A Skinny Jeans Survival Guide

I had originally titled this piece “That Time I Bought Skinny Jeans and It Was Very Scary but I Survived and Now I Love Them” but for some reason, my editor thought that might be too many words to fit into the headline. But that’s exactly what happened, dear friends, on a sunny Saturday afternoon several weeks ago. ‘Tis a tale full of danger, mystery, and uncomfortable footwear but I invite the brave among you to journey along with me.

Our story actually begins at my office. We have a pretty casual dress code and blue jeans are permitted, but I had a problem. My boss is petite and put together and wears skinny jeans like God designed the style especially for her and in contrast, my comfy (okay, slightly slouchy) boot cut denim was starting to feel a bit frumpy.

I consulted with my best friend and she kindly but firmly informed me that it was time for me to take the plunge. I needed skinny jeans. I realize I’m several (many?) years late to that particular fashion party but this is the story of my life. I also just started watching Parks and Recreation and had never listened to Leonard Cohen prior to his death. Topics for another day.

Although philosophically on board with stylish pant-wear, I had reservations about the logistics of the endeavor. I’ve been proudly wearing leggings for a few years now, but the thought of combining the cling of leggings with the restrictiveness of denim made me nervous. You can accentuate your squishy parts while also having the life squeezed out of you? Yippee! Or not.

My friend and I ventured together into the strange world of The Mall – a land I confess I had not visited in quite a while. After hyperventilating briefly at the brand name price tags (which are considerably higher than both Kohl’s and Goodwill, I will tell you right now) and puzzling through a European sizing system (Why? Why?!?), I grabbed a pair of jeans and headed nervously to the dressing room.

It was in that moment of profound vulnerability, as I hauled the pants over my derriere, that I discovered the awesome power of Lycra. These jeans were STRETCHY, people! Why had no one ever told me that skinny jeans have enough elasticity to be used as long-range slingshots if the mood possessed you? After doing a few deep knee bends in front of the mirror – just because I could – I pranced out to show my friend.

She approved enthusiastically, but it turns out that clothes shopping is very much like that children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” If you buy a pair of skinny jeans, you’re also going to need ankle boots and a new top (or two). Unfortunately, ankle boots do not contain Lycra and are not especially comfortable. Too bad. I settled on a pair that were both moderately priced and moderately painful, with a glorious three-inch heel. What can I say? It’s fun to hit six feet tall! I probably can’t wear the ankle boots to work because I go up and down some very tall steps repeatedly each day and I’d likely die, but fortunately I already possess several pair of flat-heeled knee-high boots that fit beautifully over the new jeans.

I finished the day many dollars poorer in my bank account but immeasurably richer in the Feeling Awesome Account. So as we prepare to give thanks this week, let us offer up words of gratitude for the inventors of Lycra and for the friends who love us enough to tell us when our wardrobe needs updating.

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