I am gonna pull from the vault for my post today, since I don’t think anyone wants to hear about my slow decline into madness at the hands of four children in a small hotel suite.  I was thinking of this old post as I went on a quick trip to the mall yetserday, and walked into Urban Outfitters, which was my favorite store for a long time.  My love for this store has abated as of late, following a progression that goes something like this:

In high school, I discovered the store in a big city and prayed to the Lord On High every day that this heavenly place would open a chain in my hometown of Kissimmee, Florida.  I loved this store as much as I loved The Smiths – and that was a lot.  In college, I was still a fan, and made sure to shop there any time I had some really important event and wanted to look cool.  Like trying to get noticed by Perry Ferrel at Lollapalooza.

In my late twenties, I still shopped, there, but I also started to get dismayed by the disproprotionate relationship between price and quality.  I mean, shouldn’t a $68 shirt that looks like I picked it up at Goodwill hold up after a wash cycle?  But it still seemed like the bastion of cool, even if I only browsed and then tried to piece together the looks at cheaper places. 

Post-baby, I would enter the store and be halfway inspired and halfway confused.  I stopped shopping there because it seemed like one needed to be a waif to pull off their styles – but I looked forward to the day when I could drop a few pounds and walk out with a cute dress.

But yesterday.  Yesterday I walked into Urban Outfitters and I am ready to admit:  I don’t get it.  EVERYTHING was ugly.  Not ironic.  Just ugly.  The shoes that look like the jazz shoes I wore in college dance classes, the printed rompers, the denim overalls.  And this:

Has this store gotten lame, or have I gotten old?  (Please don’t answer that).

The New “Mom Jean”
(originally posted April 2008)

I went shopping for jeans the other day, and I’m still reeling by some uncomfortable revelations.

My shopping quest started because I decided it was time to venture out from my hoodie-and-yoga-pants uniform that I wear pretty much every day. I decided it was time for a little self-care. I’m still young and hip, right? I need a young and hip outfit.

I started my adventure in Urban Outfitters, and then headed over to H&M. I can count on these stores to clue me in on the latest trends, I figure. But I am disturbed by the fact that each of these stores seem to carry only one shape of jean, in varying colors. The skinny jean.

Now, I know the skinny jean is cool. I’m not living under a rock. But I know my body type. And I know that a pear shape in a skinny jean is not a pretty thing. Why would I want to emphasize my midsection and thighs with jeans that sqeeze my legs into a small taper at the bottom? I have always been a fan of the Lowrise Bootcut. The lowrise makes my waist look longer, and the bootcut makes my leg look more proportioned. Hmm, I think in dismay. I guess I need to head over to the Gap for the old standby jeans.

I wander over to the Gap, which has always been dependable in making jeans that fit me. Actually, as I perused the back of the store, I noticed it was lined with jeans for all shapes, sizes, and generations. They even still carry their “classic” jean, which is the Mom Jean of my own mother’s generation. I begin to think that perhaps the Gap should not be my fashion compass.

I leave the Gap and wander the mall again. I start to take a mental note of what people around me are wearing. I noticed that everyone under 25 is wearing skinny jeans. And I mean everyone. Anyone who looked cute, hip, and trendy had on some version of this jean

I begin feeling the slow, sinking despair one feels when they finally crawl out of denial. Like the feeling of finding out a boyfriend is cheating. Or like reading the nutritional content of a Starbucks Frappucino.

“Oh my gosh,” I say out loud to no one in particular. “LOWRISE BOOTCUT IS THE NEW MOM JEAN!”

I take a minute for this to sink in. I have have been holding on to the lowrise bootcut for years. I’ve been clinging to this fashion like my grandma clung to polyester long after it’s time. Like my own mom clung to light denim with pleats and a 9″ zipper.

So now, I’m stuck with two options. 1) continue rocking the bootcut lowrise, the New Mom Jean, or 2) look like a stuffed sausage in a pair of skinny jeans.

Oi vay. Back to the yoga pants and hoodie for me.