An open letter to designers of women’s jeans:
There are few places on the female body more gorgeous than the small of the back. Regardless of her shape and size, a woman can usually show off that gentle slope proudly, without fear of excess skin or flabbiness. It’s one of the reasons it’s such a popular place for tattooing, and why men like to put the palm of their hand there when we’re walking down the street. It’s hot.
Because it’s so hot, women’s jeans have gotten lower and lower, from the simple low-rise to the super-low-rise. It’s given birth to low-rise thongs and brought back a resurgence of low-cut, lacy little boy shorts for women. It’s made women brave. Those who might not have worn the short-shorts of the 80s or the short denim minis of the 90s can embrace the low-rise jeans of today! Hooray.
You knew there had to be a “but.” Nine-tenths of all low-rise jeans are made for women with no ass. They look beautiful in Calvin Klein ads – long, thin torso with two wide dimples just above the ass, miles of golden skin stretched over a knobby spine. These jeans are perfect for adolescent girls and the new brand of teenage girl who will somehow easily reach six-feet tall. They are not, however, nearly as flattering on someone with an hourglass figure. Let me use my own body as an example.
Small waist. Wide hips. Medium-sized thighs. I go to the rack and grab the cutest dark-blue jeans I’ve ever seen, in the smallest size that I might possibly wear. It’s a no-go in the ass, but they aren’t tight in the thighs, so one size up should do it, right? Wrong. One size up is barely any larger, so they’re still snugger in the behind than I would like, but the waist buttons and the zipper zips. The next size has to be my magic number. I pull them up. Loose but not too baggy in the thighs! Yay! Slips over the hips with nary a tug! Woo hoo! Buttons and zips like a total champ! Yes!
From the front, everything is perfect. I look curvy, yet slender, and my legs look like they go on for miles. I love these pants. These pants love me. Until I turn to the side. My stomach is still flat, and my legs are still long, but the elegant dip in the small of my back is exposed by a hunching of fabric that I can stick my fist in. It looks ridiculous. Tugging the jeans down to my hipbones solves the problem somewhat, except that now I have two inches of inseam…below my inseam. I hate these pants. These pants hate me.
This gapping problem is not uncommon in a woman with my proportions, and yet I am convinced that there must be some way to fix it. There has to be. Clothing designers have created bras that can make anyone a D cup. They’ve created tiny shirts that are held in place by strings. They’ve learned that a hint of Lycra can make anything fit better. Surely there is someone out there who can create a low-rise jean for women who are not built like boys. I have faith. Don’t let me down.