I remember taking a pair of skinny black jeans out for a first dinner at around 23 years old and finding myself struggling to breathe, like a Victorian woman being slowly strangled by a corset.
In retrospect, I don’t know why I put myself (and others) through this at all.
And I don’t know why we continue to accept this nightmare.
Buying jeans is one of the most hellish things we subject ourselves to. When female friends say out loud that they’re going jeans shopping, everybody around them will give a knowing, saddened nod at what they’re about to experience.
Telling your friends you’re going to buy new pants is like telling them you’ve been conscripted and you’re going to war.
Maybe it’s time to reconsider all of this.
Part of the standing jeans phenomenon must be, at least in part (and I know this is true from my own wardrobe), due to an inability to accept that sometimes we just need to buy a few sizes up from where we initially thought. We’ve been taught routinely by fatphobic messaging that this is – and should remain – an extreme source of shame for women.
It’s the same reason we keep pairs of jeans in our closets for years and years, believing that we’re going to “reclaim” younger, smaller versions of ourselves, as though the bodies we’re currently occupying are in some way failing us because they no longer fit into skinny jeans from 2015.
But it’s not just that. I’ve also come to believe that most jeans are actually just poorly designed and don’t fit women’s bodies particularly well, either. The ass and waist are very rarely accommodated for in harmony with jeans and we come too easily to believe that this is the fault of our bodies when in fact, it is largely the fault of trousers manufacturers everywhere.