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Anyone who was a chubby kid can agree that growing up, your personal style was completely dictated by whatever would fit. For me, it was stretch pants and tunics until high school, when bullies made it painfully clear that I needed to squish my plump adolescent frame into denim. The rough material, the tight waistband with a metal button that left marks on my abdomen — nothing about jeans made sense to me. Why were we doing this?
After many teary weekends behind dressing room curtains with my mom patiently waiting outside telling me everything was okay, I started with one pair of extreme wide-leg JNCOs. The baggy fit was comfortable on my body and didn’t highlight me in any way — just what I wanted.
But my comfort was short-lived as we were ushered into the skinny jean era, and for a dozen years, we wrangled and sweat and pulled and pushed and smashed our bodies of all shapes and sizes into the tightest, most uncomfortable denim on the market, laced with Lycra and whatever other manmade fabric of Hades. I grew up, I lost weight, I went along with it, but now I’m done.
This month, after a weeks-long jeans hiatus in which I wore nothing but velvet holiday party dresses and cozy, thick wool leggings, I pulled on my tightest pair of skinnies to go to the office. Eight agonizing hours and countless seam marks across my stomach later, I made a decision: I am never wearing skinny jeans ever again. I threw all mine out, save for one black stretchy pair, and stocked my closet with the following:
An entry-level wide-leg pant in a totally wearable color. It has a retro feel, but doesn’t come across kitschy when paired with modern items. Match these pants with sweaters, long sleeves, short sleeves, literally anything.
I know every pair claims to translate from office to weekend, but these stovepipe trousers truly do. They look just as at home in a meeting as they do grocery shopping. Plus, they've been on sale for weeks.
If you aren't into leggings, these velvet joggers will replace whatever you’re wearing over the weekend. They might be the most comfortable item of clothing I own, and though I bought them to wear on long-haul holiday flights and car rides, I've also worn them to work and on lazy Sundays.
Thicker than leggings, easier to wear than jeans, these pull-ons look good on just about every body type. They also come in polka dot.
Please tell me there are others out there who are done with jeans; reach out and let me know.