This post originally appeared on OneFunnyMotha.com
I'm not talking about a return to the days when jeans extend all the way up to your neck. Or the time circa 1980 of pleated, acid washed jeans that really highlighted and accentuated your burgeoning abdominal region. I'm talking about a good, old-fashioned, fully functional, basic, fitting garment that actually covers the body parts it's designed to cover. I don't think expecting your pants to come up past your ass is too much to ask. In fact, that was once a basic tenet of clothing.
I don't know what happened in the garment industry, but it seems it has completely dispensed with its 2,000-year history of manufacturing clothing for the purpose of, well, clothing. Although we now have more options than ever with myriad styles, cuts and washes, sadly, none of them fit. It seems a cruel paradox.
Walk into any retailer and you'll find a dizzying array of denim. Jeans that are skinny, super skinny, super duper skinny, slim skinny, slim shady, confining skinny and can't-breath skinny. And that's just the skinny category. Then there's straight jeans, curvy jeans, straight curvy jeans, roundabout jeans, perfect boot cut jeans, sexy boot cut jeans, and boyfriend jeans not to be confused with the sexy boyfriend jeans or the metro sexual boyfriend jeans. That last one is the one I need. The metro sexual boyfriend jean: fashionable yet fitting. Where can I find those?
While I've had trouble finding my perfect metro sexual boyfriend, I haven't had problems finding a myriad of other options. I can choose any finish from distressed to faded to whiskered to dark wash to not-too-dark-but-not-too-light wash to my personal favorite, worn crystal. Then you have the rises. There's mid-rise, low-rise, ultra low-rise, low low-rise and half-ass-hanging-out-rise. But where, I ask you, is the high-rise? Where is the standard cover-your-stomach-so-your-flab-doesn't-ooze-over-the-side rise?
And don't even get me started on the skimmer jeans. There are approximately fifty-four thousand varieties of those too. By the end of sorting through the vast deep blue sea of denim, casting aside pair after imperceptibly different pair, in search of my size only to find one in the wrong length (regular or long but not ankle) because for some reason The Gap thinks the average American woman is 10 feet tall, I had to ask the perky salesperson, who was perched atop a ladder stocking the highest rungs of the towering floor to ceiling denim display, for help.
"Um, excuse, me. Sorry I just trashed the whole pile of jeans you painstakingly folded and now have to refold, but do you have the dark wash always skinny skimmer jeans in mid rise size 8 in ankle length? I don't see it here." To which the 23-year-old sales clerk responded, "Well, we have the dark wash deconstructed always skinny skimmer jeans in size 8 ankle but in low rise. Or the super skinny always skinny skimmer legging jeans in 8 ankle, but not in dark wash and those only come in ultra low rise."
"Let's make this a little easier," I exhaled. "Do you have any skinny jeans in this store that are mid rise in size 8 ankle?"
"No, sorry," she said chomping her gum before returning to the wall of denim, and I didn't get the sense she was genuinely saddened by my loss.
"But you have a million jeans in this store," I persisted, shaking my head. "How could you not have any in my size?"
But it was no use because I am not 18, and the world and jeans are stacked against me.
Please note, because I'd really like to avoid any confusion here, and with full understanding I think we can all come to a consensus on one very important point: I am not, under any circumstances, advocating for high-to-your-eye rise jeans. I talk not of your mom's mom jeans but a new jean, a better jean, a technologically enhanced jean. A jean for the 21st century with a delicate balance of fashion and function for women who have birthed a child or developed beyond the age of 21. A jean for the woman who would like to maintain a sense of fashion along with her dignity. Because while we may have become, after years of exposure, a nation desensitized to unwanted butt crack sightings, I assert crack is now and forevermore shall be whack.
What really confounds me about the whole situation is why such a jean doesn't exist. This idea isn't some fanciful notion. I know it can be done because it has been done. In fact, it's still being done. Only for men.
When these thoughts really get me down like, say, after a particularly hard day at the mall, I'll stare mournfully out my window and reminisce about the good times, the heady days of yore when clothing actually fit. I remember a more innocent time before muffin tops, before jeans needed to be hiked up every 5 minutes, before special complementary underwear was a necessary part of an outfit because undergarments actually remained under your garments. Mostly, I recall, wistfully, a by-gone era when one's exposed crack cause embarrassment, when all the world considered plumber's crack as the height of humiliation and not a given.
I say it's time to take action. Because I submit to you, good people of the world, a society in which mass unwanted crack sightings are tolerated is not a civilized society at all.
We had fitting jeans once, and we could have them again. In fact, we must insist upon it. We must rise up and demand our jeans do the same because while we have a multitude of rises, they have not risen far enough.