So I have been meaning to write this sooner, but well, life and travel got in the way! Over the 4th of July Weekend my plans had been to lounge by the pool and soak up the sun. Well the crazy rainstorms would not part, so instead I went shopping. There were SO many sales that it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I have been in desperate need of jeans for…well a very long time. I want to say that the last time I went jean shopping was in my sophomore or maybe junior year of high school. I finally came to terms with the fact that I no longer fit into those jeans, (surprise, surprise I know!).
However, in the world of dressing rooms and changing sizes I would rank jeans shopping as the 2nd worst shopping experience of all time, with bathing suits coming up with the gold! Like most women I dread jean shopping, so I steadily prepared myself for the tears and frustration to follow this trip. This time however was different! After a suggestion from a friend I went to Gap to update my wardrobe.
There was essentially next to no one in the store (maybe the rain didn’t ruin others plans!) which allowed me to easily walk around the store and ask the associates questions. The main barrier that I faced was the sizes. I had absolutely no clue what size I was because they used a completely different scale than I am used to seeing. In high school I used to shop for jeans/shorts at what I like to call the teenybopper store. These are the ones who put their clothes in sizes ranging from 000 to 16+. These are also the stores where I often faced tears and frustrated sighs as I saw my size grow past zero, a size that I haven’t been since middle school. After looking at the wall of jeans with numbers 24 and over I realized I had no idea what I was doing. The sales associate quickly showed me the size chart and grabbed me a few different options. I took a deep breath, walked into the dressing room, and began trying on jeans figuring that they couldn’t possibly be the right size on the first trip into the small room. I was completely wrong. I found several styles that fit me and I was excited to go back out and grab my number off the wall of multicolored blue jeans. The rest of the time spent in Gap was determining which styles I preferred instead of stressing about my size, and ultimately I left with a massive bag of jeans and shorts (all majorly on sale!). I have never felt so incredibly relieved and content while leaving a store after an afternoon of jeans shopping.
It was not until after I arrived home that I realized why I had such a positive experience. Not only did I find great fitting jeans, but also my size did not bother me in the slightest. Since I was on a new scale with numbers that ranged throughout the mid twenties, I did not feel like I had gained a monstrous amount of weight since I last tried on jeans. Whenever I shop in stores that use that scale ranging from 000 to 16+ I feel like everyone around me judges me for not being a zero. Scratch that, I judge myself for not being that miniscule size. Working within this new range that focuses on waist size instead of those tiny numbers, made me feel so much more confident. This may just be a whole lot of psychobabble but I think that for the first time I was finally focusing on what style made me look and feel the best, rather than worrying about my number. The number that is sewn into the inside of the jeans, one that no one else will ever see or know anyway.
It is nothing new that women worry about their body size, and in a world where we strive to be a size which is defined as the absence of quantity it is no wonder that we dread jean shopping. However, working within a scale that moved away from these small numbers, I felt like the experience was so much more about the style of the jeans instead of where I fell within the scale. This is just a small victory, but it is one with an important impact. I feel so incredibly confident in my new jeans because they fit me perfectly. It is no longer about my number, but instead how well they look and feel on me. I cannot wait to break out my new jeans when the weather cools down! Size? Who cares, they look amazing!