For months now I’ve been on a desperate (and fruitless) search for loose-fitting jeans. I just want a comfortable pair of boyfriend jeans with a nice wash and a little leg room. Something I can dress up with a cute vest and heels on the weekend. Or dress down with Chucks and a t‑shirt when I’m out with the kids.
But I keep coming up empty. And yes, this is my own fault for shopping for jeans online. But cut me some slack. I have three kids under five. Weekend shopping ain’t exactly a habit.
Every time I add a pair of boyfriend jeans to my online shopping cart I think, “This time… this time it will be different.” Every time it is not. I mutter prayers under my breath as I pull the jeans up my thighs. Every time, without fail, they get halfway up and are like, “Hahaha. Nah, brah.”
I’ve tried going up a few sizes and that generally helps with getting the pants up over my butt and thighs, but then they’re too big on my waist. And, even with a belt, I get the Mom Jeans/‘I’m wearing a diaper under this’ look.
I was browsing Old Navy’s website last week (Old Navy’s fashions are on the come up! I ain’t ashamed…) when I came across a cute pair of jeans described as “boyfriend”, “straight leg” and “easy through hips and thigh.”
Sure the model was slender, and yeh I just had a baby and gained a few (okay more than a few…) pounds. But, I’m 5′ 4″ and a size 6/8 even with the baby weight. Finding things in-store shouldn’t be impossible.
After mulling it over I figured, ‘Well this might be a bit tight in the butt and upper thigh, but surely the leg will still be wide.’
Um, wow. How wrong I was.
This is how the jeans looked on the model.
And this is how they looked on me.
They went from ‘boyfriend’ to ‘skinny’, there are creases everywhere and my butt looks like a shank of ham. And before you say, ‘But Leila! That’s not your size!’ In my waist, it is. There was no muffin-topping. Waist-wise it was perfect.
And I know I’m not alone. I know many of my fellow black girls have dealt with the ‘petite in the waist but not particularly petite in the butt and thighs’ struggle. The ‘no matter what cut of pants I buy I look like stuffed sausage’ struggle. The ‘no Ginuwine, there really isn’t any room for you in these jeans they’re cutting off my circulation’ struggle. The ‘if it wasn’t for stretch denim I wouldn’t be wearing jeans at all!’ struggle.
We need to start a hashtag to document this. Maybe #howitlooksonthemodelvshowitlooksonme or #thesejeansaintforthickgirls
Cuz, like, wow.