In my 35 years, I’ve seen and participated in many a ridiculous fashion trend. Giant flannel shirts, peg-roll jeans, banana clips, and many more. Initially, I thought skinny jeans fell into this category too–just another fad I didn’t feel the need to adopt. But upon further inspection, there’s something much bigger at work here. Something evil.
In early 2010, after seeing celebs in skinny jeans with cute flats in all the gossip mags, I felt a teensy bit of pressure to see if these things could look good on me. The answer was no. Actually, there was no answer because I couldn’t get them on. I’m a fairly tall size 8, not super-skinny but not overweight, so I thought there might be a chance. I took sizes 8 and 10 into the dressing room, and neither worked. The size 8 barely made it above my knees. The 10 made it up, but it was such a horrifying sight that I ran from the dressing room with my curiosity cemented into bitterness.
Damn kids and their skinny jeans.
Somewhere toward fall I heard about jeggings–because apparently the skinny jeans weren’t tight enough, we needed tights that look like jeans. OK, I KNOW these aren’t for me, but they got me thinking: if those skinny jeans I tried on a few months back had some stretch in them, they just might work.
So back to the store I went, and sure enough, I found a pair that fit and they were actually quite comfortable! I hadn’t lost any weight and still had a bit of a paunch I wasn’t happy with, but the pure act of buying skinny jeans was a huge ego boost. My knees and calves looked smokin’ in these things!
I couldn’t wait to try them out, so one Friday night when a friend was having people over, I decided this would be the day. I put them on and began the hunt for a top. Hmmm….not as easy as expected. Most of my tops are normal length; they fall around hip level. But it seems the skinny jeans only work if you have a shirt that covers the not so skinny part. The best option I found was a sleeveless blouse. Being winter, I had to put a (much shorter) sweater over it, but overall it seemed ok.
Now for the shoes. It’s winter and my shoe choices are fairly limited. I have flats, low boots and high boots. Flats won’t work because I’d need socks and that would just look…funny. My low boots are the kind you wear under boot cut jeans–you can’t really fit them over OR under the skinny jeans. Now I understand the purpose of those slouchy little “booties” I’ve been seeing. Alas, there was no time, so high boots was the choice. Outfit complete.
So there I am, decked out in my hooker boots, a summer top and an oddly matched sweater, all so I can showcase the skinny jeans. I’d like to point out that by now you can really only see about 40% of the jeans.
As I reflect on this battle, I see two main forces of evil at work. The first is clearly the clothing manufacturers. Never has a trend required so much additional equipment for participation. I can’t buy the skinny jeans without buying the booties and the long tops too. And they all only work with each other; the long top over non-skinny jeans is a lumpy mistake. It’s like I’m forced to have two parallel, incompatible wardrobes.
The second evil force is really just the realization that I’m getting older…but I blame the Millenials. This is the generation after Gen X/Y–the folks born after 1980. They know how cool we Gen-Xers think we are, and they invented skinny jeans to show us that our time has come. And gone. We may be climbing the corporate ladder, but they’re still young and hot, and let’s face it, they knew we’d never be able to figure this out.
Well played, Millenials.
So, I emerge from this ordeal a little depressed, but choosing to see the triumph in the story. I don’t look all that good in the skinny jeans ensemble and I’m still left very confused by the whole thing. But I did figure it out. Several costly pairs of jeans, shoes, and long tops later, I did figure it out. And that’s what keeps us young, right?
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