Thursday, 12 September 2013

Denim Madness

There exists in a woman's wardrobe a selected few items of clothing that are set apart from the rest of the pack. They are special. You remember exactly when you bought them; where you were and how it felt. Whether you like it or not. 

These are the pieces that will have incurred more hassle whilst attempting to purchase than any others. They might include the perfect black trousers, a well fitting suit or the perfect LBD. No one had prepared you for the horror. Nobody told you that a size 28 waist, and 32 leg would be different in every single shop. You walked into town thinking it would be so easy. It's just a pair of trousers, how hard can it be? Turns out, very.

For me, there is no journey more arduous, so laden with problems - than the trip to Jean-ville. No shopping trip more sweaty or exhausting. How can there be so much of it around yet so little of it that actually fits? I believe the first woman to declare "I have NOTHING to wear", was standing in front of a wardrobe full of ill-fitting denim.
I can honestly say, in all my years on this planet (not actually that many), I have never owned a pair of jeans that fitted me perfectly. There has always been a catch; too short, too low in the waist, too big, too small, too big and too small at the same time - how is that even possible? Once again, the Gods are have blessed me with height - which I am eternally grateful for. It does however, make jean buying EXCRUCIATING. The days that I feel stable enough to attempt to shop for jeans - they are fleeting, and must be taken full advantage of - I grow steadily angrier as each pair is discarded for being almost perfect. Like Goldilocks and the 3000 bears. 

I usually approach the denim beast during the sale period. I think this is my first mistake. Why do I think my perfect, made-for-me jeans are going to be in the sale? These are things nobody wanted, Jo. Don't get me wrong, I do believe you can find some hidden gems. You just have to wade through the t-shirts with Lady Gaga's face on first. But if I do miraculously find something in my size which, by the way, is up for some debate because helpfully, I'm a wildly different waist size in every shop. Sometimes by up to 2 dress sizes. No, I don't know either. 

So I'm out shopping, I'm browsing through the sale and I've found a pair in (roughly) my size - plus the size up and down. If I'm feeling pumped enough to try them on, I make sure I take a good few extras with me. Unless it's a really good day, there's no way I'm coming back out for take 2. I get to the changing room and I'm feeling positive - I start with the bigger size, (yes, I want to feel good about myself) and I'm braced for the fit. I can pull them up over my calves, it's a good start. Oh wow, they even fit over my knees AND thighs. I'm getting excited at this point. They're finally up, but hang on - what is this? Why is the waist band so loose? Are these maternity jeans? What fresh hell? Do I have a size 14 knee and size 10 waist? NEXT. 

The following 27 pairs run along the same kind of lines; "are these for kids?", "why won't they go over my foot arches?" and "do you think it matters that these flares are a touch too short?".

Oh but this next pair looks promising, they're a - wait for it - leg 34!! The only time you see a leg 34 anything in the sale is when it's a waist 24. If there are people out there who wear a 24/34 then I don't want to know about it. So far, so good..they're over the thighs - plenty of stretch, I can even do them up and they're still a bit snug. (This is essential as we all know that jeans expand by two inches once you wear them for 5 minutes, take the label off and/or throw away the receipt.) Now, let's have a look in the mirror. Oh, Lord! Is that ME?! Look at my thighs! I knew they were high waisted but look at my arse! It's longer than my body! How is it possible to look so wide? Jesus Christ. What I was thinking picking up acid wash anyway. No wonder they're in the sale. 

At this point I will exit the changing facilities. I'm empty handed. I'll maybe take a quick glance at the sale rail on my way out the shop. Just to see if anything new is there, you know. I'm flipping through what's left; stuff's falling off the hanger onto the floor but I don't care - I'm pissed off, I'm sweating, my hair is inexplicable. People are in my way - one look at my face (and hair) and they move.They're scared, more so than usual. There is nothing left for me here, I resolutely conclude. 

Episodes like this take their toll on a gal, as you can well imagine. There's a Gap next door but there's no way I'm going in after the Topshop experience. I'm not even going to walk near Jack Wills or Abercrombie. They can't handle me when I'm in a good mood let alone at this level of rage. I should probably just go home, I've ruined everyone's day and my Mother is scared to ask where I want to go next. Her patience is starting to wear thin, she asks me if I'm OK; apparently "I'm FINE" means you're definitely not fine, whether a man is involved or not. I have a coffee and some cake and I'm somewhat placated. I remember that if something seems to good to be true, it probably is and make a vow never to shop for jeans EVER AGAIN. Until the next sale, anyway.

Despite the trauma - I have faith in denim-kind. I still believe that there is a pair of jeans out there that's just right for me. Like my soul mate or future husband - I know he's out there, I just have to find him.

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