Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Devil Wears Denim...

Or..."A fat girl's lament over trying to buy jeans"

I live in jeans. Since leaving the work force to pursue my life-long dream of being spit-up on and wiping a snotty nose, I have pretty much forgone the niceties of Anne Taylor Loft and Banana Republic for the more basic attire offered at say, Old Navy and the Gap. I am deeply entrenched in a "jeans and t-shirt" lifestyle these days and there are times when I long to bust out of that and wear a cute skirt and a kicky pair of heels. But it's not so convenient and honestly, it doesn't feel as good in my chubby body as it did in my thinner one. So I tend to think I will avoid cute skirts and the like until such time as I can feel a bit more flirty and less frumpy when cavorting in them.

So that leaves me with yoga pants (shamefully, there is no yoga happening in my life, so that's kind of false advertising), khakis (which I do own, but they've never been my style. I am not a fan of beige), and the ever-present jeans. Always mid-rise, always dark wash--because who needs to see the pooch and dark is always slimming.

But finding a pair of jeans that fit and feel good has always been an enigma to me. I see women who look so comfortable and natural in their jeans it's like they grew them right out of their own skin and I wonder, how in the hell did you manage that?

The first bone I have to pick is with the Gap. You and your whole "Long and Lean" line. Never has a line of jeans been so woefully misnamed, almost so blatantly a ploy at sucking up, it is pathetic. I walked through the Gap one time last year, post maternity jeans, pre-anything vaguely resembling the size 8s I'd been wearing for years. I was hiking up my yoga pants and blowing hair out of my eyes, no doubt, when the vulture of sales rep said from behind the counter, "You should try our Long and Leans! They'll look great on you!"

Please take a moment to note that she said this, with a straight face, to a 168lbs woman who stands 5'5''. I am, by even the kindest estimation, neither long NOR lean. And yet, here was this minion of the demin-devil smiling at me without a hint of irony, suggesting a jean whose named mocked me with wild abandon.

I humored her. I fished a size 12 out of the pile (wouldn't you know it, wedged in between a size 2 and a size 4--ah, the humiliation of it all) and wheeled Ethan's giant stroller into the handicapped dressing room. I thought, in a perfect world, when I tried them on, the lower 1/2 of my body would magically transform into Heidi Klum (she's had 3 children, I've only had one--it could happen. maybe. not).

Yeah, that didn't happen. I stayed 5'5'' and 168lbs. But, lo and behold, the jeans did fit. Nicely. I was distraught at the size on the tag, but as a chubby girl, you learn not to focus on the number on the tag, just how you feel and look in a particular item (how sad that I could teach a class--Chubby Girls Self-Esteem 101).

I realized as I was shelling out my $60 at the checkout counter that they had totally gotten me. These jeans weren't for women who ARE long and lean. They are for tubbers like me who want to believe we CAN BE long and lean. The name is such a temptation--"ooooh, chubby girl, try on these jeans and you, too, can look tall and skinny." If Eve had been a chubby girl, the snake could have easily offered her these jeans instead of an apple and who knows how the history of the world would have turned out.

So fine. I get home with my Long and Lean (and it may even be Long 'n Lean, which is even more obnoxious). And I love them. They are exceedingly comfortable and they look great on me. But then they do this thing after I've worn them maybe a 1/2 dozen times. They stretch. A lot. I'm not talking, a little give so you throw them in the dryer and *poof!* tight jeans again. No, I mean, they stretch so much that I've been known to pull them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them--they just wooosh! slide right off.

This may be good in some circumstances, like shaving nanoseconds off of foreplay when your kid FINALLY goes to sleep at night, but could wake at any moment and probably will. I am grateful for the ease with which they slide right off on those occasions.

BUT, it is not such a welcome thing when you are carrying your child in one arm, a bag in the other, walking through a parking lot.....and your pants start to fall down. Right off your ass. Even with a belt. Ah yes, good times.

So, you say, "Fat Sarah, it's time for a smaller size jean! That's great!" Except it isn't. Because no brand under the sun makes a size 10 that I can fit my ginormous butt into (and it's not the butt actually, it's the pooch; 10s fit nicely everywhere else on me, but I can't sip them. Sigh). I have even started a habit of randomly trying on size 10 jeans when I go shopping, to see if, just in case, some line has decided to take into consideration the sizable buddha-belly that many moms are left with after having kids. And I've tried on size 12s in other brands and lines. All too big.

Sadly, my friends, I am no clearly identifiable size.

So, if you see a woman on the streets of DC, wearing jeans that really seem to be several sizes too big for her, and muttering to herself, "stupidfuckingjeans" while she tries to hike them up...that could be me. Just do us both a favor and look away because it just ain't pretty.


KMW said...

Jeans are hard. Even in the best of circumstances. I dread the post baby weight again. D.R.E.A.D. it. It's so unfair....

Becca said...

If, while you are pulling up your pants and muttering stupidfuckingjeans, you see another woman in a similar predicament it might be me. Except I don't live in DC. I have the same problem with Levi's Nouveau Boot Cut (just to save you the trouble). I am currently wearing the Luckys equivalent of Mom Jeans which, and I didn't even know this was possible, make my ass look even weirder than it normally does. But at least I'm not sporting a coin slot at the playground.