Trying on jeans for the first time

My generation will remember the 2000’s flare jeans. Unlike a simple bootcut, that flare went over and under your whole shoes. The sound of walking wasn’t footsteps but fabric wiping the ground. When it rained, half of the fallen water would be absorbed by the fabric and reached knee height with a visibly darker effect. Not to mention the holes. Real holes from over use in unattractive places, not fashionable symmetric holes on the kneecap.

denim jeans try on

What people wear today, skinny slim fit denim more similar to leggings, seems alien to me. That’s why I haven’t bought, nor worn, jeans for ten years. Even then, I was too 'plump' for real jeans and too 'goth' for blue, therefore opted for off-brand jean-like black pants.

In my defence, ten years ago we had Nokia brick phones and Myspace. It was a geologic era ago.

Despite that, last weekend, I accepted the boyfriend challenge and we both walked into a well-known denim store. Walking in wasn’t the hard part, the real challenge was trying on a pair. He knew what he wanted and didn’t need any help, I, on the other hand, probably made that nice retail assistant’s, let's call her Jean Genie, day. Or the opposite, who knows!

I started with: “Hi, I really need your help.”

The Jean Genie must have thought I was being extra, like a last minute present. Little did she know, I was about to reveal her my darkest secret.

“I have never worn real jeans, I don’t own trousers, I don’t know my size. I would like to try on some jeans. How do they work?” (I avoided puns on my Italian genes but I thought of at least three of them).

She tried to explain the difference between regular, slim, and straight fit. I did not get any of that. But she looked like she had curves, which I could deeply relate to, and looked comfortable in her jeans, which I could only wish for.

“What would you wear? And, is ‘flare’ still a thing?”

I am not sure if she thought I was joking, but she handed me two pairs of jeans, eyeballing my size. She truly was a genie. One was the same kind she was wearing; the other was an underwhelming ‘flare’ type. They call it ‘bootcut’, as if it made it any better.

“Could you go one size up? I wouldn’t want to cry in the changing room on my first try.”

She granted my wish and  gave me two extra pairs, just in case. Bless her soul.

In that changing room I finally understood the whole jumpy thing. Such foreign concept to us dress wearers. Eventually, I looked down and the button was buttoned, I slid my hands inside the ‘pockets’, and it most certainly felt like I was wearing denim! That was already a personal success and I was ready to walk out to show the result to the boyfriend, when I saw my reflection in the mirror.

Bam! My whole bottom half was there. There's no escape, no hiding, no frills to distract, no extra layers. That’s my body, right there, for everyone to see.

I am very much aware that we all look different yet we all are exactly the same, nobody is fully satisfied with their appearance and there is plenty of room for improvement and it’s not primary school and adults don’t make fun of each other and a lot of very educated reasons for me not to freak out.

But I did freak out as I was emotionally and physically invested in this challenge.

Even in my ‘short shorts and crazy coloured nylons’ phase, I felt a lot more comfortable than wearing a normal pair of blue jeans. It doesn’t make sense but I will try to explain.

Short and nylons, questionably patterned leggings, or flare jeans and a skirt on top, are unusual fashion choices, people may criticise the style or take a few second to process the ensemble but, by that point, I have either walked away or showcased my sharp intelligence and sense of humour.


On the other hand, jeans are a common item of clothing, everyone knows what jeans look like, and they all look the same. There’s not much to process. What does change is the shape of the person inside those jeans, every shape is different and, in my opinion, that’s what captures attention. And my personal attention was caught by what I least like about my body, which is usually playfully hidden by skater skirts and wrapped in layers of nylon. 

All in all, I had high hopes for the ‘flare’ jeans, which were not met. There was still nothing to distract my eyes from my legs and things that shouldn’t (?) be that shape or hang so low. Yet, I am so grateful to the Jean Genie for bearing with me and not laughing, nor expecting to win me over to the denim side so quickly. 

Also, I learned that I can fit into a pair of jeans if I wanted to, they don’t change who I am, and that they still don’t have functional pockets.

Disclaimer: the boyfriend didn’t notice any of that. He found me wearing denim ‘refreshing’, despite the tornado of thoughts inside my head. Thoughnado!

Image: via

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