Shopping Local

     If you’re a woman, then you know that shopping for jeans is never fun. It’s certainly not something I’ve ever enjoyed.  If I can, I prefer to shop online and hope that my order fits.  I’d rather avoid the whole standing undressed in a fitting room under those garish, fluorescent lights. You know what I’m talking about…that horrible light that emphasizes any and all imperfections.  I mean, you can have a mostly positive body image before entering a dressing room, but afterward, forget it! My weight happens to be fairly in line with my height, and I exercise regularly; however, after spending time in a dressing room, I sometimes feel like I need to subsist on water and celery for a day or two.

     The terrible lighting is just one aspect of the whole unpleasant experience.  I don’t know why, but I can never find another pair of jeans that fits the same as the exact pair purchased at an earlier date. They’re either way too long, have a weird cut, or so tight I can’t breathe.  Who, exactly, are clothing companies making these jeans for anyway? Barbie and her friends?  In the bell curve of women buying jeans, I just don’t see the mean group being 6 feet tall and 100 pounds. But, hey, that’s just my perspective.

     Anyway, the reason I’m rambling on about jeans is that I needed some. I wear all kinds of jeans:  straight-leg, boot-cut, and occasionally skinny jeans (with a lot of stretch). But, I mainly wear the classic fit, straight-leg variety.  I want to be comfortable, and moving easily and breathing are pluses–especially when I’m feeding sheep, collecting eggs, or walking our dog, Dash.  So, when I found myself in Downtown Roanoke with some extra time on my hands, I thought, I should shop local.  There’s a clothing store in the Market Square where I’ve bought jeans a number of times in the past, and they usually carry what I want.

     Feeling good about my decision, I walked into the store and began to look around, gradually making my way toward the table in the center of the room with stacks of neatly folded jeans.  Of course, they’re never labeled in normal sizes, for instance, 4, 6, 8 or even small, medium, or large.  No, it’s some crazy stuff like: 26, 27, 30—(insert eye roll here). Nevertheless, it had been a while since my last purchase, and I couldn’t remember my double digit size. I was standing there looking somewhat bewildered and maybe a little lost in my faded, straight-leg jeans, cowboy boots, and the least amount of jewelry I could wear, when a cute, trendy saleswoman sauntered over and smiled. She was wearing dark, skinny jeans, stylish ankle boots, and fashionable, dangle earrings. She asked if she could help. I smiled and explained the style of jeans I was looking for and mentioned that I didn’t want anything too skinny as I have a little bit of a derrière.  She smiled knowingly and said that she was curvy, too, assuring me that she had a number of  jeans with “nice stretch” that would work well—her favorites.

     Feeling relieved that she understood me, I headed to the fitting room and….sigh, started getting undressed. The saleswoman arrived a minute or two later with three pairs of jeans.  I held up the first pair, which seemed on the small side. I looked at the tag:  skinny jeans. Although I had said that I didn’t mind one pair of skinny jeans, I immediately had visions of the scene in the film, “Eat, Pray, Love.” The one where Julia Roberts’ character has to buy new jeans, because she’s been living in Italy for three months, enjoying wonderful food, and gaining weight.  In the scene, she’s lying on the floor, desperately trying to button her jeans with the help of a friend. Well, I didn’t have a friend with me today, and I certainly wasn’t going to lie on the floor. I was either going to pull up these jeans and they were going to fit, or they weren’t. I tried them on. They were snug, but I could still breathe while sitting; apparently, “stretch” does makes a difference between consciousness and passing out from oxygen deprivation. After a bit of a struggle getting the clingy jeans off,  I was ready for some nice straight-leg jeans.  Trying to avoid the mirror, I reached for the next pair and held them up. Narrowing my eyes, I thought, these look a lot smaller than the last pair. I glanced at the inside label. What in the world? Oh Lawd, I thought, she’s gone and brought me a pair of ULTRA skinny jeans.  Which made me wonder, exactly what part of the, “I’ve got junk in my trunk” conversation did she not understand? There was no way I was trying on these jeans.  So, I picked up the last pair, which was—wait for it… more skinny jeans.  Apparently, the nice saleswoman and I had a miscommunicatiom. Or, maybe, HER skinny jeans were ultra.  You know, cutting off the circulation of oxygen to her brain and impairing her ability to process simple sentences.  At this point, I knew I needed to get dressed and just go out there and look for myself.

     As I finished up dressing, the saleswoman asked if everything was okay. Standing there in my classic fit jeans and cowboy boots, I pulled back the curtain.  I asked her, again, about the straight-leg or bootcut jeans. She paused for a second, averted her eyes, and said in a low voice, “We don’t have any. They really aren’t in style right now.”  I looked at her, confusion covering my face.  After a moment, I smiled, thanked her, and left.

     Here’s the thing:  I was obviously in the wrong store.  In what universe do straight-leg or classic fit jeans go out of style?  Well, anyway, they’re very much in style on Green Hill Farm. And, when I get home, I’m going to shop the way I like to shop for jeans: fully dressed, online, with a cup of tea, and no fluorescent lights.  But first, I’m heading next door to Chocolate Paper, a lovely stationary store that sells wonderful chocolate candy.  I think I deserve a caramel truffle with sea salt…maybe even two. After all, it’s good to shop local. 😉

 

46 Comments »

  1. Oh, I love this! actually in one of my former lives I was a ‘wardrober’ – a professional shopper for women’s clothing- can you believe that? you look petite- are you? it may interest you to know that the fit models for petites are a body type that actually allows for hips! you may need to go up one size for skinny jeans- and clothing manufacturers use different fit models so brand to brand- you will find different fits- and this is a kicker- several upscale designers – high price- loan out factory time to lower priced brands- kmart is one- so…having bored you to death- online- try the basic edition petite brand…and also of interest- Julia Roberts stylist famously purchased her jeans from kmart- not basic editions- but one of their brands. Talbots and Ann Taylor have excellent petite sizing, before you say you aren’t petite, for your body type give it a try! good luck to you! I feel your pain…and fast forward to summer- isn’t bathing suit shopping just as painful???

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  2. Haha I loved reading this episode! Very nicely composed ! The reference to Julia Robert’s scene was hilarious and your conclusion about saleswoman having low oxygen supply to her brains was damn funny! 😂 And I liked the optimistic way you closed the narrative! I absolutely loved this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get pants at a few places (stores, thrift shops) but am like you write down the name, size and style of my last purchased favorite pair. I have very rarely been able to get the same pair again. Argh!
    In life, jeans are needed/worn often, so they aren’t just a “surface” subject. I dislike getting a nice dress looking at how ones that stop at my knees make me look like stumps for legs. I also feel bad saying this since many body types have challenges! Thanks for the jeans “rant” outlet, Tonya.

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  4. Hahaha! Oh, you told that VERY well. These things keep happening to me, but because I’m getting old. Jeans — Can we get some with a zip over my pubic bone, thanks? Pants — YES, apparently the average woman in America is a 5’4 size 12 but secretly buys pants for 6′ and 100lbs. The last pair I bought, I pulled some long-crotch britches off the rack, so long I could have wrapped around my feet twice and took em to the seamstress. Lipstick — Apparently my whole God-given coloring has gone out of style and I am supposed to make do or go blonde or wear colored lenses, I have no idea. Undies — Am I the only woman in America who doesn’t wear sexy undies to work and hike?!? When I moved here, my aesthetician told me I’m out of style in waxing trends! No one does red nails, either, that’s so 90s she said, let’s do vivid color or black or nail art. Pajamas — Can I please have some with pockets? Men’s pajamas have pockets. Why do only men get to carry Kleenex and lip balm?!? I can still find what I want, but I have to go online quite a bit and I’ve noticed I’m in Talbots and CJ Banks oohing and ahhing over fabrics and styles when I wouldn’t have been caught dead in there in my 20s. Have you seen the standard length for shorts? I can’t even.
    Phew. I maybe needed to get that out.
    Ultra skinny. Pfffft, Ultra-just-wear-leggins, ffs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can relate. It seems once you’ve found something that you love or that works great, it disappears. It’s so aggravating! Some of these current styles and trends, though, I mean– ugh! All I know is what looks good or works for me, and that’s what I’m sticking with. I agree with you… red nails are a classic. If I do color, then it’s what I choose. A red polish with blue undertones looks better with my skin tone. I also agree about pockets in pjs, too. And, you’re right…ultra skinny–why not just paint one’s bottom half black or navy blue, put on a long shirt, and be done with it. 😉

      Have a good weekend!! 🙂

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  5. Oh my Lawd, dying laughing here! I know EXACTLY what you mean by those horrible fluorescent lights and mirrors that add at least 10 pounds to your figure! I am dressing myself like a toddler now until my traction device comes off. Pull-up stretchy pants and slip-on shoes, lol! I prefer classic and boot cut jeans too. I have exactly one pair of skinny jeans that I wear hardly ever, and only with a long shirt or sweater. Who the heck has a 2-inch crotch-line?? I can barely lift them over my butt! 😮 😀

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    • You’re hilarious, Kathryn!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I wear skinny jeans occasionally. They’re easy to dress-up, and you still get to wear jeans. But, I don’t like to wear them for very long–just not comfortable for me.
      I know you’re looking forward to to being traction-free. Take care and have a great weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh! I absolutely hate those stretchy skinny jeans – what is wrong with straight anyway? You enjoy those caramel truffles – any place that’s called Chocolate Paper is definitely worth visiting anytime!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always choose comfort over fashion. I have access to a Vanity Fair outlet, which carries 1000’s of jeans at a 50% discount..It’s the only place I go for them. Fitting room lights be damned ! And I don’t understand those images of women fighting to zip up those jeans ??? Never happened to me. I won’t suffer for a smaller size, no matter what. ☺

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  8. Oh how you speak to my heart!! It is SUCH a horrible experience shopping for jeans. My recent leg injury has left me needing to wear a brace so I decided that rather than have it on show all the time over my skinny jeans (yes, I do wear them) I would go and get some looser fit. My husband (a braver man than most) accompanied me for moral support and I can only say that I have resorted to stealing jeans from his closet because no-where would anyone listen to what was actually needed over what they thought I needed. And having been unable to exercise properly since the end of June (though the brace is enabling me to hike and run now so I am beginning to feel less Michelin more svelte again) the lighting just served to enhance the fact that I am clearly auditioning for the part of blimp balloon in a war movie! Loved this piece and I do wish you bon courage in finding the jeans of your dreams 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Osyth. I also wear skinny jeans occasionally, mainly when dressing up. I can wear a pair of black jeans, a dressy blouse, and heels. It ends up being more comfortable than a dress. But, on the farm, I stick with straight-leg jeans. It’s just easier. Buying jeans anytime is a challenge, but I can’t imagine it with a brace. You are a brave woman. It sounds like you were resourceful and found a satisfactory alternative. I hope you’re on the mend soon and moving around freely in your skinny jeans. 🙂 💗 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • The great thing is that it has made me rethink things. I hadn’t worn straight jeans for a long time but now I’m really happy with the way they look and feel and I can see it will be the look I stick with. My grandmother always said ‘fashion is what suits you’ and happy with how you look always makes the difference!

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  9. I have trouble buying jeans too Tonya, due to me being rather short in the leg and large in the tummy! Funnily enough, I dis actually manage to buy 2 pairs last week. None of them skinny, in fact, they are both classic cut!
    I am with you in our ‘untrendy ness’ but comfort and ease of breathing really do count for a lot!
    Hope you enjoyed the delicious choccy treats! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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