Friday, February 11, 2011

Shopping for jeans

I forgot how incredibly difficult it is to shop for jeans. I bought my two pairs of Ralph Lauren "Lauren" jeans (Lauren is his plus size line) probably 5 years ago and have worn them almost completely out. One has a cut on the lower pant leg from sitting on a stage and catching a nail and the other has some tiny holes on some of the seams from just plain being worn out. Those jeans I picked up at Marshall's or TJ maxx for about $30 or so each and they fit me well which is why I have two pair. Besides now getting very worn out, they are way too big. I cannot wear 'that size' 20W any more. I have a black pair of size 18 jeans that I will wear, but the pair of pants I pulled out yesterday are thin dress weight and WAY too long. The other 18 pants are also black and a thinner weight. It's winter, I want something warmer! I need BLUE jeans.

First, I looked in Marshall's. I grabbed 3 pairs of Size 18s or 18Ws. The first pair was Lee jeans. I couldn't even pull them up over my hips and then I realized they were low rise. Low rise. WHO can wear a low rise jean? Can any overweight woman wear a low rise jean? Oh, yes, I see women wearing them, but they look awful in them if they have ANY belly fat at all as it rolls above it and the back of the pants slip down leaving a slight plumber's backside look. I constantly see chubbier women hiking their low rise jeans back up every time they stand up and sometimes when they're walking. In my opinion, the only people who can wear low rise jeans are thin or fit people. On them, wow, it's sexy and very attractive. Thin men look great in them too. Like my son looks great in them, but he's nearly 6 foot and only weights 135 pounds!

So, I try on the second pair of jeans. This pair is like a cross between a low rise and regular rise jean. They look 'ok' as I'm short waisted, but I felt a bit self-conscious with a roll of blubber showing over top (I don't usually have rolls if pants fit properly), but with a heavier shirt, it's OK. Their bigger problem was that the back pockets were half on my thigh and half on my butt, it made my butt look like it was all saggy and from behind it was incredibly unflattering. So, the third pair. Normal rise. normal pocket placement, but the legs of the pant are flared a bit. Oh boy, another thing I can't wear and only the tall can wear well or someone who is small enough on top, waist and hips to get away with a bit of width at the bottom. On me, the flare of the pants make me look very squat and stubby. And I feel like a fat slob in them.

So, out of curiosity, I look through the racks of 16s and 14s. Nearly everything is low rise with flared pants or boot leg cut. Why??? And if it isn't, they are super skinny jeans with lots of spandex and again, who can wear those?

Isn't it interesting that we as a nation are getting more and more obese, yet the jeans we where or can buy, the staple of America's wardrobe, only look good on thin, fit and tall women?

So, I went to Goodwill. I figured there I might find some straight cut jeans or slightly tapered jeans that are more flattering and hopefully have a normal rise in the torso too. But would I even be able to find plus size jeans?

Well, the Goodwill of yesteryear is not the same as the Goodwills of today. I've bought new shoes with original tags on them in current styles. The store is jammed pack with all sizes and it's fairly well organized too. It's clean and friendly and FULL of people of all types. No longer is it embarassing to say, "I bought this at Goodwill". Well, maybe for some people they find it awful to buy secondhand, but not me.

I found the plus size racks and there are hundreds of plus size jeans mostly in 14s through 18s. One 20 and one 24. I looked through the racks twice to be sure I didn't miss anything. The first thing that caught my eye was a cute light weight, jean looking type pant, but not quite a pair of jeans. I see who made them and see it's Lily Pulitzer. I knwo they are good quality, so I decide to check those out. Then I found an 18W Eddie Bauer, an 18 LLBean and an 18P Liz Claiborne and on the second time through, after trying on the other two, a size 20P LLBean.

The 18W Eddie Bauer was so tight in my thigh, I couldn't even pull them up. The 18 LLBean was so tight over the hips, and no way to button and zip them. Um, no! So much for thinking I was wearing 18s! However, the 18P Liz Claiborne jeans fit fine, a tad snug and a tad short, but with 5 more pounds, they would be perfect in both directions. Second trip to the fitting room was the size 20P LLbean jeans. they look a lot like my Ralph Lauren jeans, so I thought they would be good, and they are - a perfect fit. I wasn't going to let seeing a size 20 keep me from buying them. If a pant fits and looks better on me, who cares what the label says for size!

Now, notice what two sizes I just got? A size 18P and a size 20P. I am not short and petite. I'm exactly 5 foot, 6 and a half inches tall and I have birthing hips. I am also well proportioned, so I do not have short legs. So, WHY do petites fit me? (Admittedly, at my current hip size/weight, they are about a 1/2 inch too short. But anyone who has ever lost weight knows that lost weight means filling out the pants less, so they hang longer. As these pants are a bit snug, I figure they will fit perfectly within a week or two). What has happened to the inseams of women's pants? The pants I'm wearing now have a 34 inch inseam and I have to roll them up twice to not drag on the floor. Hello? How tall of a woman needs that length? Very tall! My six foot one inch tall husband wears a 34 inch inseam! I also just checked out Lily Pulitzer sizes and guess what, 34 inch inseams. I need a 29 and I'm average height, with standard proportions. What is causing this? Well, I suppose there are enough super tall skinny girls, more than there used to be, but I also think it's the spikey heel trend that is the main reason. You need a slightly longer inseam for 5 inch heels. 5 inch heels? Whatever... not even going to start on that tangent!

Back to those Lily Pulitzer pants. I almost put them back. I felt like getting something smaller, quite a bit smaller was jinxing myself a bit, but they were so cute, I've never been small enough to wear her stuff, I LOVE her stuff. Most of it doesn't fit my body type, but I can find pieces here and there that work. I'm almost 100% positive those jeans will work and for $4.75, I would be a fool not to pick them up as how likely am I to find something like that in my size at that price again?

So, buying jeans was an adventure and I forgot how difficult it was. I've been buying myself so little the last few years, that I truly did forget. The last time I was this size, a friend of a friend gave me like 12 pairs of jeans. Problem with all those jeans were that they were all low rise with flaired legs. For free, I wore them, but as soon as I outgrew them, I donated them as I knew even if I did get smaller, those weren't for my body type.

Ok, I think I blabbered enough about that 2 hour adventure! Who knew I could say so much about blue jeans! Tomorrow I'll talk about my new heart rate monitor! I've used it exactly once!

Quick P.S: just realized those Lily Pulitzer jeans have an original tag on them. Wow! Hope it was that the original owner got too thin for them and not the other way around. Maybe they jinxed themselves too by buying a pair of pants too small for their current size? Eeks! I vow to myself and all of you that I will lose enough weight to wear them and I will post a picture when I do!!!

Stats for 2/11/11:

Weight - Beginning: 255.6  Now: 243.6
Walked it Out in 2011: 132.5
Exerise totals for 2011 in hours:minutes: 37:45

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