Caution! The Travelling Pants do NOT exist!

As you are all aware, I found myself with 2 pairs of lovely skinny jeans that fit and were purchased on a budget. However, these are far from my perfect jeans. The blue ones gape at the back and are incredibly thin, whilst the lovely red ones will surely (and sadly) go out of style and unfortunately won’t go with everything (shame). These are both fab ‘for now’ jeans, but are not the perfect ‘bring your tummy in, lift your bum, lengthen your pins and frankly make you sex on legs’ jeans. In my research to find you (and obviously myself) the best advice out there for buying jeans, I came across this:

One thing is for sure: There is no one perfect Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants pair that looks great on anyone who tries them on (Oprah Winfrey, 2009)

This quote I found on Oprah’s Jean Genie guide. This made me pause for a moment, and recall my ‘Sisterhood’ days.

For those of you who have never heard of the Sisterhood before, it is a book series and film adaptation, based on four girls – Bridget, Carmen, Lena and Tibby – who are best friends and find a pair of jeans that somehow, miraculously seem to fit all four girls, despite their very different shapes and sizes. For one summer vacation, they decide to share the ‘pants’, and we follow the girls through the trials and tribulations of the summer and the realisation that the jeans may not be magic after all.

It was autumn 2005, the start of my second year at university, when one of my 2 ‘BFFs’ of the time asked if we wanted to see the film. In those hazy days of NUS discount, I would see any film anyone suggested, and so happily agreed. It was, surprisingly, one of the best films I’d seen. It made me laugh, it made me cry, I completely connected with the characters and left the cinema with the desperate urge to read the book and pre-order the DVD. I cried and cried over the death of Bailey; Tibby losing her friend, having been through the ordeal of losing my best friend to a long-term illness at 14. BFF number one bawled her eyes out over Carmen and her problems with her father, as she could relate to the situation herself. BFF number 2 nearly cried, from the sheer embarrassment of the two 19 year olds she was sat with crying over a ‘tween’ film.

The girls find their perfect jeans image © Warner Bros 2005

The girls find their perfect jeans
image © Warner Bros 2005

I fancied myself as a bit of a Tibby, I thought of myself as cool, alternative, but just the right amount of it to still be classed as mainstream. To this day I (quite sadly) class one of my proudest achievements as getting my helix pierced at 18, something my mother never approved of (and if you knew my mother, you would understand how impressive it is that she let me). I had dyed my hair bright red, had one or two piercings and like Tibby wanted to be a film maker. For those two hours, in our local cinema, she was my idol.

In those days, I preferred a boyfriend style jean and the skater, Avril Lavigne-esque wide leg, teamed with a biker jacket or hoodie, Vans trainers, combat or biker boots. Only plain black or white vest tops, or suitable band/rock related t-shirt was acceptable. My nearest and dearest pals both wore a completely different style. I believe they both favoured a straight leg jean, but both in different shades of denim. On many occasions, we went clothes shopping together; most Saturdays in fact. I remember how we would all often pick up the same skirt or dress or jeans or top and run into the larger family fitting room to try them on together. I also recall how abysmal I looked in comparison to them both. BFF one was petite, with a boyish figure, BFF two was very slender but with a fabulous Beyoncé-like ‘Ghetto booty’ and I, as always, was broad all over (in comparison to those two I hasten to add), wide hips, tiny waist and big boobs. So the idea of us even being able to wear the same style of jean was ludicrous, never mind wearing the exact same pair!

If such a pair of perfect jeans existed, our search would surely be over and the designer would be incredibly rich. Shops would be overflowing with them in every size and colour. The truth is, they genuinely DO NOT exist. No matter how hard we try, something that suits one of us, will not suit somebody else. For instance, I recently bought the skinny jeans that suited and fit me and my wacky body shape, Bird went jean shopping and couldn’t get them passed her thighs; she is very much a straight leg jean girl.

My point is this: One size does NOT fit all (in this and all other aspects of life) whatever jeans I find to suit me, might not suit all of you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share advice, try each other’s’ latest find and over all share this journey with each other. There’s nothing worse than trying to go it alone and breaking down in a fitting room without an inclination of what went wrong. Finding your perfect jeans is a personal journey, one that never ends with changing of styles and designs, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one.



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