An Open Letter to Skinny Jeans

Our long and tumultuous journey began years ago, when I first saw you being worn by someone walking down the street. I did a double-take. I stared.  I shook my head and laughed at the transient and inexplicable whims of trendy fashion. I declared, "Wow. Those jeans are tight! Only a stick figure could ever pull those off. Those won't last the year." Well, a year later, you, Skinny Jeans, were still there, clinging as tightly to popularity as you do to buns. I admire your tenacity, I do. You not only endured, you prospered, and not just with stick-figure physiques, either, but with every type of body--ranging from pear body shapes to apples, to bananas, and all fruit in-between.  I was incredulous, especially given how many of those fruity shapes really were not well-served by your embrace.

Slowly, yet deliberately, you conquered the world of popular female fashion, much to my chagrin. But, you were not done, you wily and innovative vixen! No, your domination of popular culture makes the Kardashians look like amateurs. You evolved, presenting yourself in all colors, deviously augmenting your versatility, begging to be matched with any style and pattern. Then, just as I felt your domain could expand no further, you broke free from your classic denim constraints and mated with leggings to produce the bizarre love-child we call Jeggings. You expressed no shame in the cross-breeding, no loss of dignity; why be ashamed when it only increased your favor?

And just when I thought things could get no worse, at the climax of your fame, you managed to reach even higher: you jumped the gender gap. I started seeing you worn by angst-riddled teenage boys, becoming a regular accessory to their dark, swoopy-banged look. After the Emo boys declared their loyalty, attaching their chains to you, you broached the unbroachable: teenage clique boundaries. Yes, you were being worn not only by the Emo kids, but also by the Hipsters, then by the Student Council kids, and eventually, the Jocks. And then, alas, came the final, monopolizing blow, when you decimated your competition: I heard one of my students declare the other day, "Ugh, boot-cut jeans are just so hideous." I thought of my drawer of well-loved boot-cut jeans and was sad in my heart. Well played, Skinny Jeans. Well played. Your power was complete--you had achieved total pants domination.

Now, Skinny Jeans, you are everywhere, worn by everyone, all of the time. And just like poof bangs and bad perms in the 80's, we all eventually adjusted to this new fashion reality. My dismay was slowly muted and you became just a part of the panorama of every-day life. Eventually, I caved as I strove to keep pace in the high stakes world of trends, and I tried you on for the first time. Yes, Skinny Jeans, I went to the store and purposely sought you out. Your long-con worked, and I was drawn in. I went into the dressing room, heaved a sigh of defeat, and put you on.

Although, "put you on" is actually a rather simplified summation of what really occurred in the dressing room that day. I am surprised I got out of there alive, actually. From the moment I put one toe into you, getting you all the way on was more intense than Cross Fit. There was pushing, shoving, sweating, rolling around, banging on walls, one-legged hopping, punching and shrieking--I am sure I probably frightened the other customers and tempted salespeople to call security. Finally, I managed to heave your unforgiving and restrictive embrace over my calves, and, sucking in my gut, to force the zipper and button closed.

And then, in glorious horror in front of my eyes, I was able to see every flaw of my lower physique.  The phrase "muffin-top" seemed at this point like a pleasant--even welcome--euphemism for the unsightly mass that was my abdomen spilling over the waistline. And when I say abdomen, I don't mean just skin and flab; I mean my actual intestines and stomach. My butt did not look pert and shapely, but rather like pummeled bread dough.  My calves, used to freedom and air, were smothered and started to itch. My bladder complained threateningly under the pressure. And can we talk about movement? Squatting? Impossible. Bending over or sitting down? When I attempted those simple feats, your death grip merely encouraged more avalanches of escaping tissue. Adjusting underwear? Wasn't gonna happen; they were cemented into permanent position. Breathing was difficult, and I became dizzy. In short, wearing you the first time was like stepping into a medieval torture device. I ended my torture session by cursing the fashion gods, who were surely enjoying the frenzied show.

Gratefully, your desire for acceptance has led to pretty low standards when it came to partnerships, so you allowed spandex and elastic into your family tree. It is only through this merger that I was ever able to don you and wear you about without wanting to die.  

So, Skinny Jeans, this is a letter of defeat. I offer you my congratulations. Even I, the skeptic and critic, wear you regularly.  Given the elasticity you exhibit in some forms, I can accept this, and I begrudgingly admit that you aren't all bad: you allow me to wear my beloved boots with much more ease than before, and I quite enjoy your versatility.

However, I leave you with a word of warning: fashion is a fickle mistress, and one day, you too will find yourself becoming the object of scorn, resigned to never-opened drawers and yard sales. Brace yourself, Skinny Jeans, because even though we have struck a tenuous friendship, when that inevitable day of rejection comes, I will not be sad. I will remember those lasting first impressions, that scarring battle in the dressing room when we first came together, and I and my entire lower half will send you off into the fading sunset with relief and perhaps a vengeful cackle of glee.

Hesitantly Yours,

A Begrudging Patron.