Today I am wearing jeans. This is abnormal.
It didn’t used to be — like many American girls, I grew up wearing jeans. After college, working at a major software company, jeans were like a uniform. I wasn’t one the guys, but wearing the same clothes helped me fit in: jeans, a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and athletic shoes. As I got bigger, finding jeans became more of a quest. Lees, Lane Bryant, jeans with elastic in the back of the waistband. Years after I’d quit buying “goal clothing” and assuming “I should keep this because it’ll fit when I lose weight”, I still kept old jeans.*
Why don’t I wear jeans much anymore?
It’s partly that they’re harder to find in my size.** In fact, I had a few years where I could get elastic-waist lightweight denim pants pretty easily, but not 5-pocket (or 4-pocket) sturdy jeans. These years also coincided with me taking a meditation class and discovering that I couldn’t take a full breath in the jeans I had been wearing.
I have a big belly. I know, I know, what a shock. But I am definitely apple-shaped, not pear-shaped: my belly projects frontward; my waist is larger when I sit than when I stand. In retrospect, the jeans I wore in high school and college acted like a girdle, holding in my lower belly, and yes, I had a muffin along the waistband (though it was usually covered by my top). And I got used to breathing mostly with the upper part of my lungs. But in a meditation class where I’m being encouraged to breathe deeply …. again, the jeans were having a girdle affect.
So as the jeans wore out … I didn’t replace them right away. I just wore elastic-waist pants. More comfortable, certainly. But I’m wondering if the girdle lack over the last few years is also having an effect, in that my belly is drooping lower than it used to and I haven’t gained weight.
Then, after buying a house, I discovered that blackberry vines keep “volunteering” to grow in our yard, and I’m periodically pruning roses and trees and otherwise doing tasks where I really wished for sturdy, thick jeans. A few years ago I did buy a couple pairs of jeans on sale: a pair of “stretch” midrise jeans from Silhouettes in size 38W and a pair of Lane Bryant highrise jeans in 40W. I’m wearing the stretch ones today. They’re quite comfortable for sitting,*** but I do periodically have to tug them up while walking.**** But they performed their role of “body armor” while I was scrubbing the deck, so I’m happy. Next up: blackberry vines. (Or, maybe, lunch.)
*And old bras. I still keep non-fitting but have found to be comfortable bras, because my bra size changes whenever I make a change to my exercise routine. It also changes with the moon. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it started following astrological charts.
**Especially since the local boutique which carried jeans up to size 44W (Kathleen’s) closed when the owner decided to retire.
***The 38Ws fit fine while sitting but tend to try to slip off while standing. The 40Ws are fine while standing and very tight while sitting. Different manufacturers.
****I suppose I could buy a belt if I wanted to wear them more often…or, say, ask the man of the house where his belt is (his belt, which was originally my belt, but I wasn’t wearing it)…