My Jeans Are Ruining My Life
Skinny jeans have a grip on my spirit that I cannot seem to exorcize.
In the span of 10 minutes today, I said out loud, “I want to burn all the skinny jeans,” to putting on 1 of the 2 pairs I own because nothing else seemed right, to thinking, “I really can’t wait for this fad to be done.”
I got home 15 minutes ago. I took off those darn skinny jeans and put on my sweat pants within a few minutes of walking in the door. Sitting here writing this, I can feel the absence of the suffocating fabric that clung to my legs. I feel air on my skin and an ease in the bend of my knee that wasn’t there before. It feels like a cold drink on a hot summer day.
They. Drive. Me. Nuts.
They drive me nuts in part because I actually do like them. I am in severe conflict about these articles of clothing. As my hairstylist once told me before I’d ever tried them, “oh, they’re just like leggings, they’re super comfortable, not like regular jeans.” They do offer a certain quality that all other pants in the jeans category just cannot. That’s why we, as a culture, at this point in time, love them. They are so forgiving and strangely flattering. No matter what your body shape, BMI, 4th trimester baby fat, or lunchtime milkshake indulgence, they give and move and stretch and look cute without making you utterly miserable.
I mean, what’s worse: this skinny-jeans-with-spandex fad that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, or the scene my mother paints of being 17 years old, weighing 95 pounds max, and laying down to zip up her stiff Levi’s with the curved end of a coat hanger? For what? Fashion. To look as skinny as possible.
Please. I have nothing to complain about with my so-called “denim leggings.”
But picture this: I was in REI the other day and a sale rack featured pants that, to me, looked back at me with a brightness that felt like love at first sight. I tried a pair on to verify the size choice, and then went back to swoop up another color. My favorite features about these pants is the pockets. They are deep, they are wide, and they are sturdy. Whoever decided that women do not need functional pockets in their pants? It is a disgrace what’s out there on the market for women’s pant pockets. I am a woman, and I need pockets. These pants are made of a cotton-linen blend, so they drape and billow. They do not cling. One pair is brown, the other is blue.
I wore a pair for the first time this morning and when I didn’t look in the mirror, I felt like I was on cloud nine. Just like you do when you’ve connected eyes with some love-at-first-sight and drop into planning your whole future together. When I did look in the mirror, though, my heart sank. They looked frumpier than they did in the store. They looked slouchier and a tad too big. They reminded me a lot of what I wore in the late 90s. Not in a great way, either, and I instantly felt unfashionable.
I’ve spent some time today rationalizing with myself that love is in the eye of the beholder, and that fashion standards shouldn’t apply with true love.
But the inner conflict rages on. I took off those REI pants to change into those skinny jeans when I left the house to go out in public and the act of doing so was accompanied with simultaneous feelings of defeat and glory. Defeat for giving in to the fashion trend, and glory for looking so much less dumpy.
When I plan the skinny jeans bonfire party, I’ll send out a mass invitation. It’s going to be fabulous, an event to remember. We can channel the women who came before us who burned their bras, and we can all wear our favorite house pants. We can lament over the nagging, ever-constant pressure to look “good” and scorn whoever sets those absurd trends standards anyway. We can eat brownies. We can uncross our knees when we sit. We can cackle while the jeans burn, burn, burn.
You know I’m only halfway kidding.