My cat Hambone. My adorable and funny niece and nephew. Riding in a car with the sunroof open. Text messages from handsome men. Sunshine on my skin after months of covering up with layers.
I have a good, long list of things I love. However, there are things on that list that I don’t normally extol: I, for one, am a huge fan of designer jeans.
To avoid the inordinate price tag, I instead go to The Gap, Express, and Kohl’s and try on every pair there. Gaping in the back. Whiskering at the crotch. Snugness in the tush. Meh, meh, meh.
Although I understand that I’ll need to get almost any pair hemmed to fit my short stature, I expect $50-80 pants to fit way better than what I’m usually stuck with. I do a lot of shopping in thrift stores since I don’t have much luck with the retail stores anyway. I might as well buy three pair of jeans that sorta fit for $7 a pop to see if my tush eventually slaps one into presentable shape until I can find a better pair.
Usually this results in me wearing the heck out of a pair for two months, then moving on to another pair with hopes that the 98% cotton and 2% lycra will transform themselves into something that does everything that women wish jeans would do: slim the thighs, lift the tush, and flatter the belly.
Through the years I’ve had some luck. When my sister got pregnant, I stole a pair of LEI jeans from her. Those were some dang good jeans. I got about three years of nearly-constant wear out of them until the strings in the crotch finally gave out on me.
Soon after, a friend of a friend got pregnant with twins and had to leave town. With her departure, she left a good amount of her clothes too. My friend let me rummage through the stacks, and I walked away with a pair of Seven for Mankind jeans. It was here that I learned the glorious nature of designer jeans.
After their hemming, there was no finer pair of jeans that could be had. Thighs were reduced. The tush was high and mighty. The belly was shown just-so. All was good with this pair of pants.
Then came a sickness two years later that made me pack on some weight, and those jeans were retired to the large Tupperware container that holds my out-of-season clothes. Every so often I pull them out, attempt to slip them on, and hope that they magically somehow fit.
Last October I finally gave up and went to Nordstrom’s for some assistance. Bosh (yes, I remember her name) took stock of my physical assets and liabilities, then she started bringing pants to the dressing room. After several minutes, she’d check on me and have me tell her what was wrong with each pair. She’d disappear for another few minutes, then she’d come back with another stack of jeans to try.
After 14 pairs slipped on and off my lower half, I announced to Bosh (super customer service woman extraordinaire!) that I found what I was looking for. I handed over my AmEx and walked off with my new jeans folded in tissue paper and a fancy bag.
After getting them hemmed, I wore them for about a month before I headed off to Houston. If you recall, once there, I started my super health kick. It didn’t take but a week before those mega-expensive jeans no longer fit. I cried a little on the inside for the loss of something so nice, but I vowed that my new in-shape body would eventually find jeans to their liking.
I came home, slipped again into a pair of $7 thrift store jeans, and went about my business with almost-right jeans. Working out has since made these so I can pull them on and off without unbuttoning them, so I took advantage of being in Houston this past weekend and hit up my favorite thrift store while there.
I rummaged through 50 feet of racks and loaded my dad up like a mule. I was determined that something in that stack of $7 jeans would be just right.
On and off they went, occasionally prompting me to walk outside and take a gander in the full-length mirror. Of the jeans selected, only one pair was close enough to be worth handing over $7 to clothe myself as I continued my search in other thrift stores.
As I hung the others in the rejects pile, I glanced over at the clothes too good to hit the regular floor. Leather pants, mink stoles, and full-length furs hid behind the counter. Among the treasures there was one rockin’ pair of jeans.
The tag said the jeans were way too large for me, but I asked to try them on anyway. Lo and behold, the tag lied by three sizes, and the angels started singing as I stepped out of the dressing room to look at myself in the big mirror.
Thighs minimized? Check!
Butt lookin’ good? Check!
Waist shown off appropriately? Check!
Now add to it that they’re the right shade of dark blue and already shortened to accommodate me in heels.
For $35 — more than $200 less than the retail price — I scored a pair of designer jeans that put all previous jeans to shame.
Rock on, new pair of jeans. Rock on.