Not all shopping is done on-line, people. Some of it is done in the outskirts of town at the great American spectacle that is the outlet mall.
And I found my way to one earlier this week in semi-rural Illinois. I was mostly shopping for
myself other people’s Christmas gifts, but I also happened to try on a few pairs of jeans, since you all convinced me I didn’t own nearly enough pairs (except for Naptime Writing, whose logic is impeccable.)
Jeans have always been scary to shop for– I could easily end up in a shame spiral thanks to too-tight denim and a three-way mirror. Sure, you can argue that swim wear is worse, considering that the three-way mirror is enlisted to highlight all kinds of pasty skin in places that don’t see the light of day when I am looking for jeans.
But there’s just something about denim.
And these days jeans are the worst item to shop for because you need a frigging matrix just to understand what you are trying on. How is the layperson (that is, someone whose paycheck does not come from Gap, Inc. or any other place in the mall) supposed to know the difference between (1) super skinny, (2) ultra skinny, (3) super deluxe skinny, and (4) may-sterilize-you skinny? Excuse me, but WTF? Am I supposed watch You Tube videos about jeans before walking in to J. Crew so I will understand the nuances among their different cuts. Do you know the difference between (1) match stick, (2) toothpick, (3) kindling sticks, and (4) stick-up-your-ass?
Because I don’t.
I was ready to impale myself on the metal fixture displaying velvet holiday blazers before I ever stepped foot underneath those flaw-enhancing fitting room lights.
It made my head hurt to stand in Banana Republic and wonder if the skinny leg was skinnier than the “almost jegging”– and those were the mens’s jeans. Don’t get me started on the boot cut-boot fit dichotomy. In one store, boot cut jeans are for wearing boots under your jeans, while the boot fit jeans are for wearing your jeans over your boots. Right next door, it’s the opposite.
This has to stop. I don’t want to think that hard when I am simply looking for a
13th nice pair of jeans that (1) I can tuck into my boots, (2) won’t make my ass look like two (or more) jumbo marshmallows stuffed in a cheese cloth, (3) won’t accentuate my bad haircut, (4) will allow me to crawl on the floor to pick up and eat the food my kids drop without giving all of God’s creation a view of my bare ass, and (5) will still look fresh even on the fifth day in a row of wearing without washing. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t want to have to do a fricking LSAT practice exam trying to figure out whether the ultra skinny, which is the second skinniest, will or will not guarantee a camel toe in the dressing room, but will relax to the point of “baggy” after fifteen minutes of wear.
THIS– this extra work to get so-called real pants while the clock is ticking on my babysitter time may be why moms wear yoga pants. It’s not (only) to hide muffin tops or to ward off all sexual attention because our sex drive disappeared before the first Twilight movie. No! It’s because jeans shopping requires a G-D semiotics degree.
Let’s work on this. Make it simpler so I can save my brain power for worrying about the fiscal cliff and obsessing about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy.