throw these away. I mean, they were 70 dollars, 70 dollars for essentially jeggings, but I’ve probably worn them a good 300 times in the last two years. Shit, maybe more. Regardless, should a pair of jeans really fall apart like that? That’s never happened to me before. Have my thighs really gotten that big, or are the pants just cheaply made? I mean, just because American Apparel is sweatshop free doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Too bad they’re the only store I know of that actually makes jeans for my buttshape. Large and in charge. With a high enough waist that my legs don’t look too short, which they are. Ugh, I really don’t want to go jeans shopping.
I wonder if people can notice that I wore these jeans yesterday. It was probably a mistake to throw out the American Apparel ones. Okay, no it wasn’t. I have a full time job. I don’t make a lot by any means, but I certainly make enough to not wear clothes with holes in them. I need to get it together. I got paid today. I’ll just look online and get a sense of my options. Okay, what’s a nice, affordable place for a girl my age to shop? Besides American Apparel. Zara? Ugh I hate Zara. Zara is the place ex-sorority girls shop when they want to look like hipsters. Where’s the place ex-party girls shop when they decide to become young professionals? Cause that’s what I need. Fine, I’ll look at Zara.
Wow! These jeans are surprisingly affordable. Stretchy looking, high-waisted. And for only 40 dollars? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh. Ok, I like these; and these…but I shouldn’t buy them online. I can almost guarantee they’re gonna be sized weird. I wish they said what size the models were wearing. I could just upsize by three, okay four, and that would probably be my size. Who am I kidding, I’ve played this game before and lost every time. I’ll just go to the store this weekend.
Ugh, my boyfriend is late to meet me at lunch, which never happens because I’m always the late one. Can’t reach him, must be a problem with the trains. This could take a while. Hmm…how close is Zara? Oh, there’s one only six blocks down Fifth Avenue! I’ll just tell him to meet me there. This way I’ll know I have a deadline and I can’t spend forever trying on a bunch of crap. Gotta be decisive.
Damn, it’s windy today. Should have worn a scarf. Why is it taking so long to walk only six blocks? Damn tourists. Wait, is that an American Apparel? Yep. God, they’re everywhere. I am really cold. Fuck it, I’ll just go here.
No. No. No. Too expensive, too light of a wash, too similar to something I already have. Oh snap, a sale section? Let me check this shit out. 30% off? Seems like a pretty good deal. Let’s see if they have anything my size. If I remember correctly, the last time I tried on a size 28 at American Apparel I couldn’t even get them above my hips. Let’s try and avoid that trauma. Okay, dark wash jeans. 30% off. Size 29, this looks promising. They’re 90 dollars before the discount so they’ll be within my price range. That is, if they even fit.
Ok, moment of truth. No matter what happens, I’m not gonna hate myself. It’s not me, it’s the store. They run small. The sizing is wrong, and that’s why they’re on sale. Yeah, I can always go with that if I need to. Oh my god, they’re going over my hips! I was not expecting this! The fabric isn’t even stretchy! Ok let’s see if I can button them. I’ll suck in a bit and — nice! A little tight, a little mom-jeanish, but definitely fashionable enough to wear to work and casual occasions. Plus, when I start working out, they’ll fit perfectly. I hope these aren’t cheaply made, cause they’re final sale, and it wouldn’t be the first time my butt burst a seam. Dear god, that was mortifying. Please don’t let that happen to me again.
Jesus fucking Christ I am an idiot. Why on earth did I wear my most painful heels when I CAN’T SIT DOWN IN THESE NEW JEANS? That was not a smart move. Oh look, tiny sandwiches. I wonder how many of those I can suck down before my super-high waistband snaps in half, sending the button flying through the air and into someone’s eye? I’m not even going to risk it. I don’t have insurance for that shit. Now I see why women were so skinny in the corset-wearing age. What age was that again? Maybe I should get a waist trainer. They make cute ones, I’ve seen them on Instagram. But are you supposed to wear them all day or just when you work out? Fuck it, it sounds terrible either way.
Ok, I have to leave this party, get out of these shoes, and put on sweatpants immediately.
God I feel amazing today. Good thing I wore these leggings. Or I guess they are technically jeggings because they look like pants but are secretly way more awesome. You know, I really hate the word “jeggings.” Whatever happened to the term “stretch pants?” I used that word all the time in the nineties. I fuckin’ crushed stretch pants. These stretch pants I have on right now are particularly awesome because they have back pockets and a FAKE BUTTON in the front that does absolutely nothing except trick people. Plus, they’re gingham. Super cute, and work appropriate.
I honestly can’t believe it’s ok for me to wear something so comfortable. Jesus, that’s like, some internalized sexism right there. I doubt any man has ever said, “wow it’s crazy that I’m even allowed to wear this item of clothing because it doesn’t hurt, or leave a mark, or constrict my body parts or bunch up into my ass crack at ALL.” Not to mention that feeling of true SHOCK we women feel when our pants have pockets that are actually functional. A REAL woman should be physically encumbered at all times. Lol, kill me. I wish I owned cargo pants.
Hmm, if I remember correctly, Uniqlo had these STRETCH PANTS in several other sizes and colors. Perhaps a dark denim? Sounds good to me. I’d be perfectly happy never wearing a pair of real jeans again for the rest of my life. Real jeans don’t allow for the number of times my butt changes size in a given year. More importantly, real jeans don’t feel like pajamas and leave me with a pleasant surprise every time I finish peeing and realize I don’t have to zip or button anything. Real jeans are not for the busy modern woman. This is what I’ll tell myself.
In fact, I’m gonna walk to Uniqlo right frickin’ now and buy some more fake jeans.
Okay, I don’t have much time. Break is only supposed to last an hour and I just had to walk three whole blocks down Broadway. Fucking tourists, I swear to god. Still, it’ll be good to be hurried, that way I won’t have time to talk myself out of buying more pants I really didn’t budget for.
So where are the stretch pants? This store has really rearranged a lot since the last time I was here. I bet these sales associates work their asses off. Fuckin’ retail, man. God this place is huge. I’ll probably work off a pants size trying to find a pair. Ooh, look at this fuzzy sweater! God damn it, Kat, FOCUS.
Okay! Found the motherlode. These are the exact pants I was looking for. But oh, what about these?! Actual jeans, stretchy, super dark wash, mid-rise, and $39.99? OK, I’m trying these on, too. I know I said I only wanted to wear leggings but I think these might actually make me look like I spent some money on my appearance. At 26, you have to actually fake it ’til you make it. How am I doing on time…? Oof, not so good. To the fitting room!
I promise no matter what happens I will not beat myself up about the shape of my thighs. Or my ass. Or the place in between I used to call my “second butt” but I realize now is just called “saddlebags.” If neither of these pairs fit, I will not stomp out of this fitting room and walk directly into the Broadway traffic, screaming. Conversely, I will also not resign myself to becoming obese and immediately pick up a burger with a side of mac n cheese and proceed to eat my feelings. Well, I might do that, but I promise to not do it because of this.
Alright, alright, the stretch pants are a good look. I think I can get away with these, maybe, after a few squats. They just make my butt look so HUGE. I’ve really got to stop tying my self worth to the shapeliness of my rear end. Really. Like, by the end of the year. This is unacceptable and it WILL NOT STAND. Ok, next pair.
I…I just…Wow. Just, wow. These are amazing. I look great. I look responsible. I look like a person who has a full-time job and used the money from that job to buy smart jeans that young professionals buy. Wait, let me cuff the bottom. YES now we’re talking. All of my wardrobe problems are solved. It’ll be so easy to get ready in the morning with these as my go-to. People will probably even respect me more! They look so much more expensive than they actually are. This is fabulous. I’m buying these right away. Wow, what a find. Go me!
I literally. Have nothing. To wear.
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