My name is Kaitlin and I am a shopaholic. But even I have my limits… and those limits come in the form of pants. Pants, be they jeans or khakis or work slacks, have a way of ending all shopping trips, resulting in a feeling of self-hatred and a bowl of ice cream (which does not help the pants situation). About six month ago, I hit a turning point and decided that I was not going to let pants win. Want to know my secret?
I went up a size.
Yup, simple and easy, or so it would seem. I used to hate putting on a pair of skinny jeans at home and getting hit with that wave of sorrow when the jeans… just won’t… zip… up… Sigh. More despair when I know that pair fit last week, but today my bloated, menstruating midsection just won’t quit. Despite all the frustration, I’d keep them for the sole reason that shopping for new pairs sounded awful.
As a unique individual, I am petite yet curvy. Oh the joy of having hips that don’t lie! I am not fit, but I am not overweight… my bottom half is just hard to size. I used to deem myself unworthy of skinny jeans, thinking that because a size didn’t fit, I was stuck with relaxed or boy-fit jeans. At a certain point, it was just too much trouble. I had resorted to wearing only sweatpants on weekends and dresses to work.
One day on the cusp of spring, I decided that I had to deal with the agony of jean shopping. So I went to my favorite store, grabbed different fits and sizes, ended up with at least a dozen pairs of jeans, and went into the fitting room with a positive attitude. I didn’t look at the number as I shimmied into each pair. I glanced in the mirror for only 30 seconds or less as I quickly analyzed my first thoughts. If I immediately felt uncomfortable, I took them off and did not lament over it. Finally, after what seemed like ages in the fitting room, I emerged victorious with a style and size that was exactly what I had dreamed of getting. When I did check the tag, I saw that I indeed went up a size from what I thought I should be wearing. I didn’t care and I felt empowered for not caring. I was happy that I found skinny jeans that flattered my hips and thighs without feeling like a stuffed sausage, happy that I finally felt comfortable.
It may sound trivial, but this small achievement wasn’t about the materialistic side of shopping, it was about giving myself the chance to feel comfortable in my body. I love fashion and shopping, so I was really proud of myself for letting go of my insecurities and stopping myself from writing off skinny jeans forever. I was finally able to look past the number. To me, having fun with my wardrobe, no matter the cost or brand, is about feeling good and staying true to myself. Next time you are in the market for that hard-to-size piece, my advice is not to dwell on the size you think you have to wear, just be carefree as you find the piece that makes you feel sexy and confident. When you too emerge from the fitting room skinny jeans in tow, know that you won the battle against a number on a tag, which is a hugely empowering victory.