The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The skinny on my pants

A friend of a friend who relocated to London just a few months ago has been an invaluable resource for me these past few weeks, patiently helping me to answer such all-important questions as "will I be able to get my kids into a decent school," "are there items I won't be able to find in London which I should bring with me" and "am I an idiot if I think that I will be able to find room in a London flat for the entire train set, the huge dollhouse AND the oversized plastic kitchen?" (Yes, pack as many ziplock bags and Pullups as you can find, and ixnay on the itchenkay, in case anyone else has the same burning questions.)

She happened to mention in passing this week that the fashion scene is somewhat different in London than in suburban New Jersey and she's found that she's not necessarily wearing a lot of the clothes she brought with her. Given the price of apparel in the UK, I asked her to elaborate a bit. If my wardrobe needs some spiffing up, I figured, I might as well do it here before I go and save a few pounds. Her helpfully detailed answer stopped me cold. "Not a fashion maven," she wrote, "but here's what I've noticed... boot cut totally out, skinny pants."

There was some other ridiculous information about everything being dressier and women wearing heels to the playground, but I really couldn't get past that first sentence. I was blinded by the skinny pants.

When I first heard about the resurgence of skinny pants I kind of laughed it off. My group of friends tends toward the casual and the classic, and we're not quick to jump on trend bandwagons. I figured I had a year or two before skinny pants made it to our neck of the woods, and I knew that even if I decided to pass on the look altogether, my social standing was not likely to suffer as a result.

But now here I am moving to a major metropolitan city. I'm already going to stand out as the crazy foreign lady with the crude American accent. Do I want to further increase my chances of complete social ostracization by wearing unfashionable clothing?

And so yesterday found me in a Gap dressing room, staring at my skinny-panted reflection in the mirror and muttering under my breath. I'm too old for this, I told myself. No one who wore a trend the first time it was popular should be caught dead in the same look 20 years later. At 5'2", the whole long and lean thing was lost completely on me and my bottom half simply resembled a short blue triangle. I have absolutely no hips to speak of and I was wearing a size 4. And yet somehow, I looked hippy and fat in those skinny jeans. It was awfully hard for me to believe that I was ever going to want to put those things on my body.

I stood in the store for what felt like an eternity, staring at those ugly pants and thinking about the value of fitting in. And then I bought them. Those skinny jeans, with the tags still attached and the receipt tucked into the pocket, are now a symbol of my hopes for this move. It is my fervent dream that I will find a group of women who proudly wear boot cut pants to befriend in London. The day that I am able to mail my new skinny pants and the receipt home to chichimama so that she can return them for me would be a victorious one, a sign that I have made it in London without compromising myself. But if that doesn't happen, at least I'm prepared. I will be a hippy, triangular Londoner if that's what it takes to blend into my new environment. But goddamnit, I'm not wearing heels to the playground. Ever.


At 4:16 PM, Blogger Steph said...

I would so stick out like a sore thumb in London. Dressing up? Heels to the playground? And skinny jeans? Yikes - at not even 5', that would not be pretty! ;) Give me plain ol' jeans and a t-shirt, and I'm one happy girl!

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Steph said...

PS - hope that you can send those jeans back to chichimama really soon!!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I would never ever wear heels to the playground either. Yikes!

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Skinny pants are now in?

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Ps - I know you'll be a smash in London and that everyone will clamour to be your friend. I'm looking forward to hearing about your playground experiences and the moms in heels (MIH). :-)

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I say rather than London teaching you about fashion (heels to the park??), you teach London about comfort. ;)

(I've been pretending skinny jeans are NOT coming back. I will continue to do so. EEK.)

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Gina said...

Heels to the playground? They've got to be f'ing kidding?! Heels? Good grief. And don't they know PENNY LOAFERS and oxford cloth shirts go with skinny leg jeans? Sheesh.

Please s'plain why I'm hundreds of miles away but I feel like you're moving out of my neighborhood? I can only imagine how Chichimama feels.

BTW, congratulations on being MOTW.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Liesl said...

Well, if the skinny jeans have been in in London for any length of time, they'll probably be on their way out soon. That's something to look forward to.

All in all though, I'm quite sure you'll find a group of moms who will love you, whatever kind of jeans you wear :)

At 5:07 PM, Blogger ByEmre said...

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