Wednesday 22 May 2013

Guest Blog: The Jeans Genie vs The Genes Genie

Guest Blog by Helen Barbour of The Reluctant Perfectionist, a blog about life as a writer with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Helen attended my Blogging for Beginners and Improvers Workshop last November.  
Guest Blogger: Helen Barbour
Let me start with a confession: I hate shopping. A genetic mix-up has left me with a love of action movies, but no interest whatsoever in buying clothes or shoes.
There is a special sub-category to my loathing: shopping for jeans. Thanks to another genetic anomaly, I have giraffe legs. The standard long in most shops is no match for an inside leg of 34”. Finding jeans that fit has never been easy. Now that I am ‘of a certain age’, it has become almost impossible.
 A much younger friend responded to my grumbles by recommending Top Shop, on the basis that their long was 34”.
I knew that Top Shop was for woman half my age, but I was desperate.
They certainly seemed to have a wide selection of styles, many in 34” length: skinny, slim, straight, tapered, boyfriend… I circled the displays half a dozen times, trying to find the cut I wanted. On each circuit, I discovered a new permutation of style, length and colour. Yet all of them looked much the same: painfully narrow, with a lack of fabric around the midriff.
I collared a young assistant. ‘I know I’m too old for this shop…’
‘Ah bless,’ she said.
‘…but a friend recommended you [it’s not my fault, I know I shouldn’t be here]. Do you – by any chance – have high‑waisted, long, boot-leg cut jeans.’ I said this very slowly, to enable her to take in the details of such a bizarre request.
She frowned. I might as well have been asking where the Higgs Boson Particle was.
‘The thing is,’ I blustered on, ‘I need a high-waist to hide my middle-aged spread.’
‘Ah bless,’ she said.
From Kissmequick on Tumblr
At this point, a vision flashed into my head of all the 20-something girls I’d seen with muffin tops ten times bigger than my pot belly spilling over the top of their jeans. They had no qualms about letting it all hang out – why should I? I suspect because it’s easier not to have qualms in your 20s. In your late 40s, a little more decorum is called for.
‘Mmm,’ she frowned again. ‘It’s a shame, our denim expert’s off today. She knows everything about our jeans.’
A denim expert? What next, a tee shirt tsar? A glove guru?
I tried on half a dozen pairs, anyway.
The worst were the skinny jeans. Not only did they cut off my blood flow, they also transformed my long, slim, straight legs into the bowed struts of a chicken wishbone.
Next time, I’ll head for the safe, middle‑aged embrace of M & S. I’d rather settle for jeans an inch too short, to safeguard my circulation – and keep my belly (button) to myself.
Visit Helen's blog The Reluctant Perfectionist


Creaky door writer said...

Love your blog. Shopping for jeans is indeed the most stressful kind. On the other hand, finding a pair that is flattering yet comfortable is like discovering the Holy Grail. There is a part of me that never stops looking...

Helen Barbour said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this, Sophie. It was a tough choice between writing about shopping for jeans or shopping for bras! - I have that same Holy Grail feeling about them...

Shop Girl said...

I don't actually mind jean shopping because my legs and bottom are my favourite bit of me! But bra shopping is awful, to the point of upsetting! And the only bras that do anything for me are always so expensive!

Thanks for sharing!