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Going Jeans Shopping: I Have the Bell Bottom Blues

Typically, I feel pretty good about myself. Over the years, healthy food choices have become automatic and daily exercise keeps those feel-good endorphins pumping (hmm, funny how that works). But, nothing can put the kibosh on my usual happy-go-lucky self like a session in one of those four-by-four strangely lit torture chambers known as the dressing room. Trying to find a decent, affordable, well-fitting pair of jeans has truly become a study in frustration.

Credit: markhillary, Flickr

They look good on the mannequins, but they’re not real! Credit: markhillary, Flickr

All summer, I’ve sported shorts and was secretly pleased with my hard-earned muscular thighs and sculpted calves. But now trying to fit into a pair of jeans makes me somehow feel like a failure. Rack after rack is filled with the skinny, the ultra skinny and now the skinny skinny. Why not just buy a bucket of body paint? Who are these designed for, prepubescent 12-year-olds and fashion models that have not an ounce of muscle on their waif-like bodies? Surely not the Fit Bottomed Girl who revels in the afterglow of a crazy-hard workout and takes pride in the fact that she can knock out a set of push-ups with the best of ‘em.

And then it hit me — I’m not the failure — they are! Designers have glutted the market with one style, for one body type, and it is just not gonna cut it. Their singular thinking has us stereotyped as a cookie-cutter army of women. I’ve worked hard to keep toned muscular legs and a rounded backside and have no desire to smash them into a pair of skintight, non-breathable, synthetic denim-like material just to be trendy.

I have tried them all, and personally don’t find them flattering or comfortable in the least. Someone needs to jump off the bandwagon and design a pair of dungarees for real women; a pair that feels good on our bodies and enhances our curves, not one that is akin to wearing a girdle and has us racing to the bookstore for a copy of The Skinny Jeans Diet. 

I’d love to find a pair of plain old, shrink-to-fit, cotton denim. Luckily, fashion is fickle and the styles will change soon enough; until then I will continue to wear skirts to highlight my shapely gams and kick it in my worn but trusty boyfriend jeans. I’ll never be a poster child for this season’s must-have styles, but I will continue on my quest to be a healthy, happy Fit Bottomed Girl.

Are you a fan of the skinny jean? Are there other trending fashions you would like to see go away? —Karen

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