Does my butt look big in this?

Shopping for clothes can be so much fun, but shopping for some things can fill a person with dread.

I hate trying to buy jeans and togs (swim suit).

It is obvious why I don’t like trying on togs. Stripping down to near nakedness and having to examine yourself in bright white lights. Usually buying togs is done out of season so there are remnants of yellowing tan and a few extra kilos lurking around the belly and thighs. They need to fit well, especially if I am buying them for training purposes (boring one piece, standard issue Speedo) or beach purposes (prettier, preferable two piece so I can wear them all day and not strip naked everytime I need to pee).

And then there is the cost. For each tiny scrap or two of lycra there seems to a proportionally oversized price tag.

Unfortunately I am due to replace my beach togs sometime before my next beach holiday. My current ones have worn out, which is a shame because I actually do love them.

I also hate buying jeans. Again the price pisses me off. I refuse to buy department/chain store brands. Yes, I am a label snob! I am a ladder shape – straight up and down. Also very short through the body, with not much length between bottom of rib cage and hips. I am almost 50. I have had three large pregnancies followed by three caesarian operations. Flat belly? Dream on!! I also consider my thighs to be chunky. It might be muscle. It could be fat. Whatever. I don’t like them.

So jeans don’t fit me. I hate trying them on, squeezing into pair after pair, or having the next size up hang off me, being able to slide them up and down without undoing them. And for the privilege of walking out of the store with a bag, handing over a wad of hard earned money.

It must be more than 10 years since I bought a brand new pair of jeans. I have been buying other people’s mistakes off Trade Me or from the op shop. If I only spend $25 maximum, I don’t care if they don’t fit me perfectly. I usually buy Levis. I know my size. I know which styles I prefer. I haven’t had a total disaster.

My jeans might not fit me perfectly but they have always been good enough.

On Friday I went op shopping with a friend. I was on the hunt for new jeans. I thought I might try skinny jeans, tuck into boots jeans. I picked three pairs to try on off the first rack. The jeans are not sorted so you go through all the pairs. I look at the butt side. It is easy to pick the Levi pockets. But this time I chose three non Levi pairs.

The first pair looked tiny. But I pulled them on and they fitted like the proverbial glove – except I couldn’t actually get my foot through the bottom of the leg. Stirrup jeans, anyone? I figured I could get my favourite alteration lady to fix that for me if I chose to go ahead.

The second pair were dressier jeans. Perfect for wearing to work in my new job. WTH? Again a perfect fit. No gap around the waist, no muffin top, butt tucked away in a nice neat package and thighs didn’t have neon signs advertising their size. Plus these still had the original shop tags attached.

The third pair were Workshop brand, an edgy NZ fashion label. Holy Cow! They must use a mannequin who resembles a middle aged mother who runs but eats cake! These jeans were perfect in absolutely every way. Not even any sign of being worn before (the inside label showed no sign of fading or washing).

I bought them. And the dressier pair. Total price for two pairs $18. The way I feel when I wear them – priceless.

Trying on jeans