Monday, May 22, 2006

Jean-etic

Let's talk about the state of jeans these days, ok?

Let's say a girl, of curvy and short stature, wants to find a pair of straight-leg or bootcut jeans that has a plain finish. Doesn't that sound like an easy enough mission? I thought it would be and I quickly discovered I was wrong.

First stop in yesterday's shopping trip was Eddie Bauer. I love Eddie Bauer. Friends tell me that Eddie Baur reminds them of me. I love the basic style of Eddie Bauer clothes and I'm happy to say that I am no longer a Gap Girl (haven't been for some time). I have a pair of Eddie Bauer jeans in my closet--100% cotton, 100% too big at this point, despite the fact that I launder the jeans in hot water. So, I planned my trip to Eddie Bauer hoping to accomplish more than just returning a few items. I tried on the first pair of jeans and caught my belly fat in the zipper. I tried on the next pair of jeans and found that if I took a deep breath, my coin slot pooped out the waistband. Not attractive. I tried the third pair and they fit, sort of: they were only 8 inches too long (and, seriously, are there that many 6'1" women out that that every other pair of jeans I come across has an Amazonian inseam?) and gave me a slight camel toe. Ladies--we cannot have any toe going on! It's just sloppy.

So, I left Eddie Bauer without new pants (I did, however, get two new skirts, both in a size that I haven't worn probably in 10 years, and I got some cardigans--the wardrobe staple of the information professional...). I told my husband I'd like to try Old Navy for jeans, but before we stopped at that store, we popped into the Gap. And I have to wonder where the regular jeans have gone--every pair of jeans had a dirty wash or fraying holes at the knees or pockets worn out or missing. There were bleach spots and wrinkle lines and just everything that most people avoid doing to their jeans.

Now, I know this distressed look is all the rage, but have I aged so much that nothing at the Gap pleases me? And, even if I wanted shredded jeans, does America really need every shopper in a pair of jeans that fits too tight and reveals too much? I'm all for the hottest of the hot chicks to pour themselves into these ripped-up rip-offs, but people in my size (above a size eight and with some sagging and unfirm spots) should have the option of regular, non-holey, simple blue jeans. Or am I asking for too much?

Eventually, we made it across the way to the nearest Old Navy. Being a part of the same company as Gap, I wasn't as surprised to find the same sort of jeans on display. But, with some searching, I found a pair of plain-ish (there's a light weathered finish to them, but I'll deal) bootcut jeans that has just a smidge of stretch. The jeans even came in a shorter length and before I could stop myself, I snatched up a pair.

Now, I did try them on in the store, but you know how that is: cramped closet, store debris on the floor, chattering all over as your neighbors try on stuff and like, ohmygod, did you hear what Shannon did with Jake, and like, for real, I was so like pissed that she didn't even like think to call me, whatever. And, of course, the fluorescent lights, lest I forget. So, I did try on the jeans, I just didn't dilly-dally for fear of having my IQ deflate simply based on proximity to these girls.

I put on the new jeans this morning, and they feel great. I'm pulling them up, I'm going the length of the inseam, I'm admiring the not-too-booty bootcut legs, and then I'm tugging and not getting anywhere. I've hit a fork in the road, so to speak, and this is where the jeans stop. This fit just happens to be about an inch or so lower than I'd prefer. It's not that I don't want my belly button on display (actually, I don't want that, but since my shirts tend to be long enough, it's not a concern), it's that I don't want to squat, lean, raise my hands, bend over, or do anything other than lay there and think of England and risk exposing my frumpy plumber's crack to the world.

I don't want Mom Jeans, I don't want low-riders. I want something in-between. I want something that is blue, that hasn't been near acid, that only has holes for my legs, and doesn't require the use of an extra-long shoe horn or Vaseline or both to put on. Clearly I'm asking too much!!!

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