It’s time for me to make some true confessions. I am not a fashionable person. I mean, I’m trying to be, but it’s hard! First of all, as we’ve discussed, I am a giant. Size will always be an issue, even though I’m not really fat anymore. I’m just always going to be a large woman. Second of all though, I’m cheap. I admit it. In most clothing stores I go right to the clearance section. I won’t pay more than 12 dollars for a pair of sunglasses.
I’ll give you a buck fifty.
Recently though, I’ve decided that I want to be at least passable when I walk down the street. I never want to be ambushed by the What Not to Wear TV crew. My first step to making this never happen was to try to find good jeans that flatter my body.
Now, just so you know what we’re dealing with when it comes to me and fashion, here is a picture of me in my favorite jeans from middle school. I have not had a pair of jeans that I loved as much as these since then:
As a side note, evidently when I was 14 I thought nothing would complement Tye-Dye pants better than white platform sandals.
Oh man I loved those jeans. I got them from a clothing catalogue that was made specifically for large, young girls called Girlfriends. Every time I ordered things I was tempted to start the conversation with the phone operator like this, “Hey GURRLLLLLFRIEND!!!!! CAN YOU HOOK ME UP WITH SOME STYLIN’ JEANS!?” You should know that I loved these pants SO MUCH that when my original pair got holes, I ordered a second pair. After a year and a half the catalogue was still carrying these flare, maroon fade to red pants! Can you believe it! And they were on clearance!
Whenever I tell people about how horribly I dressed myself in public school days, I always reference those pants, but I have to be honest and say that I’ve never found a pair that I love more since then. I think that my fashion sense has marginally improved since high school, but I still don’t have a lot of options.
It’s hard for me to find good looking jeans because I have giant dinosaur feet, no butt, and crooked legs. I walk like a duck, my dad says that my legs are crooked, and one of the consequences of being tall is that it usually comes with big feet. Also, as I’ve said, I have no butt. No matter how much weight I lose or gain my persistently flat butt is here to stay.
My dad has ACTUALLY voiced the opinion that maybe he should have put me in leg braces like Forrest Gump. I wish you had suggested this earlier dad, then I could have been a former college running back and owner of a successful shrimp boat company long since.
This week, I decided to go on a quest. First, to become more educated about fashion, (It turns out that “jeggings” are a thing?) and second, to find a pair of flattering, long lasting jeans.
Well it turns out I’m more behind in fashion than I thought. Apparently skinny jeans are the biggest thing since sliced bread.
You would think that based on my jeans from middle school, this trend would be right up my alley. Not so. I have a vendetta against skinny jeans because they just do not look good. Well, they look fine on you, but not on me. I have to offer that second part because I once said I hate skinny jeans to my best friend and she was offended because she wears skinny jeans. No, they look great on certain types of women. “Giant Tarasaurus Rex” is not one of those types.
So, obviously I was already skeptical of the whole fad before I even got to the mall, but upon getting there, I figured I would do the hip thing, and try out a bunch of different kinds of jeans, just to keep my options open. Before this trip I had never actually tried skinny jeans, so it was worth a shot. Maybe they would look good!
My first stop was Urban Outfitters. I went over to their pants section and encountered a problem immediately. I couldn’t tell if they were girl jeans or guy jeans. I mean, they were in all sorts of girly colors and designs, but the sizing was all wrong. Instead of saying normal girl sizes, (like 2, 12, 14, 8) they were like guy sizes, but not. They all said things like “22. 30” and, “28.26”
I literally had to look around to make sure I was in the girl section. I walked around the store trying to look casual while I tried to decide what these numbers might mean. Finally, after a lot of confused label reading, I found the pair of pants with the highest beginning number. I was embarrassed to be seen with these blue leopard print pants that might be a totally wrong size, and decided that I would randomly pick up two shirts to disguise the fact that I was trying on skinny jeans from the sales people at the fitting room.
This idea failed utterly. I put the jeans subtly under my two decoy shirts, but the fashionable gay salesman at the fitting room must have seen through me.
Salesman: “I’ll take those.”
Me: “Um, I can carry…I don’t really need…”
Salesman: “Give them to me.”
Not only did he take them, but when we got to the dressing room he took each individual item and hung it up for me, so that the shame of my blue, leopard patterned, wrong sized skinny jeans would be on display for both of us. Then he wrote my name on the dressing room door so that all the world would know.
Getting into those jeans might have been one of the most awkward moments of my life. It turns out that skinny jeans were not made for women with thick, sturdy calves. I was alone in the dressing room and I felt self conscious. I felt like at any moment the button might fly off and bounce around the room in a cartoonish fashion, but finally I got those jeans to squeeze around my hips just barely. Here is a photo of the result:
I’m sorry the picture is bad, but the fitting rooms at urban outfitters had dim lighting and crooked mirrors so that you feel like you’re trying on clothing at an abandoned warehouse.
Ok, the first problem with these pants is obviously that it looks like I had to grease down with baby oil just to get into them. Also, it doesn’t really look like I’m wearing skinny jeans, it just looks like I took my old pants from 3rd grade and somehow got them onto my body.
So, I didn’t try on the fake shirts, I just threw everything back on the return table and escaped the shop.
The next place I went to was Forever 21. Literally every woman I know doesn’t just shop there, she LOVES to shop there. So much so, that they got rid of the old Forever 21 store at my mall, and put a new one where the food court used to be. There is no food court at the mall anymore. The people who run the mall had a meeting and said, “You know what? People need to be providing their bodies with sustenance LESS, and shopping at this women’s clothing store MORE.”
How dare you? How dare you keep me from that generically named hot lamp chinese food and reheated brick oven pizza?
I grabbed ANOTHER pair of skinny jeans because the choice seemed to be between skinny or super skinny. Forever 21 used normal sizes, and the one good thing about the new giant, food court sized store is that they now have a plus-sized section. Now it’s time for a second true confession. Sometimes I love tacky things just because they are tacky. So the pair of pants I chose were glittery silver. With a leopard pattern. Because as I’ve said before, as a large woman, I’ve learned that subtlety in my outfits is important.
The situation was the same as at Urban Outfitters. I tried to hide the glitter pants, and the salesgirl found me out. We had a stare down at the dressing room, but eventually I relented and handed the pants over. Because apparently clothing stores think that we are incapable of walking the clothes another 4 feet to a dressing room.
This dressing room is well lit, so that my desperation is at its most visible.
The other problem with me and jeans that we haven’t really addressed yet is my giant feet. All pants look a little more awkward on me because of those giant gorilla feet sticking out of the bottom. They face outward like a duck, my toes are strange, and they are just generally big. Look at my left foot! If you put me on a tree branch it looks like I’d be able to wrap my whole foot around it like some crazy monkey.
When I left the dressing room and handed over the clothes the girl asked me in an incredulous voice, “NONE of these worked out???”
No miss. The silver, calf squeezing pants were NOT becoming, thank you for asking.
I wasn’t willing to give up yet though. After Forever 21 I went to Aeropostale. They had the same strange size system as Urban Outfitters, but this time I KNEW I was in the right section because all of the jeans had names like, Starlet!, and DIVA! So I’m pretty sure those were for girls. I guess I could be wrong, maybe all the men I know are rocking the Starlet! While they hang out with their bros and watch the football game.
Probably the most baffling places I went to were Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. Their jeans might have fit me better, but honestly it was hard to find them because both shops were set up like a dimly lit maze in the middle of a tropical cabana. There were giant, larger than life photos of thin models in both stores, but they were even more noticeable in Hollister, where I imagined them judging me as I looked at jeggings.
Really Tara? Put the pink pants down and get out.
I felt self conscious in Hollister again, because the sales girl was folding shirts right next to the jeans wall. And I couldn’t be stealthy about looking at the jeans because I kept bumping into, and rustling the many fake green plants that were set up everywhere. Seriously, I’m not kidding about cabana motif. I couldn’t figure out if they were trying to sell me clothing, or a sultry, dimly lit beach vacation.
Abercrombie & Fitch was essentially the same store all over again. They had slightly fewer plants and giant model photos, but what they lacked in those two things, they made up for in an over abundance of cologne and strange, out of place wall décor:
A Moose head. Because nothing goes better with the “sexy tropical bungalo” theme than the wall art from a mountain hunting lodge.
I couldn’t stay in that store long because I was getting a headache. Seriously, the whole store smelled like a high school locker room after all the boys have doused themselves in Axe body spray.
So by now you must be asking yourself, “Did you find any jeans Tara, or did you just act like a weirdo in every store you went into?”
Unfortunately, there were no jeans to be had. I haven’t given up though, until I’m successful I’ll just have to wear dresses forever.
See mom? I don’t ONLY post unflattering photos of myself on this blog.
So, if you don’t want to be blinded by the sight of my pale white calves forever, find a likely place for jeans, and let me know about it!