Tackling fashion, Nem-style

Because I am a woman of my word (mostly) and because I am just that danged grateful that people responded to my plea for blog fodder, I am tackling the first question/request today. This one came from the lovely Jenny-who-is-not-my-sister-Jenny-but-still-kind-of-is-my-Sister-in-a-cosmic-sense:

How about opine-ing on womens' jeans and fashion in general... I was told recently that women (me) should NOT be wearing jeans that fit too snuggly across their behinding areas. I didn't know exactly how to feel about that, as I don't generally think about how tightly the fabric is fitting in that sitting area, if it doesn't impede with my daily run-around, or if I'm not thinking 'oh my, these things are stopping my ability to bend, reach or sit.'

First off, I need to say here that I hate shopping for jeans with a strong, burning, white-hot hate. This is why when, in 2005, I finally found a pair of jeans that looked awesome on me at Old Navy, I went out and bought three pair. Seriously, they were fabulous. They were slimming, short enough for my short little leg-stubs, didn't do that awful gape open in the back at the waist thing (which I hate soooo much) and made my butt look pretty much good enough to eat.

And then they all developed holes on the right knee. Please do not ask me what kind of silly walk I am doing to cause that. Unwilling to part with my jeans, I went out and bought patches to place under the holes/worn/wearing spots, except the patches make this funny rectangular outline on the knee and now everyone who sees me in them thinks, "Hey, cute butt. Too bad she has that freaky square robot knee under there. It's probably an artificial limb. Which, actually, would also explain the odd walk. I just won't say anything."

And, and, since 2005 stupiddumb Old Navy has completely redesigned all their jeans with stupid names like Princess and Diva and Crack Whore and they are all different now and aren't the same and I hate them all and spit on them every time my wooden leg and I go in the store. Humph.

Sorry. Okay. This isn't about me. I'm just saying, I feel the frustration with the jeans.

Now, without seeing Jenny's denimned behinding area, it's kind of hard to imagine what her advisor is speaking about here with the "too tight". Because if they are trying to make you walk around with Saggy Butt, then they are no friend of yours. They are actually your enemy, and you should maybe eliminate them before they can play more mind games. I recently bought a pair of Lucky brand jeans at DownEast Outfitters that make my booty look great--for exactly one day. And then the fabric over my heiny stretches out and creates a saggy, wretched abomination where a formerly cute bottom once resided. Which means that I practically have to both wash and dry them every time I wear them, which then causes me unbelievable carbon guilt. So yeah, you definitely don't want that. And I would think, Jenny, that if your jeans were too terribly snug then they would not be comfortable and you wouldn't be able to move and you wouldn't like the way they looked or felt. Which, like you said, you would be aware of.

Now . . . um . . . here's the other alternative. This may just be someone's way of saying that you need new jeans. Are yours several years old? Is it possible that some of them are maybe getting too small? Do they have pleats in the front or tapers on the bottom? Or do they maybe fit you in such a way as to give you the Dreaded Muffin Top?

Or, is it possible that they are. . . dun dun duuuun . . . Mom Jeans?

If yes to the Mom Jeans question, please burn them immediately.
They make everyone's butt look about 20 sizes bigger and are a tool of the devil.

Now, if you can honestly answer No to all those questions, and if you feel good in your jeans and you like them and they look cute on you, then forget what anyone else says.

But if you answered yes (especially to the Mom Jeans question) or are maybe wavering on some of the others, it wouldn't hurt to have a quick look.
Try guides like this one from www.ilovejeans.com to see what sort of features work best with your body type.

Maybe look into a couple of mid-rise (not so much with the low-rise) options to cure the Mom Jeans sickness. If you do buy jeans that sit lower on your hips, make sure they're not so tight as to induce The Muffin Top. While integrating lower jeans into your wardrobe, you'll want to do the mirror test where you raise arms/squat down/bend over, etc. to be extra, extra sure you're covered. Some of your tops will not be long enough anymore, but that's where Shade Clothing and DownEast and all those other people come in. Plus, hi, your kids will be happy to point out any gappage for you, I'm sure.

Note: Please do not go jeans-shopping on a day when you are cranky, rushed, tired, bloated, or have other people with you, like children or husbands or skinnier friends. (During my last trip I had GH sitting in the car listening to his iPod and sighing over How I Waste His Life. Only he doesn't even realize how good he has it, because it's not like I demanded that he wait in the store and offer an opinion on each pair I tried on. Count those blessings, friend.)

Do it instead when you have some time to yourself and perhap have sexy toenails or very good hair. These will help offset the Dressing Room Experience, because for sure you will try on 1 or 2 or 25 that look awful in your quest for the ones that look stunningly great. Also, do not trust sizes since pretty much every brand is different. Size means nothing. And please remind yourself that even if a pair of jeans look so bad on you that you want to vomit in your mouth, this is not your body's problem. Those jeans were just made for someone else, that's all. I know that I, personally, would one day like to meet the little giraffe girl for which pretty much every pair of jeans I try on were meant. And when I do so help me I will dump a mountain of jeans on her head and yell, "HERE. These are YOURS, so stop leaving them around for ME to try on, ho!"

It'll be a great day.


Nemesis said... [reply]

Yeah, it's me again, but I forgot something. Real Simple has a bunch of articles online about choosing jeans, so you may want to check them out. Also, since I'm a shortie my problem is generally that jeans are too long. A smart thing to do if they fit everwhere else would be to go get them hemmed. Also, think about what shoes you'll mostly be wearing them with so that you don't go too short or too long. And now I'm done.

Jenny said... [reply]

You are the hilarious fashion-goddess of jean-wear. That's the best belly-buster I've had before 7am. ever. I'll share this post with my other blogging friends (if you're not oppposed) with whom I've just had this little chat about jeans. Gracias and Merci.

Jenny said... [reply]

Oh. and actually some very helpful tips in there, too. The mom-jeans? Too much. Killed me. In my mom-ly state, I do think I have managed to avoid hanging on to anything remotely similar to THOSE beauties... And yes, it is time to go shopping for jeans. If I can work up the courage to do it. My man who-I-love actually offered to TAKE me. And I declined that once-in-a-hardly-ever offer of a lifetime. How did I do that? And now thanks. again.

Nookleerman said... [reply]

I just wanted to give a shout out to GH.

-fist raised in defiance-

I feel your pain, man.

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

I've been trying to find a new pair of jeans since the beginning of November when the perfect pair split. The perfect style no longer existed at the store I preferred, and it seems I am now in between sizes at every other store. I'm also losing weight at a fairly steady pace right now, so the one pair I found that did fit I couldn't justify spending $70 on if it's not going to fit for long.

I finally went to an outlet mall, got a pair that's now a little too big and inherited a hand-me-down pair from my roommate.

We are not pleased. I'm still looking.

jeri said... [reply]

I don't know where you're finding all of these giraffe-girl jeans but you need to quit dumping them on people and leave them on the shelves where I can find them. Seriously, out of an entire department store I can rarely find one pair that is long enough. Plus all the other must-haves, like good color, flared-legs, and not-gaping-in-the-back. I had The Perfect Pair of Jeans from Express that I wore until they were made of more holes than actual fabric and held together with patches, zig-zag stitches and pixie-dust. Thank heavens for stores that started sizing their jeans in Short, Regular and Long.

daltongirl said... [reply]

The current mom-but-not-mom jeans I love are the Gloria Vanderbilt ones from Costco. They are comfortable, not-high rise, and as excellent looking as can be expected on me. The only problem is that you have to take them home to try them on, and then take them back when they don't fit. But you get it eventually.

I think the rule of thumb for butt tightness should be whether or not an observer can see a defined butt crack, and by that I
refer not only to the height of the waistband, but whether or not the jeans outline the entirety, including the depth, of one's butt crack. There should be a slight indent in the middle--anything more is obscene. And, let's be honest, painful.

Edgy said... [reply]

This is a non-jeans related comment:

Before accepting the critic's comment about the snugness of her jeans, Jenny should ask said critic for his or her thoughts on the appropriateness of women using single-strap bags to carry their books on campus. Because if the critic is of the opinion that women should not use single-strap bags as they enhance the breasts and create immoral thoughts in men's heads, the critic's opinion is invalid and she should eliminate the critic on the spot. (And by eliminate, I mean exterminate. Assuming she can do so without getting caught.)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Oooooh, Edgy, I remember those days at BYU. I also remember how I bit off and ate the head of a girl who made a vague comment indicating that the boys might be in the right. Ugh. Ugh, Ugh, UGH.

Gretchen said... [reply]

Yah, seriously does anyone not have the "back fat factor" problem? Who exactly are all these jeans made for that have a huge gap in the back for all your back fat? I don't usually gain in my back...

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

I remember those BYU comments too! Gah! There are two of them. Not one. Deal!

Roxie said... [reply]

Why should buying such a fashion staple be so frustrating! I found a pair that actually fits 3 years ago and bought two pair because I never find a pair that fits. Now one of them is wearing a bit too thin at the crotch and the zipper on the other has decided it likes to open whenever it feels like it.

Jeans are either too short, too big, too low (no thank you on showing my crack), too bedazzled. It's a nightmare!

I shall have to try the good hair day and cute toe nails next time. That might help a bit.

Pie said... [reply]

ooh, Edgy, I agree 100%! I still get riled up at that nonsense.

I love that we agonize over buying the perfect pair of jeans and then wear them until they are aching to be put to rest- because last I checked jeans that are coming apart at the seams don't look any better than a new pair with a back gap.

However, I do it too. Once we think a pair looks good on us, we will wear them until they really really don't. I can never find jeans that don't bunch around my ankles- I'm with you on the giraffe girl jeans!

And amen on the not going when you are rushed- Jenny, if you had taken the man you love jean shopping with you, its possible he would have begun following you around huffing, then you would have quickly grabbed some things you might possibly have liked but none of them fit quite right, but he is too impatient to wait anymore and you leave annoyed without buying anything, and he leaves annoyed because he just went through the whole ordeal for nothing.

Jonathon said... [reply]

I just wanted to say that I love the double entendre in Crack Whore.

Audra and Levi said... [reply]

I have a Long waist and short legs... therefore low rise short jeans means I have to find rare overlong shirt, which is imposisble, though it is coming back in style! Woo-hoo!

Love the "mom jeans"! I shall never wear them! I shall be 50 and still trying to be a hot momma and hopefully my kids will never let me wear a vest. The embarassing thing mom's did in my day (and I think some still do) is buy sweaters with sewed of teddy bears and beads and stuff. The Christmas ones were particularly ghastly!

coolmom said... [reply]

It only gets worse. But the stinging truth is, for a price, you can find them.

Desmama said... [reply]

Why do I feel like you wrote this just for me? I do wish I could find some good jeans as mine do tend to slouch in the, er, behind, but I have yet to. *Sigh*

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

Don't know how many of you will read this, but I loved this post and all the comments! However, I think the original commentor on Jenny's jeans might have been one of those women-should-only-wear-dresses believers. Because pants, especially tight jeans, outline the crotch, and heaven knows, we don't want men looking at that!

I am an over-50 mom and I don't wear mom jeans. I have found the Lee ones at the outlet in Draper off I-15 (I go there every time I'm in Zion and I always find something) with the bias-cut waistband to fit very well. A little stretch helps denim hug the backside, but you don't want your jeans to look sprayed on.

My daughters like Seven for All Mankind, but they cost over $100. Gotta admit, though, they look fabulous. (My daughters are tall and long-legged, which helps, but try some at Nordstrom and you will see what I mean. Then you can look for the same fit in less-expensive styles.)

AmiZOOKey said... [reply]

I am tall with a small waist and going completely by the jeans fashions available it would seem that only short girls are skinny. Same for swimwear - I have a long body - apparently if you have a long body you must be at least a size 14 :P

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