**This post is related to the My Battle with Abolishing Baby Weight post. Both are inspired by last night’s frustrations.***
I spent ninety minutes last night shopping in an attempt to find a pair of jeans that fits.
It was an utter fail.
Somehow – thanks to my quest to get back into shape and to my pre-pregnancy weight – I have put myself into an a category more difficult that “Between Sizes.”
I fall into the We Don’t Carry What You Need Because People in Your Size Don’t Exist.
Which simply is not true.
Before you plot torturing me by tying me to a chair, sewing my eyes open, and forcing me to watch Barney until I beg to put out of my misery, please hear me out.
I worked my ass off to lose my pregnancy weight. Twice.
There were a few brownie pans of setbacks and it took nine months.
But I made it.
I waited to shop for clothes until I hit my “bottomed out” weight.
Unfortunately for me, this was in August when stores throw their summer clothes into clearance and bring in the winter stuff for “back to school.”
They do this in Texas, too.
Which is ridiculous. It was still over 100 degrees outside. Fall doesn’t show it’s face here until the middle of October – a full two months later. So I shopped, but I didn’t have a ton of success finding shorts – all the sizes I needed were picked over or designed for juniors and I cannot wear shorts that short anymore. I managed to find some tops and skirts: all in the juniors department. That was it.
So why I didn’t see the Jean Shopping Fiasco of Fall 2010 coming, I don’t know.
Cool weather finally arrived a few weeks ago. I grabbed my favorite pair of jeans – the ones that used to fit me like a glove before I ever had children. The ones I’d exercised so diligently for so I could finally wear them again. I put them on.
They were too big now. The exact opposite problem than twelve months prior when I’d found myself with a newborn and too fat to fit into any non-maternity pants.
And yes, I do prefer the Pants Are Too Big to the I Can’t Even Button These Things problem.
It doesn’t make the problem any less.. well problematic.
So last night following dinner, I set out on my own – a much needed circumstance – determined to find my favorite jeans in a smaller size.
At first, I tried the same size, feeling that donning my old jeans during my previous “Post Pregnancy” stages had stretched them beyond their normal range – hence the lack of proper fit.
Those were too big.
I tried a size smaller.
I tried another style.
Still too big with odd pooching in the torso.
I asked a sales person for a lower size, as I hadn’t seen any on the shelves.
They laughed. “We don’t carry sizes that small. You’ll have to shop in the junior department.”
I know, I’ve shopped in juniors before – just last August – but I’d been certain that was a fluke thanks to season close outs and the smaller sizes being gone.
Not the case, as it turns out.
So I drag my very non-junior self into the junior’s section of Kohl’s department store – because they carried my previous favorite style of jeans: Levi’s 515.
A number which does not exist in juniors.
No, juniors currently have three styles based on the Kohl’s selection.
- skinny jeans
- really damn skinny jeans
- jeans that aren’t skinny but have “junior” decorations including but not limited to: holes, odd embroidery, ridges and/or odd coloring to make the pelvic region looked wrinkled, and the appearance of just being dragged from a dumpster
At my age, I can’t pull off decorative tween style.
The ones with minimal ridge coloring from Levi’s would fit in boot cut style, except in my butt – which is supposed to be flatter – and would be if I was still 13.
And skinny jeans…. Dear God, skinny jeans.. They are for 11 year olds who have just shot up in height and have toothpicks for legs. If they were large enough to get over my I Do Strength Class Once a Week with a Squat and Lunge Loving Drill Sergeant thighs and calves, they were too big around the waist.
About 90% of junior’s jeans fall into the “skinny” and “really damn skinny” categories.
Once again, based the sample size of Kohl’s.
A very kind employee helped me attempt in vain to find something that fit, as I began with larger sizes – unsure how juniors would translate in relation to adult sizes.
I wore a size 7 in high school. I weigh slightly more now than I did then. So I started with size 9’s, following logic.
But there is NOTHING logical or standard for Women’s clothing sizes. Or Juniors. They are completely, totally, 100% arbitrary. Sizes aren’t even consistent in the same brand, much less across all labels.
It is the very reason I despise clothes shopping.
Size 7’s of the previous decade are smaller than the size 7’s of today’s jeans.
Which makes no sense. A size 7, should be a size 7.
Whatever that is supposed to mean.
When I go shopping with CG, my jealousy emerges at the ease of finding his jeans. Men’s pants go by inches and length: then loose or snug fit.
Why aren’t Women’s clothes labeled this way? Are we so ashamed to actually know how many inches/centimeters our waists measure around?
Why aren’t the smaller clothing sizes carried in department stores? I’m not talking about a negative number here or a zero – neither which should exist. I’m talking about The Current Size Two, which I’m guessing was a size 6, fifteen years ago. I see a lot of people throughout the day who are my size or smaller.
Which means A) They shop designer brands, which I cannot afford nor do I think a pair of denim should cost more than an iPod or B) They too are forced to shop in juniors – like one of the gym’s childcare workers I bumped into in the junior’s changing room last night.
And while juniors can give me some cute tops and skirts, skinny jeans will never ever work.
Unless I use stilts.
I’m frustrated. I worked hard to get into shape. My body still has many flaws, like the lovely stretched out skin on my abdomen that had to expand to carry two good sized children – thankfully not at the same time.
I just want a pair of jeans that fits – so I can show off the parts of me that don’t bludgeon my self-esteem into dust.
I don’t want to fall into this There is NO Department Designed for You to Shop In: Only Your Couch Potato Counterpart or Your Teenage Child category. I can’t afford to shop at expensive places.
What would What Not To Wear’s Stacey and Clinton say about this conundrum, other than give me $5000 to spend on designer clothing and throw away 99.9% of my wardrobe?
Give those of us who have worked so hard to get into shape some clothing in our appropriate age brackets… please? Without breaking the bank.
A little consistency between sizes would be nice too. A standard. An actual unit of measurement implemented to determine size.
That’s not asking for much, is it?
Does anyone else have horror stories of shopping for jeans?