Around the bend: Buy a supply before they’re gone
They say you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. I learned that the hard way this morning when I visited a popular online retailer and found out it had discontinued my favorite jeans. If your windows were open around 7:30, you may have heard my cries of anguish.
When I say “favorite” jeans, I don’t mean I actually loved them. I mean that, among the myriad brands I’ve tried, these were the least unflattering to my figure. That is, sadly, the closest most women ever get to the ideal pair of jeans.
Clothing companies employ a clever marketing strategy: They travel to distant planets to find alien fit models built nothing like human females. This increases sales by forcing women to buy jeans almost weekly in the hopes of finding a decent-looking pair — unaware that designers have intentionally avoided creating such a thing. If a woman does somehow find a brand she deems acceptable, the company hastily discontinues that style.
This system causes all women, no matter their shape or size, to feel hopelessly awkward. I, for instance, am of average height, and, I think, shape. When it comes to trying on jeans, however, I’m a freak with giraffe legs and no torso whatsoever. I’ll take any style or color jeans I can find, provided they’re long enough in the leg to cover my ankles and low enough in the rise that, when I sit down, I can still see over the waistband.
After years of searching, I finally settled for this one online retailer because it offers one of its jean styles in a “long” length.
“But you can buy short, regular and tall jeans just about anywhere,” say people accustomed to well-covered ankles.
Yes, but in the world of denim, “long” and “tall” aren’t the same. Both have longer-than-normal inseams, but “talls” feature a couple of extra inches in the rise, and those extra inches mean only one thing on my short body: that the waist will meet the bottom of my bra.
It’s not a good look.
Once I had determined these particular jeans would satisfy my two fit requirements, I bought a couple pairs a year for several years. As of this spring, however, I was down to one pair, and those had developed a tear in the thigh. (While any college student would eagerly pay $30 extra for this kind of “distressing,” my naturally elevated level of distress needs no fashion help.)
Normally, I wouldn’t start worrying about long pants this soon — especially after the recent hot, humid weather, during which wearing so much as earrings made me sweat. But I know how fast summer ends around here. So I settled down this morning in my (too-short) pajamas and visited the website, unprepared for the shock.
No “long” anything.
I clicked frantically around the site, hoping perhaps they’d added a special section. Maybe the tabs across the top would read “Petite,” “Juniors,” “Misses” and “Oddly Proportioned.” But there was nothing. Apparently, one long-legged, short-torsoed customer purchasing two pairs of “long” jeans a year was not enough to justify keeping the style in production.
The screen blurred as my eyes filled with tears.
It’s the classic story: Girl meets jeans, girl loses jeans, girl looks funny in short pants all winter. The object in question may change but the ending is always tragic.
So what’s your cherished product? Are you loyal to a certain brand of underwear that doesn’t creep up? A bra that doesn’t dig into your shoulders? A mascara that’s cheap, gives you long llama lashes and doesn’t run when you watch chick flicks?
Take heed: Your favorite product could be discontinued any day. I urge you to go out right now and buy yourself two, three, or a dozen more, just in case.
This winter I’ll be trudging through the snow with bare ankles, my jeans belted securely under my armpits — all because I failed to plan for the inevitable. Don’t let something similar happen to you.
If, come January, I see you sidling down the street with a hitch in your gitalong, you have no one to blame but yourself.
You should have stocked up on those good undies when you had the chance.
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