05 Nov The Denim Blues
As a woman of substance both metaphorically and physically, the treacherous path to finding a pair of jeans that fits properly and purchasing that said pair of jeans has been an emotionally debilitating one. From the pair that is too small, but you still take into the fitting room because the shop assistant refuses to believe you when you say you can’t fit in those jeans, to the pair that is too big or the pair that gives you plumbers butt, denim jeans in all their universality and versatility can still manage to make you feel like the outsider if you aren’t a certain shape.
With its origins in workwear, denim jeans are a desired staple in everybody’s wardrobe. Immune to seasonal trends and ‘fashion’ denim jeans have become an icon of streetwear and the epitome of what I like to refer to as casual glamour.
From the time Saartjie Baartman and her “protruding” buttocks left for England to be put on exhibition as an anthropological freak for curious folk in the western world to marvel and gawk at, the big butt has been a big deal. I mean Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian’s generous behinds basically shot to stardom before they both did and Beyonce invented a whole new word honouring the curvaceous or voluptuous derrière.
Yet, even with all the love that the voluptuous body shape has been receiving because of these women, and all the efforts that brands like Levi’s, G Star RAW and Woolworths are making in creating fit ranges and bum lifting styles to suit every body shape, why is that for most women “the search for the perfect fit is still a depressing and emotional one?” These were the words of several women who were posed with the question “do you like shopping for denim jeans”
One woman put it perfectly “It’s very hard to find jeans that fit my hips, waist and leg length perfectly. Most of the time it’s an exercise of compromise. Sacrifice a snug fit in the waist area for the length or the hips vice versa.”
Another declared that she literally feels for stretch before picking up a pair of jeans to try on and that she tries them on in two size spectrums her “thin and fat sizes.”
The best response to the shopping for denim question was from the woman cited the shopping experience as the testing part of shopping for a pair of denim jeans. “I prefer shopping in the early morning so that I can limit the emotional trauma to just the first half of the day. Also you are skinnier in the morning.”
I wish I had followed or considered her advice the very first time I embarked on my very serious journey to invest in a pair of legitimate, non-jegging type denim jeans. The kind I could wear sans longer length t-shirt and with getting the dreaded muffin top. Up until then, I had only found one pair of jeans to curb the muffin top syndrome, but I couldn’t be confined to a high waisted silhouette for the rest of my life. Plus my dream outfit called for a pair of slim cut denim jeans, paired with a white vest and a pair black heels. The high waisted denim jeans just wouldn’t cut it.
It was the 16th of August 2013. I remember the day quite clearly because it was the first time I had a stiff drink before 1pm because of the shopping experience.
I walked into the store and was greeted by a lovely young shop assistant who seemed like she might be sympathetic to my “black girl, can’t find jeans that fit” woes as we laughed and talked about booty’s. I told her what I was looking for and that if Kim Kardashian’s ass could get into a pair of jeans, then mine certainly could too. She asked me what size I was. I lied, and said I didn’t know. Saying the number you think you are out loud is devastating. I was also secretly hoping that I wasn’t that size anymore because I had started running that week.
If there is every a time I felt like I could cross over into plus size model world, that was the day. Five or more pairs later, the conversation between that lovely shop assistant and I went from “babe, you must be a 28, I mean, look at you,” to “I don’t think we go up to that size.” I walked out completely broken and proceeded to drink and think about going running.
– This article was edited and posted originally on www.timeslive.co.za