Spoiler alert: This is not a rant about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It’s not a rant about how we sleep at night with starving children in Sudan. It’s not a rant about Trump or politics or congress folk or the environmental value of wind turbines.
This is what has annoyed the heck out of me this week. (Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s a multi-year feud.) And it’s utterly trivial–and utterly important in its own trivial way.
Are you ready? Jeans. Jeans have caused me no end of grief recently. Do you remember the days when you traipsed into your favorite JC Penney’s or Yonker’s or Kohl’s and grabbed your Levis or Lees or Riders and delightedly hurried up to the cashier to purchase?
I can never remember a moment like that. All my life I’ve suffered attempting to buy jeans that will actually FIT. And it’s only worsened by 100%. The way things are going I’ll be stuck in the house all winter with Nothing to Wear. And winter is just around the corner, some folks say, now that August is taking a bow.
OK, here’s the latest scoop on Doomsday. I have lost a lot of weight since digestive troubles hit last winter. All intended, mind you. It’s actually a good thing, a thing to celebrate. I was at my highest around Groundhog’s Day, not that you’ll ever know what the evil scale said.
Since that fateful day (fat-full day) with a new diet this body has sloughed away 22-23 pounds, depending on what the delightful scale announces. This happened once before back in 2005 when we started a macrobiotic diet to try & heal my ailing gallbladder. I remember feeling zippity doo dah back then! And now it’s 2018 and the old girl is dancing happily in her skinnier incarnation, feeling that blessed energy zing. (Not to say she’s 100% digestively healed, mind you, because she’s not. But she’s maybe 75%.)
OK, the rant gains momentum…
At Book Club last week Nancy said, “Get yourself a new pair of jeans, Kathy! Those are falling off you!”
Darn it all. Those were my last pair of almost-fitting jeans. Now it would be necessary to travel to a nearby big city to find some. And History shook her finger at me. “You won’t be able to find jeans,” History leered, “You’re hopeless at finding jeans.”
But I was young and excited this morning and roared off to Marquette to shop. Surely goodness and mercy would follow me today!
First stop: Kohl’s. You look around the store, ready to find your perfect pair of jeans. However, 75% of the jeans boast shredded and ripped holes. New style, you know, as you’re not completely a woods hermit. However, you do not want shredded jeans. Move on. You want Mom jeans. Google says that Mom jeans are a style of jeans considered unfashionable or unflattering. I find that a very inaccurate portrayal! Mom jeans are perfectly stylish. All moms know that.
You grab a handful of jeans–maybe a dozen–and waltz toward the dressing room.
Disappointment #1: How can a person lose over 20 pounds and still not fit in the next lowest size? I have been wearing a size 12 for ten years. I grabbed sizes 8-12. Do you think ANY of the size 10’s would fit? Oh no. Would any size 12’s fit? Oh no. Somehow this body must be stuck in the la-la land of in-between. Which, in my case, is always where I am. In between everything. I couldn’t pull the size 8 up over my thighs. Some of the morning’s high hopes fizzled away…
Disappointment #2: Boot cut jeans. Do you realize what boot cut jeans mean? They mean if you wear sandals or sneakers–don’t even pick them off the rack. These jean bottoms wander down below your ankles and bunch by your toes. If you don’t own snappy-dappy boots, leave ’em on the shelf.
Disappointment #3: Spandex. Oh, don’t get me going about Spandex. Everyone seems to love this material, insisting that it stretches gently to encompass sagging bellies, rounded hips and bulging thighs. Every single time I buy a pair of jeans sporting 1-2% Spandex, by Day #2 the crotch hangs low and the waist dances. Laundry becomes a daily affair! Can’t a person buy a pair of jeans without Spandex? (See, the rant is going strong now.)
Disappointment #4: Skinny jeans. Why I even tried on skinny jeans is beyond understanding. Skinny jeans wrap your calves so securely you can’t even pull them on. Note: Kathy, you will never wear skinny jeans. Leave ’em to the teenage crowd.
Disappointment #5: Relaxed and loose simply don’t fit, either. I WANT CLASSIC JEANS! Aren’t there classic jeans anywhere? WHERE ARE THE STYLISH MOM JEANS? (And don’t tell me to order on-line. I don’t want to send back a dozen pair in an attempt to find a size that fits.)
I noticed a jean called “Boyfriend” but decided a happily married woman should just leave that well enough alone.
Finally zipped across the road to Goodwill. Perhaps the Universe might smile–pretty please?–and provide said jeans. I tried on another eight, nine, ten. No fit, no fit, no fit.
Suddenly a ray of hope dawned! OK, these size 10 jeans didn’t fit perfectly–they slung lower on the hips than preferred. They might fall off if I lose another five pounds. But they would do for the next 50 degree day. I could go out in public this fall without public disapproval ! And they didn’t cost an arm and a leg–the sign said $5.99!
I scurried to the checkout, clutching the blue jeans as if they were gold.
“That will be $2.99,” said the chirpy sales clerk. “They’re on sale today.”
End one thousand word rant. It feels so good to rant sometimes, doesn’t it? (And this amuses part of me so much!) With love from the seat of my pants, Kathy
P.S. This was my lunch today. And I ate the WHOLE THING!
I love going to Goodwill and Salvation Army! I’ve had decent luck at Old Navy when they’re doing one of their 1/2 off jeans sales. The “curvy girl” jeans seem to fit me and my curves.
Oh lucky you, Juli! We don’t have an Old Navy around here. I think I tried on curvy yesterday…if so, those didn’t work either. Will take your comment into account and try another pair again the next time. IF there is a next time, lol.
Congrats on finding “real” jeans! And they look wonderful on you in the GoodWill photo. I love this post. 😊
Thank you, Dor. Well it was certainly fun to write! I ranted (humorously) in my head all the way home from Goodwill!
Gee, you’d think if you were a size 12 forever and you lost 20+ pounds you’d definitely be an 8. But what do I know about sizes. I’m glad you found one pair that you can live with. I would never have thought to look at Goodwill…good idea! I’ll think about it now! Especially at that price!
Geez, wouldn’t a person think that? I am still miffed–lol! Yes, it seems like when a person is a challenged clothes shopper Goodwill can come to the rescue. Give it a try!
I sooo feel your pain, but love your funny rant! Ok, now here’s what you do: jot down the brand, style number and size of those wonderful jeans you found at Goodwill (they look great on you, by the way); do a search on the style number in your web browser, hoping you get a hit on some retailer like Amazon; order as many as you can afford.
Been there, done that. Been wearing the same Lee’s for years, the ONLY pair that fits.
Shirley, that is very good advice! I am not sure I LOVE these new jeans that much yet. Will wear them a few times before deciding. Also–just looked–it appears someone has washed these jeans a few time and it’s hard to discern the exact style number. Sigh… By the way, I have had a pair of Lee’s that I loved too. Where oh where have they disappeared? *smile*
I have had a similar struggle with jeans that never fit well. I have a medium frame with no waist to speak of, short stature and no hips or rear end to be vexed by. Finally, I found “True Shape Favorite Fit” jeans from L L Bean. I can’t order directly off the website and get the exact right size. It took customer service and several returns to finally get a standard. But I am very happy to finally have jeans that actually fit.
Deb, this is so interesting reading all our trials and tribulations about jean shopping! Smiling that you have no hips or rear ends to be vexed by. Oh our precious different-shaped bodies! Glad you’ve finally found yourself a fitting pair of jeans.
Most of my life it was an impossible dream.
I’m so happy for you! Here’s to mom jeans! 🙂
Chuckled out loud, Barbara. Because you didn’t commiserate, perhaps you’ve had more success than the rest of us!
Love you in your jeans. I shop at a used clothing store called Valu Village. I can always find old fashioned jeans that fit if I’m prepared to try on 10 pair. lol
Glad you found your perfect jeans
Sounds like you’re familiar with the 10 pair try-on challenge, Sybil. Your shop sounds great! Not sure yet if these are my perfect jeans, but they will at least “make do” for a while.
While you are loosing weight, my girth is growing. A year or so ago, standard jeans felt like they were cutting me in half, and not because the rest of the jeans were too small – just that darn waist with the zipper and button, which fell not at my waist, but below. Because “that’s the style”. So I bought jeans with a “comfort” waistband for more money than I wanted to spend – and yes, they are comfortable. But they also like to slip a little so I spend the day tugging them up. Enter daughter and her love for leggings – comfort, at last, and as long as I wear a long tunic, not shamefully embarrassing. The jeans you found look good on you – into each life must a victory fall.
Carol, you sound like me last winter. My girth kept growing then, too. And your challenges with too tight & slippages sound right on! As for leggings, this is the part of the story I didn’t add–found a pair at Kohl’s that are halfway between tight leggings and jogging pants. They’re black and feel so comfy. Wore them to town yesterday with a longer tunic. Perhaps these will become the “new jeans”??
I can relate! I actually like the “boyfriend” cut but these days they crop them and rip them which I do not like. Sigh.
Goodwill to the rescue
Celeste, maybe I should have actually tried on the boyfriend cut! The ones that caught my eye didn’t have the rips. Learning something new every day… 🙂
I am 5 foot 10 and all legs. Wal mart only carrys long Jean’s size 10 and above….I wear 7. So I have to go buy at least 50 dollar jeans at the western stores and I comb through thrift stores hoping to find the unique 7 36 long Jean’s for a deal! I’m with you on no holes and I refuse skinny ankles blech!
Oh my Countrymama, it sounds like you have jeans challenges too! You probably could wear boot cut with your height. Good luck to all of us!
Well the jeans look great, and that salad looks delicious!! I could eat the whole thing!
Hey, thanks, Barb. So I ordered that chopped salad with chicken, avocados, and bacon (no blue cheese) and sat outdoors overlooking the harbor in Marquette at a place called Iron Bay. Told the server: “You’ll need to bring a box, I couldn’t possibly eat all of this.” But guess what! Every last bit down the hatch. Sure was good!
Kathy — Welcome to my world. A huge proponent of recycle-upcycle-repurposing, I buy (almost, not quite) all of my clothes in resale shops. People turn in perfectly good clothing; I’ve purchased items with the ticket still on them!
Laurie, I’m with you on this. Resale shops can be the best! (Even for an oft-disgruntled shopper like myself.) I only went to Kohl’s first because they sent a $5 off coupon. Don’t you love the feeling that you’re recycling the planet’s precious energy when you shop at resale?
Oh Kathy! I’m so glad you found a pair of jeans that will tide you over for now! And wow what a bonus to find a pair with that price! Buying clothes has been a major ordeal for me over the last several years and nope….no jeans for me anymore. But maybe that will change now (ever so slowly) because I finally have a way to see a doctor! Maybe…..just maybe….shhhh…don’t say it too loud…..I might be able to resume gardening and walking eventually!!!! I don’t want to get my hopes up…and will take things one teeny tiny step at a time now. Congratulations on your weight loss, and your improvement in health!!! I’ve been praying for you everyday lately! ❤
Brenda, I’ll bet you have been challenged with clothes shopping over the past few years. Don’t know how you’ve been able to successfully do it! So VERY thrilled that there is some hope with possibly seeing a new doctor. And to think you might get a little more active life back! Teeny tiny steps are OK for now. Thank you so much for your continued prayers.
Wow – you look like a teenager in those new jeans! I can’t stand the ripped look and only a skinny minnie teen looks good in the skinny jeans. I have 2 pair of jeans (blue and black) that fit me great (I do like a little spandex but was warned by the sales person not to put them in dryer or the stretch will wear out). I wear those jeans with a nice top even when going out to a good restaurant for dinner. (If you live in cowboy country that’s OK…) I also have a couple pair of old jeans that are too big but very comfortable – I wear those around the house. I’m hoping I just maintain the weight I am so I never have to buy another pair of jeans again. BTW, I also live in black Yoga pants (Lands End) – I’ve had mine for years (not tight – a more relaxed fit), and they’re as comfortable as PJ’s to wear plus look fine in public. (Can you believe how many parentheses and exclamation points I used!)
Barb, smiling at your parentheses and exclamation points. I like ’em. It always feels like you need them to tell the understory. As for looking like a teenager…girlfriend! You need new glasses! (ha ha ha ha) So interesting about all our jean challenges. We Yoopers where jeans & a nice shirt when going out to dinner too. Today’s latest problem: I have no OLD pair of jeans now. The last pair went in the trash. So need to scrounge up another old pair for gardening, hanging around the house, wood stacking.
“…but I was young and excited this morning…” is the MOST perfect line! I have mornings like that, even in this much-older-than-you body! Mornings of good hope and good cheer, when the world does not seem able to oppress with creaking joints and other signs of age, when I feel strong and confidant and capable. Like you, I would set forth, certain that – for once – belly rolls, fat thighs and shortness would not get in the way of a fun day of shopping. I’m so glad it turned out! And you look fantastic, by the way! I’m glad the weight loss is accompanied by feeling better and resolving health issues. Onward!
I laughed when writing that line too, Cindy. You are right! First thing in the morning–sometimes–we just feel so young and alive and filled with zings of energy. Other times of day…not so much. One of my last inner “temper tantrums” occurred when trying to buy a dress for my niece’s wedding in Hawaii. I was so annoyed leaving the Penney dressing rooms that the smoke was coming out of these ears! 🙂
Let Barry pick out the jeans for you!
JOHN! What are you uttering? Good Lord! Just ask Jenny if she wants YOU to pick out her jeans! 🙂
About the jeans. Well, I gave up on Penney’s, Walmart, Sears, and thrift stores. The jeans were all either boot leg or dropped waist or, skinny legs. I had jeans by Lee (3 pair) from 8-10 years ago and they were simple straight leg jeans. I had even applied patches to the knees on these very faded and down right ragged pants. They were looking really bad about 5 years ago so I finally had to put them in the trash. When I became desperate, I was forced to shop at Dillard’s for I knew the store carried some very good jeans but at a hefty price of around 110 bucks at that time fro NYDJ. Levi brand is about $50, don’t remember exactly. I also knew that NYDJ and Levi were brands they carried. I just did not want to spend that much money on jeans. But I relented because jeans are my uniform except for weddings and funerals. I bought Levi and NYDJ and I have never been sorry, Those pants fit the best of any jean I could have possibly worn. NYDJ will fit just about any size figure. Save up some money and treat yourself, You’ll be glad you did. Honest to Pete.
Kathy, I am so glad that you are on your way to getting healthy again. It is a struggle I am sure. I don’t know if gluten is an issue for you or not but it sure was a problem for me, 8-10 years ago. It caused awful fatigue, itching and intestinal symptoms for me. I very rarely eat anything gluten and can sometimes eat a cookie at holiday time. I miss baking a lot but I have discovered gluten free flour mix and will give that a try, maybe,
My goodness, Yvonne, I am utterly fascinated by everyone’s jean challenges! I am glad that you’ve found a brand that you like. However, do not know what NYDJ might be. We have so few clothing stores left in the Upper Peninsula. A person would have to travel downstate or go to Wisconsin to find these.
Yes, the health issues have been a challenge. The comprehensive lab test did not show any huge intolerance for gluten, but I am slowly slowly testing adding different foods. Ate quinoa a couple weeks ago and was sick the next morning. (But that could have been from other factors.) So yesterday had another small bit of quinoa. No problems this morning. This is going to be a work-in-progress. Thank you for your concern. Glad you have been able to pinpoint your own gluten challenges.
Enjoying Yvonne’s reply. In case you didn’t know, NYDJ stands for not your daughters jeans. However, my mothers jeans (as well as my daughter’s) have always been cooler than my jeans! 🧐 Glad you’re at least 75% and working out the kinks so that you can feel hundred percent soon. XO
Thanks for the NYDJ explanation, Pam!
Now this is hilarious, Kathy. You know, if I’m not working, I’m in jeans. No one ever has to ask, “What are you going to wear?” They already know the answer.
I agree on the spandex stretch. What us that all about?! My hipless self had the most jean success when I lived in France. Apparently, French women are hipless, too. Maybe there’s a country out there with women built like you where you could fly to for your jeans. 😉
It is kinda funny, isn’t it Stacy? I had to laugh about sixteen times ranting in my head about jeans! So GLAD to hear I’m not alone about the Spandex stretch problem. But I have bigger hips–how come we have the same problem with the big S? OK, like your idea that there’s a country out there somewhere where the Magic Jean Fit lives. 🙂
I can relate to this post! Skinny jeans?! Not for me. I laughed because I can’t get them on either. Lee relaxed fit jeans are the only ones that fit me right. Now I live near a Lee outlet and have even found short ones so I don’t need to hem them! The clearance rack is a gold mine. When I can get a pair of jeans for less than $10 it’s a great feeling! Your photo is great. Those jeans are meant for you and such a deal! You look great.
Sherrie, it sure was funny (disheartening?) trying on those skinny creatures! Seems like I used to wear Lee relaxed fit, too. But couldn’t find anything appropriate the other day, that’s for sure. Sometimes it would be nice to live around an outlet mall–or any place with a larger selection. Glad you liked the photo. I was trying to make something positive out of the crazy jean day!
I share your pain, Kathy. All our shops stock ripped and torn jeans, which look like crap. Honestly, why would anyone *pay* for ripped jeans? A few years ago when both of us needed jeans to replace our well-worn, shapeless and torn ones, we went to a huge shopping mall, and spent half a day going to all the clothing shops and trying on different sizes and styles, and NONE of them fit – unbelievably, neither hubby nor I walked out with a pair of jeans that day. Since SA started importing cheap crap clothes from China a few decades ago, decimating our once thriving local clothing industry, the size numbers have become totally screwy. A few months ago, we went to a nearby supermarket, which has a cheap clothing section, and hubby was astounded to find a pair of jeans that fit – so I made him buy one in dark blue, and another in black. The ladies section’s jeans were awful, so after much frustration, I tried on his – and they fit! So I bought two for me too – one size smaller than his! Who knew that the men’s cut would fit me better than the women’s?! No doubt, though, this style will disappear in a month or two, and we’ll never find it again. But I’ll remember for next time – try on the men’s sizes! 😀
I am laughing out loud reading how you guys both found a solution to this awful jean challenge, Reggie. Good for you! I have never thought about trying on men’s jeans. That may be a whole new horizon. This is so funny, how so many people have issues with our jeans. 🙂
My mom has always bragged that she bought her jeans at gap kids. That just made me mad – there’s no way I’d fit into a gap kids jean. 🤨
I also think it was funny how you in America – the Land of the Jeans! – have such problems. I thought it was only us.
Reggie, how funny! Oh no, things are not always bright and promising in America, I can assure you that!
Don’t discard the Boyfriend Jeans without trying them on. I’ve had good luck with them. Enjoyed this read, as usual. Yay for sucessful Good Will Hunting!
Gotta love Goodwill, Janet! I am vowing to try on those Boyfriend Jeans next time. I thought they sounded too teeny-bopper, but was obviously being too hasty and judgmental. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
You crack me up – and how do you manage to convey so exactly the frustrations of shopping for pants? Though, I didn’t realize the whole trans thing (referring to the first picture 🙂
Glad you found this funny, Sherry. As for the whole trans thing…what the heck did I do? I just grabbed a random picture in my files–from when we were in Italy in 2007–and thought it that I would soon be naked if I couldn’t find a pair of jeans. LOL!
I can’t stop laughing. Kathy your blog posts are always great but I didn’t realize that you had such an amazing sense of humor. I have already gone through this rant years ago. And then I got my feelings hurt when my daughter told me I was wearing mom jeans. The thing that saved me was Jag jeans, they don’t have a waistband! It’s stretch at the waist! For me, I can wear these jeans and strut around as if I’m 20. Which in my head, I am! 😍
Good morning! Your comment has got me thinking about writing humorously. I used to do it quite often–back in the 2011-13 blogging era maybe? People seemed to really like the funny ones. The problem is that I can’t write funny on demand. I can only write funny when that energy comes up. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes in the past have felt so bad because it feels like a good part of this blogging audience would just like to see funny. Or real life adventures in the U.P. Or anything but spiritual la de da blogs–although a certain percentage of people like those, too. Maybe Life is like jeans. We can’t just settle on one brand and size. Life is always changing… xoxoxo
See? You’re brilliant AND funny. “Life is like jeans – can’t settle on one brand or size.” And life, like jeans, fits differently at different times of our lives.
I agree, we can’t ‘drum up’ humor whenever we want. It depends on the subject. I certainly don’t/ can’t “do” humor, although at times people laugh at what I say. Oops. Don’t write “humor” or “spiritual” or “real life,” Kathy. Just write what comes to you. It is always perfect in my mind. xo
Love your answer. Perfect!!
You are true and so fun!!! Love this and you! Shine on across the road!!
You are making me laugh, Clare. Glad you enjoyed this little “shining”!!
You’re not alone I’m still a teen and have that problem.
I guess it’s a universal thing, then. We’re all in this together! Thanks for stopping by & sharing your own jean challenges… 🙂
OH! I thought I was the only one AND i am allergic (life threateningly allergic) to spandex and latex! Just being near it to attempt that TRY ON is most horrid and the cotton jeans i find are in the hundreds of dollars! I’m cheap and financially poor. Who spends more than 30 buck for jeans and THOSE are the special name brand splurge ones?! lol
Once in a while I find ‘safe’ pair at a used place and then i can’t get the stink/scent off of them. WHO drycleans jeans?!?! Also scent stuff of death! Thanks for sharing this Kathy!
Oh my goodness, Elisa, I have never thought of someone being so allergic to spandex! How utterly challenging, especially when so many of the jeans have it in them these days. And I also know what you mean about the stink or scent of clothes in used places. We’re all crazed by jeans shopping in some (or many) ways it seems!
You’ve hit the issue right smack in the bullseye!
This is exactly why I gave up on “real” jeans several years ago. Jeggings worn with mid-thigh tunics or flowy blouses have become my go-to gear when T-shirts and yoga pants are too casual. I can even dress them up in the winter months with a nice pair of boots and a fashionable scarf.
Sunny, those jeggings seem like a perfect answer to this challenge. I bought a pair of Sonoma’s that are part leggings/part jogging pants and I love them. Thanks for sharing!