Yesterday I braved the mall. The thought of going another year without new jeans was worse than the awful chore of actually shopping for jeans.
My first stop was Lucky. I took about 20 pairs into the dressing room, all marked “50% off.” Of course, since they cost between $100 and $120, I think half off was a more fair price. None of the jeans looked good on me or fit me correctly. Since I wear a size 4 or 6 and most of the jeans made me look huge, I can’t figure out how women who wear a more average size of 10 or 12 manage to find a pair of jeans that don’t make them look like a house. The whole enterprise is depressing and reminds me of why I only do it once every few years. I go through another 15 or 20 pairs off another rack and find a pair I love. The salesgirl says they’re too big because they stretch and I’ll be swimming in them, so I actually need a size smaller. She comes back with a bunch of other jeans, but not the ones I like. They don’t have them in my size. I put one pair that I don’t hate on hold in case I can’t find anything else.
Next I head to J.C. Penney. My husband has convinced me they have a great jean selection. I’m skeptical, but curious to see if I can wear Levi’s that aren’t 501s, the only jeans I wore during my teens and twenties. Avoiding the “mom jeans” that are ubiquitous in this store, I pick out about twenty pairs and head for the fitting room, weighted down and shuffling. It’s closed and I can’t find anyone to help me. I look for another fitting room and finally find a saleswoman who points me toward the junior department. She makes no move to offer assistance as I struggle. When I finally get inside a fitting room, I pull a muscle unloading my pile. I have to do several stretches and lunges before I can continue. None of these is even presentable, much less the perfect pair of jeans I’m looking for. One of them is called something like “flexible stretch” and looks like I’m wearing denim leggings. They are absolutely the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen. When I return the stack to the woman manning the dressing rooms, she seems surprised that I’m not buying any of their fabulous offerings.
My third and final stop is Banana Republic, where a friend has told me they have cute jeans. Again, I hit the dressing room with about 15 pairs, and I finally find some that are okay and so I buy them.
I go back to Lucky and ask them to call another store to find out if they have the jeans I love in my size. She calls and they don’t have them and then she tells me that probably no one has them anymore because “they’re a really old style.” Which of course in the retail world means they’ve been in the store more than three months. I buy the pair I had put on hold and call it a day.
I tried on between 70 and 80 pairs of jeans and found two I didn’t hate to last me through the next year. Not a total disaster.
On another note, I officially joined The Compact today. I started receiving e-mail and have to wade through it. It’s official: nothing new for one year.