A History of Problems with Denim

21 09 2011

I’ve never really believed in premium denim.  I totally admit, that on some girls the look is amazing.  But those same girls could probably rock $50 jeans just as well.  A lot of what’s special about wearing jeans is how you wear them, what you wear them with.  I had a roommate at boarding school that moved halfway across the world with 15 pairs of jeans with her and infuriatingly managed to look completely glamorous every time she wore anything.  For me, jeans have always been something I’m forced to wear when it is too cold to have my legs out.  (As a disclaimer, my only caveat to this rule is denim shorts & skirts.  I lurrrrve them.  I don’t know why, but somehow adding legs to the denim messes the whole situation up).

But I think my real hatred of denim stems from shopping for it.  I am quite tall, with thin legs, moderate sized hips and a flat bum.  I know that curvy-bottomed girls have trouble finding denim to fit their behind, and, well, so do I… for the opposite reason.  Unless I wear a size smaller than I should, the jeans slide right off my backside, even with a belt.  If I do wear a size too small, well, then we’re stuck with gratuitous muffin top which is never okay.  I love my body.  I am a size 12, and I love my body.  When I try on jeans, I have to remind myself this during every step of the process.  I wonder what is wrong with me, why I don’t fit the clothes… when really, it is just that the clothes aren’t quite right for me.

To prove my point, I went back in my archives (read: looked through my Facebook tagged photos and found a few examples of my pants-wearing) to get a few examples.  In almost everything I found, however, I was rocking skirts and dresses.  And if you look in my closet, you’d see the same thing.  Tangent over, let’s get on with the embarrassing denim shots.

While you can see my body and style has changed over the years, there’s still something totally awkward about my jeans.  From semi-acid wash in 2006 to not-quite-right skinnies in 2009, to super-comfy but too big in the bum skinnies in 2010 (what, you don’t pole dance in the rain?), to olive-coloured denim in 2011 shot from a very weird angle.  I have a problem.

Before jeggings had made it big, I lamented to a friend after a particularly gruelling denim hunt (first world problems, huh?) that tights and leggings fit me fine and that they should make denim leggings.  Cue jeggings two shiny years later… but again, I didn’t get on-board.  The ones I saw either didn’t look like real denim on or reminded me subtly of mom-jeans when worn.  And again, some girls rocked it.  I just wasn’t with them.

Skip forward through all of my denim problems and I find myself coveting something dark, sleek, leather-y.  Something that fits beautifully but doesn’t slide off of me.  Now, I haven’t tried these on or anything, but looks-wise, I have found a contender- a jegging by J Brand.

Gorgeous, right?  It is the J Brand 901 Coated Legging and costs a whopping $174.  This is too much for a recessionista like myself.  I am cheap.  But I don’t think I can DIY it.  I don’t know where to get a similar style.  They don’t sell J Brand clothes where I live, so I have never tried on anything they produce for fit.  And somehow, I have always had the impression that although they stock bigger sizes, they aren’t always cut well to flatter bigger frames.  Maybe I’m judging them unfairly.  Maybe all this conjecture is an excuse to continue being cheap about my denim.  But when was the last time you saw an average-sized girl wearing J Brand?

New Years Resolutions

17 01 2010
Writing little notes

Alcohol, book, evil smirk... definitely up to no good.

I don’t tend to make New Years Resolutions.  This is mainly because by mid-January I am off the bandwagon and by the time we hit that month of evil known as February, I am too busy substituting love for chocolate.  But I made a few this year, mainly about personal growth.  One of them is about writing, and I plan to be doing a lot of it.  Hopefully, a lot of it happens here and gives me a decent writing portfolio that I can bandy about, claiming to be an experienced blogger.  The problem with my blogging stamina is that I am really good for a few days and then it sort of peters out.  I think it is pretty boring to talk about what you did every day or the things you saw, so I am drafting up a list of topics to talk about that will hopefully cover me until inspiration and habit force me into posting daily.  (I love blogging, I swear).

People garner up a whole host of excitement for New Years Eve.  They buy new dresses and shoes, dole out a ton of money on party tickets and champagne and end up losing their friends, not having any one to kiss at midnight and heading home with deflated hair, shoes in hand and tears running down their cheeks about ruined nights and wastes of money.  And that was just NYE of 2006, I have a whole host of similar stories.  The best time I have ever had was when I headed to the beach with a big group of friends, ignoring the rain, and made a big bonfire.  We sat around, listened to music, greeted other like-minded party-goers and went swimming at midnight wearing only a magnum of champagne and the surf that covered up our exposure.

An Island New Year Celebration

This is what holidays look like on an island.

This year, I decided I wanted something similar.  I went to a free street concert promoting “Unity in the Community”.  I had my first drink at midnight and realised that I am growing out of this party-hardy phase, that I am ready for the next big steps that require me to grow up, wear higher heels and network my ass off.  I think I am finally ready to stop being a student and start being an adult.  Because of that, I am here, writing.  Let’s hope I can keep it up this year.

Train Time

4 12 2009

As I write this, I am currently sitting on a dank London tube surrounded by bags and trying not to stare at the older gentleman across from me wearing a blue pinstriped suit with red tie. I am fascinated by his chunky gold pinky ring which reflects his scowl every time he catches me sneaking glances. Because here’s the deal: I love people watching. I love to get on a train with no headphones, no book and with no agenda and just observe my fellow commuters. People are fascinating. Some are afraid of other passengers and try to fill up the seating area while others appear to be so perilously lonely that if nobody sits down they will just sink back and be engulfed by the stale, sweaty seats.

Different tube lines have different scents. None of them are pleasant. The metropolitan line always smells like manure but a woman behind me is eating an orange. The zest has wafted throughout the carriage and even Mr. Pinky Ring seems grateful for it.

Some people get on the train and continue loud, raucous, inappropriate conversations. I like these folk better than those that drop to a stage whisper and look around as if the carriage is conspiring to spread their secrets. These are still better than those that believe public transport is their bathroom and apply lashes of makeup, clipping their fingernails and occasionally painting them for good measure. And the few that know people watching is happening grab an intelligible newspaper and wait to be scoped doing heavy reading.

I’ve switched onto a train now and am zooming North towards Manchester. I see rolling hills, horses, sheep and every other cliche of the British countryside. Thatched roofs and slightly browning, wispy grass that stretches dormant as far as I can see. Horses and cows grazing peacefully in shared pastures. Why can’t humans get along so well?

The wet slick of a puddling field winked up through the bales of hay. This is how I see this country. I think the majestic foliage is lost on those napping around me. Back to people watching I go.

Love Christmas is All Around

2 12 2009

Model- Julia, Photo taken January 19, 2005

My last post was all magic and splendour and Christmas loving.  And I still feel that way.  But, there is something about this season that has always bothered me.  And that is, I think, all tied into the weather.  Summer, and to a certain extent, autumn, belong to the singles.  Summer is the time for reckless abandon, where the skirts get shorter, the drinks get stronger and the parties last until the sun rises.  Autumn sees a bit less spontaneity, but up until Halloween, it belongs to those who make the most of the last warm days.  I do not mean to say that couples do not enjoy summer, but what they can and do get up to is limited by their commitment (and if it isn’t limited, then often they end up single).

When the temperatures drop in November, people pack on sweaters and head indoors to curl up with a good book, a glass of wine or a movie with a loved one.  They opt in for nights in with their sweetie.  As a single girl not particularly looking to settle down right now, this throws me through the loop.  I can deal with hating Valentine’s Day like every other single person, but being unable to see my coupled-up friends from November onwards (because they are busy doing absolutely nothing and too lazy to put on a sweater) really gets me.

But then, out of nowhere, I feel like a hypocrite.  I want to stay in, I want to cuddle, I want someone to buy presents for.  Am I bitter?  Lonely?  Hardly.  I am suffering from the Mariah effect (which I touched on before).  Every time she warbles that she wants him and nothing else for Christmas, it slowly ingrains itself into our brains.  We begin thinking that Christmas, which is a lovely time for family and friends to show each other that they care, is a time for people to make grand gestures and pronounce their lifelong love and devotion.

One of my favourite romantic comedy films is Love, Actually.  The eight storylines all end in different ways and as much as we all want that Hugh Grant prime minister or the author played by Colin Firth to realise that they love us, that we should love them… it doesn’t always turn out so spectacularly.  Take Emma Thompson’s character, who realises that her husband is somehow involved with his secretary.  She has a moment of tears, then plasters a smile on and tells her kids that they were fabulous in the school play.  Or another sad moment, but a favourite of mine is when Mark confesses to his best friend’s wife that he has always loved her.  Without ruining the whole film for everyone, what is spectacular about it is that it celebrates the highs, the lows, the clichés and the conundrums that real people face during the holiday season.

A Christmas song I’ve had stuck on repeat lately because of its realism and beauty is by Heather Nova, a native to my homeland.  She sings that although she and her partner have a long way to go, she feels the Christmas magic.  Which I won’t bah humbug about at all.  Hope you enjoy it.

A Foreign Land Revisited

22 11 2009

When I had the idea to begin a new blog, it came with nearly 10 years experience of blogging on-and-off privately and publicly.  I began my foray into blogging at about 13 when the internet was a big, new, scary place for me to try to discover.  I soon was a dab-hand at HTML, graphics and writing mildly entertaining news posts about my life (keep in mind, I was only 13, I’m sure they were pretty trivial).  Shortly thereafter, I got a webcam and entered the world of cam-sites which was quickly far too seedy for my tastes.  When I hit about 15 or 16 and my social life caught up with me, blogging really fell to the way-side.  When I started university, I decided to pick it back up but only ended up with a site glorified by photographs of myself and friends.  Not quite what I wanted.

This next foray is an attempt to recapture what is so fantastic about keeping a blog: it is a way to gain audience, to give exposure and light to things that you care about and to keep track of the little things you might otherwise forget.  I have just finished relocating to London and the adjustments I am making are tremendous.  It is the little things, like nobody knowing what eggnog is, that make you realise you are in an entirely different place.*  At the brink of my release from academia, I figure I should have a portfolio of my writings, ramblings and rants.  What better way to do it than put together a blog about things I stumble upon that are interesting?  So, here goes nothing… hope it works out this time.  I’m not good with committment.

* Just as an aside, for anyone not familiar with eggnog, try not to think about the ingredients.  It may sound disgusting to combine heavy cream with eggs and liquor, but it is sweet delicious sin.