Skinny Jeans

Shopping continues to be an annoyance. I blame the down economy first, and then I blame my own lack of riches. I can, however, console myself that the fact that I’m a non-profit volunteering, art class enrolled, unemployed social worker means that really, I’m doing about as well as I would if I were employed in social work. I think in my last job that half my pay, if not more, was going to paying for an appropriate wardrobe (while I was losing weight.) Now I’m surfing in the twilight purgatory between plus sized and misses, between vanity and contemporary sizing. This makes me a hard woman to please.

I’ll start with the sizing. I just bought a pair of skinny jeans from Torrid. Torrid, once a plus-sized (corporate) sister to Hot Topic, is now like the hip, youthful and saucy (spirit) cousin of Lane Bryant. Once they catered to the more goth/punk look (earning the nickname by some, Fat Topic), and now they bring in a little bit of fashionista casual that isn’t afraid to be skin tight. I tried on the smallest size available (size 12), and they fit magnificently. Despite the less than 85% cotton denim, I was sold, and with much grumbling, paid around $60 for the pair. What can I say, though, they looked marvelous.

I’m going to repeat the size for you. Size 12. TWELVE. Really. What’s stunning, though, is that what sounds like not-a-plus-size really is. TJ Maxx allowed me to try on some DKNY and Calvin Klein jeans, both in a size 14 petite. The DKNY’s fit me almost perfectly, while the Calvin Klein’s felt like the next size up. Vanity sizing, indeed! Also, during this trip, at Nordstrom Rack I tried on Justin Timberlake’s brand, William Rast, in a size 32 (size 14). These super-premium jeans could be buttoned and zipped, but not without the ever-shameful muffin-top. Lucky Jeans fit me like a glove in a size 33 (size 16). Let’s add in the fun of UK retailer Top Shop‘s size chart, which equates UK size 16 with US size 12, with the measurements equaling US size 14 (in many cases). Torrid’s size chart, in fact, claims that a UK 16 is equal to a US 14. UGH!

All I want is reasonably priced, reasonable quality clothing that is fashionable for at least two if not more seasons, functional for the same, that fits me. For this time of year, however, this means I’m wanting denim that has a bit of weight to it, and while I don’t believe that Spandex is the greatest sin on earth, I believe that it should be used thoughtfully, and kept to a minimum. My fantastic Torrid jeans were a compromise (and purchased out of exhaustion), and leave me in the bind that when my next size drop comes, I’m still going to be surfing in this weird realm of three different sizes, between plus and misses, that I don’t know where I fit.

I can only hope, however, that when the times up I’ll be able to afford some of the fine designers available at discount prices. One day, I’ll be a fashionista.