Anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows that I like to shop. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I love the shopping in a way that sometimes causes folks to back away from me slowly. I love the thrill of the bargain. I love the chase.
Despite this love affair, I would usually rather set my own hair on fire than go shopping for pants. I was sure I’d written about this before, and it turns out that indeed I did—nearly 2 years ago. Which would be the last time I went looking for pants to cover my (apparently freakish) behind. When I wrote that post, I was spending 99% of my time rotating through 3 identical pairs of jeans which were already getting old. Guess what I’m still wearing?
But this week was going to be different. Oh yes. See, part of my difficulty stems from my unwillingness to pay a lot of a money for things. I’ve become so disgusted with my inability to find pants that accommodate both HIPS and a WAIST that I decided I would go out and with MONEY AS NO OBJECT, come home with a new pair of jeans.
It was easier to make this vow because Otto did some Christmas shopping while he was here and got some “Kohl’s Cash” and let me have it. This is bonus credit they give you towards a future purchase, so I had my FREE MONEY and was determined that I would be able to find something in that large department store that would fit me.
I started off in the clearance section (old habits die hard) and found half a dozen pairs of pants to try on. None of them fit (of course), and I knew I was in trouble when the glory that is nonsensical American sizing reared its ugly head. Sorry, those 4s are too tight. But those 2s are too big. Those 6s? Too small in the thighs, capable of toting several babies in the waistband.
Well. Clearly that’s the reject section, anyway. Moving on to the regular merchandise! Well, they don’t have my size (er, anything that might be my size, I suppose is more accurate) in half the styles that look promising. Another half-dozen pairs of pants came into the fitting room with me. Too tight here, too loose there. I’d moved on to the pants that actually freely admitted they had no idea what size they were: The 7/8 in one style was too small, but the 5/6 in another hung off of me. So I used those to fashion a noose and string myself up in the fitting room as fair warning to other women who dare to hope for reasonable fit. (Not really. But that might’ve been more productive.)
Last stop: The expensive stuff. Another half-dozen pairs. Another round of crushing defeat. Now I am standing in the fitting room, craning around to behold my buttocks in the mirror, searching for some clue as to their freakishness. (They tried to blame it all on my waist, then just pleaded the 5th.)
On What Not To Wear they repeatedly urge “curvy” women such as myself to get things tailored to fit. And that’s a great idea… for everything except jeans, which are usually constructed in such a way that they are not amenable to tailoring without looking crappy.
Twenty-some pairs of pants later, I still had my (expiring) bonus cash, so I did the logical thing: I bought Otto a shirt. I could’ve saved myself an hour and a half of aggravation if I’d just started off by doing that.
(And now you know the truth: The impending move to Georgia has nothing at all to do with getting married or anything like that. It’s simply because I’ve given up on pants and it’s too cold to wear skirts in New England in the winter.)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Tell me what brand of jeans to look for. My current tattered pairs are the Lightweight Straight Leg style from LL Bean (in a size 4 Medium Tall, if that makes a difference) and fit fine but aren’t exactly high fashion. I want something in a dark wash with a straight leg that neither looks like the dog’s been chewing on it nor sports rhinestones or other sparklies. Trouser styling would be a plus. Medium rise (meaning, lower than my belly button, higher than my crotch). And here’s the important part—capable of fitting someone with a, um, rather round backside and a small waist.
Failing that, maybe some of you could send me your babies to cram into my waistband.