Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Favorite Jeans Blues

When you find a pair of jeans that becomes your favorite pair, the saddest part is realizing you're going to have to let them go at some point. You notice the wear in certain areas and know that they'll rip soon. Sure, you can reuse them to make a purse or something - but it won't be the same. You won't have that denim providing that comfort you've come to know and love. I came to this realization about a month or so ago with my favorite pair of jeans. Dark blue stretch bootcuts from Lane Bryant, size 18 petite. (That's right - for those of you who haven't seen me in person I'm a short chubby girl and for those of you who also don't know Lane Bryant is a store for girls who wear a size 14-32 and still want stylish clothes. Now you know the "secret".)

Finding pants for me is pretty hard because I've noticed that most of the size 18 pants I find will only fit a woman over the height of 5'5" without needing hemming - and I don't know how to hem. When I was in college, Old Navy used to be the only place that I could find jeans that fit. I fit quite nicely into their size 18 short pants and absolutely loved their jeans. Then a few years ago Old Navy decided to add this "Women's Plus" line and ever since then their size 16, 18, and 20 pants do not fit the same way - and the 16W, 18W, and 20W don't fit right AT ALL. Having given up on Old Navy pants, I headed over to Lane Bryant about 4 or 5 years ago and tried on their 18 petite. Bingo - for about $10 more I found jeans that fit perfectly. About 2 years ago I got the pair that are my current favorite pair.

And now they're about to die. And of course, sometime within the last year Lane Bryant also changed their sizes in their jeans. And it's kind of complicated and somehow the store associates know the formula to decide what size you should wear. It involves colors and numbers that in no way reflect what your size is. It's ridiculous. A woman shopping for LB "Right Fit" jeans is either a 1-8 in size, petite/average/tall, and yellow/red/blue. I'm a 3-Red-Petite. Whatever that means. All I know is they told me a 4-Red-Petite when the measured me and it was too big.

As if women's shopping wasn't complicated enough. This reinforces why shopping for men's pants - which only require you to know your waist circumference and your leg length - is SO MUCH EASIER. You can buy pants just about anywhere and they FIT RIGHT without trying them on. I can go out today and buy Steve a pair of pants and be 99% assured that they'll fit him when I get home. If he tried the same thing... it would likely be a miserable failure. In fact, when I tried to explain this system to him I thought his head was going to explode.

Anyways. I've been trying to figure out what possessed LB to come up with this crazy numbering scheme. I can kind of put my head around the colors; the colors are for different body types and curvatures that women have. Line up 10 women and there's a slim chance their curves will fall in the same spot. But the numbers? Why not just have the same number sizes instead of these weird specialty ones? Sure, I might be a size 3 at LB but there's NO way I can go anywhere else and pull a size 3 off the rack and expect it to fit anything other than my arm. Or maybe one half of my leg. Why not maintain the same 14-16-18-20-etc. numbering system??

The only thing I can come up with is that they're trying to help the overweight ladies feel better about themselves. In about 10 minutes I went from wearing a size 18 to a "size" 3. I'll never be a size 3 anywhere else - even if I lose a bunch of weight, that's just not my body type. But man... can you imagine the excitement if I lose weight and get to a "size" 1!!

Whatever. I'm not going to try to figure it out. My new pants fit and they fit mostly comfortably, so I'll just be happy with that.


Steve Athanas said...

You're missing the obvious point: they changed the size so you find what you like at LB, and have no option but to go back there to get that same size again. It's non-transferrable to other stores or brands, and therefore, they keep the revenue streams coming in..

Remember, that company has shareholders, and they like profit.

Missy said...

Oh I feel your pain! Last year when my favorite pair of jeans got a whole in the knee I literally sat on the couch and cried, I loved those jeans and I knew I'd NEVER find the same pair again. They are now my "painting" jeans and I get a little tear in my eye every time I donn them do do some home repair :-(

Kstar said...

Aren't holes in jeans the style? You could spin that tear in your knee as being trendy...unless they are a dress pair.

A tear int he knee is no reason to not wear your favorite pair of jeans.

T said...

34/30, no matter who makes 'em. I guess you're right. I never have a problem buying jeans. Thank God I don't have to deal with colors.

Mags said...

I HATE the new sizing system there. In fact, it's the reason I'm dieting. :)

Anonymous said...

My sister and Mom shop at LB-and hearing them talk I think they kind of like the system.