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Imagine, if you will, a moderately curvy fat woman of average inseam length sitting at her desk, pausing in her professional tasks to peer out the window and idly muse, “I wonder if Lane Bryant has the right fit straight leg jeans in stores yet?” Then imagine this fat woman calling her local LB and discovering that YES, Right Fit straight leg jeans ARE in stores, or at least average-length, Right Fit Reds are in one particular store, and then imagine this woman squealing in a fairly uncharacteristic way and waving her arms around like a Muppet and then grabbing her pursing and running out the office door, barely slowing down to tell her coworkers, “I’mgoingoutotlunchnowandmaybesomeshoppingI’llbebackbye!!!” and you will have imagined me at about 12:30 this afternoon.

I’ve been waiting for this moment since Colleen first announced the immanent arrival of LBRFSL jeans. I’m currently unhappy with my jeans array (I have three pairs, each of which is wrong in some small yet fundamental way) and straight leg jeans offer a very appealing middle path between boot cuts and skinny jeans. Although I could have ordered the jeans on-line, I suffer from extreme size-chart cynicism and decided to grit my teeth wait until I could try on the range of sizes necessary to figure out which pair worked for me.

That turned out to be a pretty wise move. LB’s Right Fit size calculator recommended Red 6. I normally wear an 18/20 (I am, in fact, wearing a pair of size 20 non-Right Fit LB pants right now, and they are a little big) so 6 seemed large to me. Having now tried on LBRFSL jeans from a 3 to a 6, I can confidently say that the size calculator is smoking a special kind of size-distorting crack. I ended up buying the jeans in a size 5, which someone younger and trendier than I am might feel were too big on me, but the 4, while comfortable, just fit too… sleek. Yes, these are probably going to loosen up with some wear, but I own a belt and I’m not afraid to wear it, plus I was edging a little close to camel toe territory with the 4s.

I basically agree with everything Colleen had to say about the waist band and the detailing and the cuff and the fit. I’m particularly pleased with the waist band, and with the rise. These are, thank Maude, NOT low rise, which I am like so way over from a basic comfort standpoint, I can’t even tell you. I didn’t notice any stinky dye smell, but I never noticed such a smell before, either, so I’m probably not the one to ask about that.

ETA: I just smelled the jeans after showing them to my coworker, and they do smell like something, but whatever it is, I think it smells kind of good. Chalk it up to that brief but unfortunately inhalant phase I went through in the mid-90s.

I did end up buying two pairs – one blue, and one black. The store was offering a buy one, get one half off deal, which made the price a little more palatable (I do disagree a little with Colleen that $54 is a fair price for these jeans because I just don’t think the denim is all that great, and also because I’m a cheapass Yankee). I had always intended to purchase two pairs (pro tip: if you do not share a dwelling space with your own washer and dryer, having two pairs of working jeans can save you some drama and stress and public shame) but was skeptical about black jeans generally, and find “whiskering” to be vulgar in a way I have trouble really articulating. Once I tried on the black pair, though, I was pleasantly surprised at both the fit and the look of the jeans.

So, in summary: don’t trust the size calculator, comfortable, attractive, not vulgar, potentially on sale, and just in time for casual Friday.


This must have been the three-day weekend for symbolically moving on.

Spoonforkfulls had a jeweler cut off her wedding ring, and I gave my wedding dress to the Brown Elephant.

I was about a size ten when I got married four years ago. My wedding dress, which was just a white cotton day dress that I bought on super sale at Marshall Field’s, might have even been a size eight. Whatever size it was, it doesn’t fit now and hasn’t fit since my first anniversary.

I remember the day not just because it was my first ever wedding anniversary, but also because, although I was unaware of it at the time, it was the day I took my first shaky step towards fat acceptance. And by “first shaky step,” what I really mean is that my first wedding anniversary was the day my carefully constructed world of “permanent lifestyle changes” and atypical results collapsed down around me in a spectacular heap.

Like I said, my wedding dress was a white cotton day dress. I was in law school at the time, and unsurprisingly, had very few occasions for which a white cotton day dress was a suitable garment. About six months into marital bliss, I decided that I would wear my wedding dress when my husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate our first anniversary. It’s a cute idea, and it would have been a lovely and appropriate sartorial choice, except of course when our first anniversary rolled around, the dress was way too small.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before on this blog, but in the interest of not making anybody dig through archives, let me offer a bit of back story: Like most people, I yo-yo dieted to varying degrees of success starting at about age eight, up through and including my penultimate diet, a stint on Weight Watchers beginning in 2002, which resulted in my losing about 80 pounds (still never made my goal weight, though). I then went to law school, and realized that the level of intellectual, physical, and mental stamina required to perform at an even remotely acceptable academic level necessitated that I eat more than 1000 calories a day. I also resented using my precious free time counting stupid points, and let’s face it. Sometimes when I was on my fifth straight hour in the library, denying myself just about everything that I loved the only thing keeping me together emotionally was cookies. So, while on some level, I recognized that staying on Weight Watchers and academic success at law school were completely incompatible, on another, deeply denial-laden level, I was sure that, having lose eighty pounds, there was no way I would gain them back. I had made a Lifestyle Change! The Fates of Weights wouldn’t be so cruel as to render all of my hard work and self-deprivation for naught. Surely, the fact that I was suspending my Weight Watchers account for law school, and not for a love of cheese cake or abject laziness or some other fundamental moral failing, meant that I would find myself on the “right” side of that ninety-five percent when everything was said and done.

Yeah, sorry, no. My first anniversary fell the summer after my second year of law school, and that wedding dress was too small by at least two sizes, and let me tell you. I completely lost my shit. Here is my beloved husband, dressed up and ready to go out to dinner at an expensive restaurant, and here I am, sitting on the couch in a t-shirt sobbing my face off because I had failed to do what nearly every other human being who manages to lose weight by simply eating less and exercising more had failed to do. I didn’t see it like that at the time, of course. All I saw was failure. Sure, I had great grades in law school and had secured a fantastic summer clerkship and had, concurrently, just successfully completed one year of marriage to the love of my life but I was also FAT, and thus a FAILURE, and thus WORTHLESS, and thus the money it would cost to feed me at a fancy restaurant, not to mention the cost for labor, materials, shipping, etc., that a new dress in my dreadful new size, would be utterly wasted on me. Oh pathos, up yours!

Eventually, I got it together and donned a skirt and shirt that I derided at the time as “fat clothes” (which I have long ago jettisoned as too small) and actually enjoyed dinner. Not long after, I got a prescription for anti-depressants and then some therapy and then read Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata and then got turned on to Shapely Prose by a friend who will always hold a special place in my heart for that very reason, and while I still have my moments (had one on Friday that I might write about related to the realization, shocking to absolutely no one but me, that I have back fat) I’m doing okay.

But I still hung on to my wedding dress. At first, I had an idea that I would return to Weight Watchers with that hoary goal of Fitting Back into My Wedding Dress. When that didn’t work out, I decided I should keep the dress because it was my wedding dress and that seemed like something I should keep, even though it was far from the kind of heirloom quality, bespoke garment that I would wish to force, I mean, pass on to my hypothetical children. Then I kind of forgot about it until Saturday when my husband and I tackled the long-delayed but very necessary task of cleaning out the larger of the two closets in our apartment and there it was.

I took the dress, entombed in four-year-old dry cleaner’s plastic, from the back of the closet and regarded it at arm’s length for a minute before stuffing it in a hideously floral and broken wheeled suitcase that my mother pawned off on us last Christmas with the probably undeserved benediction, “Stupid dress, you made me have a nervous breakdown on my first wedding anniversary!”

And just like that, it was gone.

I should probably get my wedding ring resized (again), too, but I can still get it off with the aid of some lubricant (oh hush) so I think I’ll wait until October and see if summer is making me as puffy as I suspect that it is. And congratulations and high-five to Spoonforkfuls.

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July 2009
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