These Pants Don't Fit [Or] A Moment of Shame

I have this problem where my jeans always wear out in the crotch. Since I discovered patching them at the dry cleaners, I have been remedying my crotch ripping problems that way, but when two pairs of my jeans blew out the in same week, I nearly had a melt down. It could only mean one thing: I needed to get new jeans.

I hate buying new jeans. Pants are my kryptonite. I know, this is not exactly the attitude that one needs on the verge of shopping for new jeans, but it is what it is. So I breathed into a paper bag, told myself it would be alright, and went to buy jeans. I wanted black ones. Specifics. This is how I shop because I am crazy.

At first, I went to Lucky Brand. It's my tried and true place where the jeans fit WOMEN (not girls with no hips and booties) and I always feel good when I walk out of there. But they didn't have any good sales... so I walked away. That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was when I walked into the Levi's outlet. And I said to the guy "I generally wear a size 29." He said, "Oh you wear a size 9?" and I said, "No, I wear a size 29." I like this distinction because I believe sizes that are not in inches are misleading. Turns out I was wrong, not even sizes in inches are created equal. The last person I wanted to talk to about this was, in fact, a gentlemen sales associate who was clearly straight.

I grabbed a size "29" and a size "30" and went for the dressing room where I was completely unable to zip up either pair.

Let. The. Melt. Down. Begin.

That was when I noticed the size 29 also read "9." That could only mean one thing: these were jean sizes tailored for juniors ...and I became a little furious. I headed back to the racks to search for a larger size and then, in my fury was UNABLE to find a size bigger than 30...I had hit the size ceiling in that particular store. Oh. My. Shame.

That was when I felt the creep of shame start to come over me. I realized that not one pair of jeans in the store would fit me. They weren't meant to fit me, but I became immediately agitated. I started to feel like I wanted to lash out--at the pants, or the associates, or just an innocent bystander. I stuffed my feelings down, chocked back that feeling in my throat, and rushed to the nearest Old Navy where I tried on a size 8 (which zipped) and a size 10 (which was way too big) and I breathed a giant sigh of relief.

I then put them back on the shelf, and resolved that I would never again shop anywhere for jeans with junior sizes, and if at all possible would just buy Lucky Jeans. But none of that is the point. The point is, in the moment I couldn't fit in those Levi's I felt completely humiliated. I felt fat. And then I felt ashamed.

I felt like everyone in the store knew those jeans weren't fitting me, and it upset me.

My logical side says, "you have to bounce back from this--let's dig in and sort this out with some shame resilience." So I needed to talk about it, which I did with my husband. Then I tried on jeans that fit, and felt even better. Still, how many women have that same experience and feel totally alone? How many times has that happened to countless women?

How many melt downs are tailored for women in a dressing room at the hands of pants that are made for teenagers with no butts, no hips, and long legs? It drives me nuts. I want to scream and shout and say, "I am of an average size! I love my body and you are making me feel not good enough with your stupid teenaged sized jeans!!!!" But I can't. So I am bringing it to my readers. Because I believe that if we share our stories we become stronger and then we don't feel so alone.

Tell me about a time you might have felt ashamed and how you bounced back. Maybe it had to do with your body, or maybe it was something different. As women (and many men, too) we can all relate to times when we felt not good enough, or just plain upset when something didn't go our way. Share [with love] in the comments section below! 


  1. Yeah, I've definitely cried in a dressing room when trying on pants. Sit down on the floor, button and zipper undone, pants barely over my thighs, shameful crying. Usually I end up going home after that. I've not gone pants shopping in QUITE some time and am really nervous about when I've got to do it next :/

    1. This happens to WAY too many women. My husband never has this problem. Maybe we should start shopping support groups--like, we accompany one another to the stores and give each other pep talks. Then we can say things to each other like, "It is the industry--not us!!!"

  2. I've cried in dressing rooms before.... and yes it was junior sizes that made me feel that way, I hate shopping for jeans, I'm normal, I wear a size 6-8 in woman's depending on the why do we let them make us feel fat!