a challenge overcome

With my 30% discount voucher crumpled up in the bag, I headed off to explore.

I needed new jeans.

Traditionally, this is a tortuous process. I trek round shops and trawl websites in despair. Where are the jeans for sturdy, pear shaped, short legged people? Nowhere. I wonder if I should get the dressmaker to be creative, based on the worn through, wide jeans of many years ago. Maybe I should wear heels rather than sneakers? Heels? Nah, that’ll never work.

And so it goes. The last jeans I bought came in the post, so I could deal with the horror at home. They’re smaller in size than I’ve bought for many years, and my excitement at that caused me to overlook an unlikely detail. They are the only jeans ever to be too short for me. More daylight hours have revealed that I look like a policeman, circa 1984, with my trousers flapping round my ankles. All that’s needed is a bullet proof vest and some heavy weaponry.


The discount voucher didn’t apply to the luxury department store where I like to browse, but I looked at their jeans with my normal ‘aaargh’ angst. I was almost relieved to see a price label of £220- too expensive for me to expend brain power on.

After coffee and cake, I made it to the right shop. I braved bundles of denim. I didn’t blanche at the array of mysterious shapes- ‘Boyfriend’, ‘sexy Boyfriend’, ‘slim’, ‘super skinny’, ‘always skinny’, ‘don’t you wish you were skinny like me’, ‘curvy’, ‘bootcut’, ‘perfect bootcut’, ‘legging style’, ‘skinny ankle skimmer’ * – my rule of thumb was that anything including ‘skinny’ in the description was to be avoided.

Sizing is no more clear- some garments were in regular UK sizing-10, 12, 14, 16 etc- some in American sizing- similar numbers, but are they bigger or smaller? Is a US 12 a UK 8 or a UK16? Others were S, M or L. Most of the jeans were defined in inches- 26, 28, 30, 32 etc. I eventually worked out that wasn’t leg length, but most of the jeans don’t come as high as the waist, so why would it be a waist measurement? Being my shape, the biggest area the jeans need to cover is going to be more than 32 inches round. Where to start?

I was brave enough (thanks to that cake) to lift two styles and two sizes and just try them on. No other way to work it out, just get on with it. (So easily said, so rarely done.)

I did it. I walked into a shop, tried on several pairs of jeans and bought a pair I like. I didn’t feel like a fraud, or a fatty or a fake. I’m not any of those things, and I’m beginning to believe it. There seems to be a connection between losing a bit of weight and gaining a little confidence.

I’m quite enjoying this discovery.



*some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent


11 thoughts on “a challenge overcome

  1. Jeans are my worst enemy too and the stores that sell them. My favourite pair have just given up and I don’t havr the confidence to even think about finding some others (in a charity shop preferably). I don’t know how sizing works anymore, I think it’s pick any random number by both designer and customer. The US sizes used to be one behind, US 8 = UK 10 but I think that they’re now two behind. European sizing is still the most reliable, 10 = 38 etc. Happy jean wearing! 🙂

  2. Buying jeans is no easy task these days. I suppose by the time I discover which style suits me, it will be taken off the rails, never to appear again. My old favourites still hang in the wardrobe, they were bought in Troyes, France in 1999 and I did try on about 25 different pairs before making the final decision. I wonder if they would fit now? I might have to lie on the bed to coax them to close!

  3. Jenny, also being pear shaped, has just as much trouble finding a pair of jeans that fits. She has two very nice pairs she bought at Gap in Toronto. Unfortunately she can’t pop over to Toronto every time she needs jeans.

  4. I avoid shopping like the living plague. Especially jean shopping. Especially in actual stores with actual people in them, as opposed to the quieter, far more polite internet shops. Holy, hell, you’re a brave one. Rock on, Speccy!

  5. Don’t you wish you were skinny like me? Brilliant, Fiona. 🙂 I guffawed.

    And, I’m glad you found a pair of jeans. You give me hope that I will find some when I need to shop for them again.

  6. Good for you! I did have to laugh at the coincidence that my most recent purchase also came to be too short! I don’t know what I was thinking, but the jeans felt good and I bought them, only to realize they don’t work with any shoes I own! I do have lovely ankles. LOL! I do hate shopping for most items of clothing. I’m very hard on myself! Enjoy the new you!!

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