I'm speaking, of course, of jeans shopping.
It happens. It has to. Denim has permeated every facet of our society, weaving its way into workplaces, weekend wear and even church. People wear jeans everywhere! And though I find the styles of the forties, fifties or even sixties more flattering, just because I wish that everyone would wear them doesn't make it so.
Ah, the days where men wore suits and fedoras, and women wore stockings and heels.
I know that I'm the only one that wishes for that. I know. Styles for boys are headed in the wrong direction, though. I simply cannot get on board with those obnoxious flat hats and black socks with running shoes. And girls? When I was young, you used to make sure that your bra straps were covered when you left the house. Now? They're showing willy nilly. Everywhere. It's horrifying. That little pudge over the waistband of pants (the muffin top?) is now accepted. People don't even try to cover that, anymore.
Because everyone wears jeans. That's what I blame it on.
I'm nothing if not fashion forward, however, so I cave to societal pressure. And even though most of the time I wear dresses, skirts and trousers (or holey yoga pants, let's be honest, here), I understand the need for jeans. I do.
Understanding and liking are not the same thing, y'all.
So here are some guidelines for going jeans shopping. Free to all, take 'em or leave 'em. With love.
1. Before you leave the house, tell yourself you're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you. Repeat as necessary.
2. Take some valium, if you have some on hand.
3. Find a store that sells your size. This may take a while. Most stores sell the majority of their jeans in either a size 2 or a 16, so this may be a challenge for you. Persevere. You may want to bring some sustenance: water and granola bars, MREs or the like. (Or you could just go by Taco Bell, but that's probably counterproductive to what you're trying to do.) Either way, you're going into the trenches, here. Stick it out.
4. Dressing room mirrors lie. Rarely do you find one that reflects your actual self back to you. Now, even though I approve of 'skinny mirrors,' as we in the trade like to call them, be aware that once you get home, the magic will be gone. I'm sorry.
5. Dressing room lighting is evil. Can I get a hallelujah that usually, all of my imperfections are not highlighted by fluorescent lighting on an everyday basis? I think this stuff should be OUTLAWED. But seriously, how you look in fluorescent lighting (sickly, cellulite-dimpled and horror struck) is most certainly NOT how you will look under normal, incandescent lighting (less of all of that). Blur your vision through your eyelashes, call it a win and move on.
6. Once you've found the jeans you want to try on, head into the dressing room.
7. Repeat steps 1 & 2, if necessary.
8. Put on the jeans. Discard all that gape in the waist, are four feet too long, even with tall boots, are too tight, or make you feel like you want to die a little inside. Resist the urge to set fire to the whole pile and rock in the corner of the dressing room, sucking chocolate pudding through a Twizzler.
9. Find the lesser of all the evils. Settle. Heave a dramatic sigh.
10. Shell out half a month's salary for one pair. Take out a loan if you want two.
Looking back on this list, I think it's possible that these rules may apply only to me, in which case I suggest that you make some rules of your own to help you through the traumatizing time in life.
And if you've found a way to circumvent having rules at all, it's your duty as a friend, shopper and fellow woman, to share. It's the right thing to do. :)