Shopping for jeans is not an enjoyable experience for me. If given the choice between gargling bleach and trying to find some well fitting denim, I’d be tossing back a bottle of peroxide like there was no tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve never been given the option to sample the supermarket’s finest selection of bleaches, and so on Thursday night after work I bit the bullet and made my way into the city in order to find the perfect pair of plum coloured pants. (Because everyone needs a pair of plum jeans, right? It’s basically a human necessity. Like water or shelter or something.)
A moth drawn to a bright flame, my reluctant journey took me into the back of the department store that boasted large discounts on marked prices. I managed to work out my sizing in the weird measurement system most denim companies insist on using and things were progressing well. (That is: I’d not flown into a murderous rage and ripped the store apart. I did have a thorough grumble to myself that nowhere on any of the tags were the words “PERFECT FOR SHORT GIRLS WITH STUMPY LEGS AND FLAT BUMS” though. Kiiind of what I was looking for.)
After rifling a little through the racks, my hands fell upon a beautifully soft pair of maroon jeans. At 70% off, I nearly fell over myself in excitement as I searched desperately for the size at the waist. 25inches. About three sizes too small for me.
Still, the fabric seemed stretchy enough, and aside from the fact the jeans weirdly didn’t possess front pockets, they would have been absolutely perfect for what I was after. So I threw caution to the wind, and took them with me to the change room. I reasoned if they didn’t fit I’d just go hungry until they did. Because that’s healthy.
Strangely enough, they fit.
I did all the tests. I bounced. I karate kicked. I crouched. I pliéd and demi pliéd. The small space of my change room became a NASA testing pod for all sorts of bizarre leg movements (you never know when you need to break into an Irish Riverdance), until I’d mentally ticked all the boxes and decided that these jeans were perfection and comfort personified.
The next morning, I pulled them out of my bag, congratulated myself once more on my shopping prowess and went to pull the tags off.
Then my heart sank.
I stared, slack jawed at the description on the back of the tag, which I had quite obviously missed in my excitement the night before.
“MATERNITY JEANS.” The tag proclaimed with all the smugness in the world.
I’d bought bloody maternity jeans.
Horrified, I gaped at the stretchy waist. The area where pockets usually are had been replaced with elastic. They sat about my hips slightly further down than a regular pair of lowrise should, with an obvious dip in the front.
“Well, damn.” I breathed.
After a moment’s hesitation, I sighed and pulled them on, reviewing my appearance critically in the mirror. The fit was pretty great, and they were incredibly comfy. I could make them work. For a pair of pants reduced from $140 to $30, how could I possibly go wrong, maternity jeans or no? There was absolutely no reason I should be that horrified at what was simply a label. The label didn’t matter. What was important was that I felt amazing in them, and could also tell people that I was totally wearing a size six.
Also, it meant I could eat all the food in the world, and not have to unbutton my pants, and at the end of the day, that’s a pretty great thing.