This weekend when I saw my mom she asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I told her I was going shopping and that I needed some new jeans. Her first response was to my husband standing next to me, “Oh dear, are you the poor soul who has to go with her?”
My mom took me shopping for my twenty-fifth birthday a little over a year ago. What was I shopping for? One pair of nice jeans. Since this was for my birthday, I was ready to splurge a little bit and pick out a pair that was maybe slightly more expensive then what I’d normally pay for a pair of jeans. However, since they were going to be expensive, I required that they fit perfectly.
We went to store after store. I tried on probably a hundred jeans. In one store there had been a sales associate helping us who kept bringing different pairs of jeans for me to try on. After being less than impressed with most of them, we ended up leaving the store not having purchased anything. As we were walking out the sales associate (who happened to be of the male species) says, “You’re telling me that you didn’t like even one out of the eighteen pairs you tried on?”
The hours passed by, and as we approached late afternoon I was feeling discouraged…as was my mom and sister and grandma that had tagged along for my birthday. What did I do next?
Which then made my sister cry…and my mom might have cried, too. My grandma…well, she didn’t cry…she’s usually off in her own world! In the end, though, I ended up finding one pair that fit well at the very last store that we went to. Long day, but a semi-success.
This year ’round I went into this process of jeans shopping with a different mentality. I would definitely say that I’m in a much better place in my life as far as body image goes, and I armed myself with a few “rules” for jeans shopping. (These are just rules that work for me, I’m not saying that they work for everyone. We are all different!)
1. Don’t let the size mess with your head. So many different brands run small or run large, so there’s really no telling which is right. And do you know what? It doesn’t matter. I am not a number and you are not a number. I think in my closet right now I have pants ranging seven different sizes.
2. Don’t go shopping when you are emotional. I’m not an emotional shopper by any means, and I’m not going to go out and spend a bunch of money if I’ve had a fight with my husband. However, I do know that when I’m feeling down, or stressed, or anxious, or angry, I am much more likely to have a negative body image.
3. Don’t buy a different size jean just because you think they might fit you in the future. I know this works for some people, but I am now a firm believer in buying clothes to fit you comfortably today. There are not many things worse than having a pair of pants in your closet that you hope to fit into someday. If you do lose weight then you can donate your old jeans, and then buy new ones for yourself again! Double score!
4. Take your time. Saturday wasn’t my first attempt at this jeans shopping extravanganza. I have actually gone out a few times in search of jeans. Saturday was just the first time I found some that I loved.
5. Don’t panic. It’s okay if nothing is fitting right. I’m pretty certain that less than 3% of all jeans are made to fit someone like me (and I bet we all feel that way!) If they fit my waist then they’re too tight in the thigh, or they it fit my thighs then they’re too big in the waist, or if they seem to fit perfectly then they’re actually too long, or I look weird in skinny jeans but stumpy in wide leg jeans…blah, blah, blah. It may take awhile…it may take trying on over a hundred pairs…but there will be a pair for you.
6. Remember that being a beautiful person doesn’t have anything to do with what is on the exterior. Yeah, yeah, it’s cliche, but it’s so true. When you are feeling discouraged, just remind yourself this.
7. When you find them, buy them! Or two. Or three!
(See, I told you they’d be too long! )
Do you have any “rules” of shopping?!