You can’t win!

I’ve said in previous posts, I first of all found my fabulous skinny jeans (yay) but found the gorgeous blue ones unfortunately were still too big round the waist (boo). So I decided to go against all the advice for preserving denim/jeans and use some of the advice for shrinking and put them through the tumble dryer. Unfortunately, they shrank in the wrong places (boo).  So now I’m left with the task of stretching them again. I am attempting ‘the damp method’, in which I soaked them in luke warm water, put them on, made my husband put them on (and do various stretches, it was highly attractive… poor Mr Dearn), then (after he’d taken them off, of course) we both grabbed a side of each leg and pulled. They are now hanging up to dry. Fingers crossed it works (yay). So thus, my theme of the day is Kelly Clarkson. Enjoy.

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A cautionary tale (and some other general rubbish)

So after the Tesco dress debacle (as its official name shall always be) I FINALLY managed to sort out the special character issue and bought myself that bloody dress! A lot greener than it appears online, but still very nice and will do nicely for a couple of nights out I have coming up!

Today I am bringing you a cautionary tale. I wore my blue skinny jeans from DP on Saturday. I went to get my hair done, walked up a lot of steps, then went for coffee and shopping with a friend, again lots of steps. Steps don’t normally bother me that much, but my walking was impeded somewhat by the tightness of the jeans and it was rather difficult. I awoke Sunday (yesterday) with burning pain in my thighs. I did a few stretches to combat the stiffness and thought I would be able to walk it off. Oh dear Lord how I was wrong! I thought I was going to die on the way downstairs. My husband has had to help me up and down and I am surprised I’ve not had to get him to pull me off the toilet (yet) though the sink and bath do make good rails to pull yourself up on. A day later and I am no better, I cannot begin to describe the unbelievable pain I am experiencing right now. I will certainly not be making that mistake again!

The moral of the story: If you are planning a rigorous days shopping or a day of strenuous activities, opt for a looser fit of jean, the skinny ones are not your friend. Heed this warning, or you too may suffer from the wrath of the jeans!

On a lighter note, happy bank holiday Monday everyone! Hope you are all (unlike me) indulging in bank holiday sales and fairs and generally having a lovely, lovely time!

P.S. Many thanks to everyone who has done the ‘Big Survey’ please keep passing it on to your friends, family, colleagues and generally anyone who cares so we can get as many responses as possible! If you haven’t, please click The Survey from the menu above and give me just a few minutes of your time, thanks in advance.

Quick update…

Sorry for the lack of proper updates for a while. I’ve been super busy with work and with working on…the big FGSJ survey! Yes, that’s right folks, I’ve been working on a survey to find out what problems you have with finding jeans to fit and to find out what you want from the retailers and manufacturers. The plan is to send the collated results to some of these and see what they have to say for themselves! Hopefully within the next few days it will be polished off and ready to go, so keep your eyes peeled for it and please pass it on to everyone you know!

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.

References:

  1. http://www.oprah.com/style/The-Jean-Buying-Fit-Guide
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/fashion-blog/2011/aug/26/fashion-fixers-advice-jeans

Shopping centre highjinks

Success! I found the Dr Marten’s I was after, which I did successfully reserve at roughly 8am this morning. I waited with baited breath for the confirmation to come through, relieved is not the word I felt when it finally did! Whilst popping in to Schuh first thing this morning, bird & I (my friend from previous shopping adventures) were first of all distracted by Vans trainers…after picking a pair each I then collected the beautiful, beautiful red DMs…oh salvation!

The Vans...

The Vans…

The Dms <3

The Dms ❤

The first part of the days’s mission was complete. Bird then threw a spanner in the works by saying her other half needed some new jeans and could we look for some. Fair enough, lots of shops, plenty of options. Then it became complicated. What he wanted, in theory, was actually quite straightforward and simple: normal, straight leg style jeans, zip-fly 34w 28/29 leg as he has a long torso but shorter legs. However, in practise, it brought back the horrid memories of Monday. Topman, Burton etc, were full of skinny jeans, slim tapered jeans, were too long, had a button fly or cost more than he was willing to pay. We had to text him to ask which part he would compromise on. He actually then asked for chinos, as none of the above were any good to him. However, last minute stop off in next, we found a single remaining pair of 34w 29l straight leg jeans with a zip fly. We bought them for him to try, leaving him with the option to unfortunately order more online!

Buying online…

So today I collected my online order from two of the highstreet stores I visited when in York. I am amazed to announce that I,  the short, fat, odd shaped woman fit into skinny jeans. And I didn’t look half bad! The first pair, which were only £11.50 in the sale are cherry red and look fabulous (thanks M&S).

The red skinnies...

The red skinnies…

The second pair were from Dorothy Perkins, are indigo blue, and looked equally fabulous just not as striking. They were both in my large size and short leg length too!!! How exciting! They were both however a little loose around my calves (as they are out of proportion with my thighs and hips, sigh…) So with a new found look, I shall have to update my wardrobe with a plethora of colours. So that’s a bonus. I honestly thought I’d get them home and be pulling them on with a coat hanger and then having to take them back. Or worse still, I wouldn’t be able to pull them over my abnormally wide feet (thanks mum). It really is a pain that I couldn’t just get these from the shops on Monday. I had to have a friend drive me to the store to pick them up as they weren’t even able to deliver them to my local high street, I had to go to the local retail park, or it would have cost me some obscene amount in delivery (and I still had to pay to have one pair sent to the store).

During this expedition however, my friend told me about her mum who is in a similar position. She is really short (shorter than me) but really skinny, the definition of petite. However, she struggles to get the right fit as even the petite sections seem to struggle to get the smaller sizes she needs. She can only find the smaller sizes in…yep, you guessed it…the tall section. So apparently, to buy clothes that fit, you need to be average size and average height, because if you are really slim or really large, you also need to be really tall. She did point out her mum did find the perfect fitting jeans…but they cost £185. At least I’m not the only one!