Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wrestling With Denim

I was planning to go to the doctor today. On Tuesday it appeared I was having a bronchitis relapse, and my sister, who is a doctor, recommended I pay another visit to a health care provider. However, I started feeling better yesterday, and even met Katie in the Haight last night for Eritrean food at Massawa and cocktails at Club Deluxe. Katie is recovering from bronchitis, herself, so we matched each other residual cough for residual cough.

Then this morning, I felt a lot better. I still have a bit of a cough and a little congestion, but it's nothing like Tuesday and certainly nothing like the height of my illness at Christmas.

So instead of the doctor, I went shopping.

I decided a week or two ago that I wanted a new pair of jeans. A sassier, trendier pair than the Levi's, J. Crew and no-name brand that have inhabited my closet for the last four to five years. I generally only wear the jeans I already own when I'm dressing down for my weekend shifts at work or running to the corner store before showering. I wanted something a little fancier, but still jeans, of course. Since I wear dresses far more frequently than pants of any sort, I had little idea where to buy trendy jeans. I do recall my friend Gabriella mentioning Lucky Brand Jeans, and she spent years working in fashion. So she should know. I strode into the nearby Lucky Brand Jeans store on my way to the gym this afternoon, prepared to quickly pick out the perfect pair and fast be on my way to the weight machines, elliptical trainer and steam room.

Not so fast.

Now, I am a thin woman. Believe me, I was fat as an adolescent; so I know of what I speak. However, I am real person thin, meaning I have hips, thighs, a belly and an ass. I am not catwalk thin, Hollywood actress thin, mainstream pop star thin or any other kind of "thin" that is, in reality, super skinny. Even when appetite loss due to a small bout of depression in late 2002, followed by 7 months of working out with personal trainers in 2003 rendered me The Thinnest I've Ever Been In My Life (and honestly, that was pretty darn thin), I still had hips, thighs, a belly and an ass. They were smaller, but they never went away.

Well, four and a half years and about ten pounds later, at 5'7" I now generally wear a size 8 or 6, depending on the garment, and occasionally a 4 in certain tops and dresses, mostly from Ann Taylor. (Ann sure knows how to retain customers: lure them in with low numbers, and they'll keep coming back. I've got to say, it works on me.) I do believe that these numbers are smaller than what someone of my height and weight would have worn, say, eight or so years ago, before bunches of stores adjusted their sizes. I personally believe manufacturers did that to accommodate the increasingly popular and formerly non-existent (no pun intended) size 0, but I don't know for sure.

Anyway, Lucky Brand Jeans could not possibly care less what Ann Taylor, Banana Republic or even Betsey Johnson do; I do not wear a size 8 in that store, let alone anything smaller. I knew I was in trouble when most of the jeans I saw were waist sizes 24 though 27. There were some 28's and 29's and even fewer sizes for waists over 30 inches. I initially selected a pair of low-rise, slim leg, flared jeans in waist size 30 and kept looking. Nearby was an ultra-low rise, super-slim leg, flared jean that didn't really appeal to me, but there were some 31's and 32's in that cut. With three pairs of jeans in hand, sizes 30 through 32, I headed for the dressing room. I couldn't even get the 30's on, skipped the 31's and put on the 32's, which were both too big at the top and seemed to be saying, "Hey, she said she has thighs... take a good look at them!"

A little discouraged, I headed back out to the stacks of denim. At that point I caught the attention of Sergio, a salesperson. Luckily for me, because lord knows what I would have tried on next. Over the course of the next hour, Sergio brought me pair after pair of various cuts in sizes 30 and 31 and assessed how flattering each pair was, while explaining to me that he was looking to "extend my legs" and find flares that began lower, as opposed to higher, so they wouldn't draw attention to my hips. My legs are rather long on their own, but I agreed with him about my hips, so I wasn't about to argue.

After all was said and done, and that was a lot, I selected a pair of Lucky Brand Sundown Wide Leg mid-rise (which I have to believe is the new low-rise) jeans, size 31, also known as size 12, with a flared leg. They're pictured above. Mine are black denim, can be dressed up or down, do, in fact, extend my legs when worn with heels and are rather slimming. I always wear heels, so that's not an issue. Plus, my aforementioned ass is sure to fall out of the "mid-rise" waist whenever I sit down. See how trendy? Now I have to find some tops that will cover that.

The good news for me is that the jeans I bought were 50% off. The bad news for Sergio is that I only bought one pair, and even though I thanked him for all his help, he pretty much lost interest in me when I landed on just the one.

I tell you this tale because I learned something this afternoon: being trendy is very exhausting. And a little hard on the ego if size numbers affect you in the least. I'll have to remember that the next time I try to "upgrade" a portion of my wardrobe.

On a completely different note, I'm going to hell. The reason (this time) is that I appear to be finding joy in someone else's misery. Now, this is not how I would normally behave, and it is very much not the person I want to be. But you know what? Karma is a bitch, and sometimes it's just so satisfying to watch a person reap what they have sown. So ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!

I know. I'll be fitted for a hand basket next week, I'm sure.

1 comment:

fabulous patti said...

Thanks for the low down on Lucky Brand. I stopped in a store right before Christmas and right away figured it would take more time than I had right then. I've meant to return. However, your story has convinced me that it would be fruitless and I would waste some poor salesperson's time and buy nothing. I appreciate the heads up. Thanks.