My Skinny Jeans Revolution

 



(Outfit Notes: Necklace-Vintage/Tunic-TJMaxx/Tank-Target/Jeans-Old Navy/Shoes-Target)

Let’s talk about “skinny jeans” today, shall we? When they first began edging their way back into popularity, I was their sworn enemy. I joined a facebook group called “We Hate Skinny Jeans”, and I thought of them as a frivolous fashion statement for teenage girls. At the time, I still bought into a lot of the junk about women’s body types being akin to fruit (pear, tomato, etc.), and felt that as someone with hips, a butt, and a soft belly, I should stay far away from the skinny jean phenomenon.

Over time, I have freed myself from the notion that certain shapes should avoid certain clothes. These ideas are constructed by people who wish to categorize us all neatly into groups, and make us follow their silly made up rules. Well, the truth of the matter is, there are as many body types as there are people, and we should all wear what we like, whatever it is that makes us feel good. Is that magazine article telling you that at only five foot two you should avoid all maxi skirts, but you think they are lovely? Wear one anyway, and rock it! Is that fashion “expert” on TV proclaiming that your round hips mean you can’t touch those fun, floral-print pants that you find fabulous? Turn off the TV and put on the pants. As long as you like your clothes and you feel happy in them, that is all that matters.

So…back to skinny jeans. I hated them with a passion. I saw them looking nice on others, but I swore them off for myself because I am not built even a little bit like Audrey Hepburn. Over time though, I began to see women of various body types wearing them and looking amazing. I was at a community event one night a couple of months ago, where some young people were doing hip-hop dancing, and this girl who had curvy hips and a full booty was busting out moves in her skinny jeans. Society would most definitely try to tell her that she was shaped like a pear, and shame her for her clothing choice, but she was clearly proud of her body, embracing every curve of it, and wearing the clothes she wanted to. I instantly admired her.

Recently, I had an amazing fashion find. I live in Maine, where you absolutely need to own a good pair of boots. I have a pair that are terrific for trudging through deep snow, but they probably weigh a couple of pounds each, and if I walk indoors with them I feel clunky and my feet sweat. So, I have been on the lookout for a perfect pair of more fashionable boots for times when I am not playing in the great outdoors. I was shopping with a friend at Target one day, when I stumbled upon a pair, exactly like I had been picturing in my head as the ideal boots, in the clearance section. There was only one pair, and they were exactly my size. They were marked down to only twelve dollars. I snatched them right up.

The only problem is, my jeans would not easily tuck into them. I always ended up with annoying bunched up fabric on my legs. For a while I wore them exclusively with skirts and tights, but I really wanted to be able to wear them with pants too. And so, my reluctant hunt for a pair of skinny jeans began. I tried on many, many pairs, and was just about to give up when I finally found some that fit me well. (A lot of jeans have far too low a rise for my comfort and liking.) I brought them home, and intended for them to be my “with boots only” jeans.

But then, I dared to wear them to the supermarket with flip-flops. And another day with flats. And I still liked them. And they were not as uncomfortable as I would have expected. I was converted. The boots were my gateway to discovering that skinny jeans were not so evil after all.

Now, they are by no means as comfy as sweatpants…but they do make me feel youthful and stylish. This is what I believe our clothes should do for us: make us feel good. “S” over at the  blog Academichic once posted that she discovered her love of skinny jeans after “Being in Europe…Seeing women of all shapes and sizes rock the skinnies with confidence and pep…”. She also added that wearing her skinnies despite not having “stick-thin rail-long legs” was a kind of quiet revolution for her. Wearing the clothes you like proudly instead of avoiding them in an act of hatred against your body, this is how change can happen, one person at a time. This is one way that we can say to heck with society’s pressures.

So, here I am, wearing skinny jeans despite all of the messages from the media that tell me I am too old, too fat, too short, or too curvy. I don’t care what they say. I like these jeans and I like my body. And as the saying goes: start a revolution, stop hating your body“.

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Welcome!

 

I never in a billion years thought I would start a style blog, though I have always liked clothes and fashion. I even wanted to apply to fashion design school for college, but I chickened out because I didn’t feel confident enough in my sewing abilities. (Or my going-away-to-college abilities, for that matter.) I have never really considered myself to be an authority on fashion, or a trend-setter, but rather someone who is seeking to have fun with clothes. As an artist, I suppose it makes sense that I would want to carry over design, color, shape, pattern etc. to myself. I have gone through many style phases in my life, including a tattered-jeans-over-technicolor-leggings phase, a giant-baggy-camouflage-cargo-pants phase, a hippy-peasant-blouse-bohemian phase, and even a period where I wore only grey tops and jeans. My sense of self is ever-evolving, and my style and wardrobe seem to follow right along.

I have now been a Mom for two years, and I can truly say that motherhood has had a giant impact on me, and on what I wear. I spent a long time after my son was born just throwing on whichever jeans would fit my (now different) belly the best, and whatever shirt was cleanest. My hair was always in a ponytail, and I wore the same pair of loafers every single day until they wore out. I really wanted to start wearing “cute” outfits again, but I had all these rules that I made up for myself about what things I couldn’t wear anymore, and I wasn’t quite sure how to balance function with fashion.

Then, I turned thirty. I always have birthday anxiety, but this was a big one for me. Thirty had always seemed like this big number, looming on the horizon, that surely would never actually arrive. Thirty was off somewhere in the future, and I felt I could stay in my twenties forever. Now that I am thirty, and have had a couple of months to settle with the idea of it, I realize that there is really not anything different about thirty than there was at twenty-nine, with the exception of the first numeral in my age.

Since this milestone birthday, I have stopped listening to all the “Nos” that I had set for myself, and all the stupid “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” that the world pressures us with. I have spoken my mind more. I have taken up new hobbies. I have been working to shed media constructs of beauty from my mind, and embrace the diversity of bodies, including my own. And, pertaining to this blog, I have decided to wear what I want, when I want, regardless of societal constructs about age, body “type”, or mommyhood.

So, here I am now, deciding to blog about it. I am doing this because I want to document my journey. I want to talk about body confidence, and style concepts, and why I think fashion rules are bogus. I also hope that you will jump in and join the conversation every step of the way. I don’t want this space to be simply a humdrum parade of mediocre outfits, but rather a jumping off point to discuss some of the issues that seem to crop up around sartorial choices.

I have a lot to say on these topics, and here I will share my thoughts, one post at a time.