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Skinny Jeans (or What I am Allowed to Wear) August 12, 2009

Posted by Jae in Uncategorized.
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My wardrobe consists pretty much exclusively of jeans.  I’ve never cared for khakis or slacks.  I don’t often wear skirts or dresses.  Even in the summer, I mostly wear jeans or, if it’s warm or I’m in the mood, a pair of capris –which also will probably be made of denim.  It just seems easy to me.  I’ve never thought of myself as being able to assemble a cute outfit, so I feel like if I stick to jeans and a nice top, I’ll end up looking presentable, even if I’m not on the cutting edge of fashion.

When I was growing up, I never felt I could wear jeans.  Even though I realize now that I wasn’t fat (at least, not for most of my non-jeans wearing life), I always felt like I was too big to wear jeans.   The first time I can remember getting a pair of jeans for myself was in the fourth grade.  My pediatrician, without considering that I was starting puberty and beginning to reach my full adult height (I was a tall kid, who hit 5’4″ quickly and then stopped and became a shortish adult), told my parents that I needed to lose weight and so I went on some sort of diet that summer.  By the time school started, I must have lost enough weight because my Nanny took me out shopping; she told me I could pick out a new outfit as a reward.  I bought a pair of blue, yellow, and red striped jeans and a black top.  I remember wearing them the first day of school, so that I could be sure to impress everyone.

My jeans wearing life didn’t last long.  I’d be lying if I said I had any other clothes memories from fourth or fifth grade, but I do remember going back to school shopping the summer before sixth grade.  This time, I snubbed jeans in favor of palazzo pants; I thought they were more sophisticated and adult, and that was exactly what I wanted to be in the sixth grade.  When those pants didn’t turn me into a sophisticated adult, I decided I would spend my Christmas money on some new jeans.  Over the break we went to the mall and I tried on the biggest size in the juniors section, a 13, and they didn’t fit.  I came home and wrote in my diary that I was a fat pig and a a failure, and I vowed to go on a diet.

I don’t think I seriously attempted to wear jeans again until college, when my obssesive dieting/eating disorder started to make me thinner, and I’ve been wearing them ever since.   Yesterday’s post on Shapeley Prose about a woman who took a special exercise class just to fit into her skinny jeans and the ensuing discussion really made me think though, even though now I happily buy Lane Bryant’s Right Fit jeans, do I wear them as much as I do just to prove I can?  I like jeans, don’t get me wrong, they are comfortable and go with pretty much anything, but where they used to be the clothing I lusted after, now they have just become an easy outfit choice.  And I think this is one more way of telling myself that I am not worth the time/money/thought/etc it would take to put together something that would be both comfortable and pretty.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday online window shopping for clothes and creating wish lists of things I would normally be drawn to, but would never attempt to buy because I feel like I have permission to wear them.  While I don’t see myself giving up jeans completely (because I do still like them), I think it is time to expand my range of outfits beyond what I feel I am allowed to wear.

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