Zip it

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Jeans

I have recently been shopping and trying on blue jeans. I appreciate your support during this difficult time.

I miss being a kid. My only responsibilities were tying my shoes and keeping my clothes passably clean — someone else was in charge of my hair.

Now, I am in the era of adulthood where I am supposed to look “put together” and also “age appropriate” (whatever that means). I think it means I am not supposed to look too flashy or appear to be trying too hard. At the same time, I am also not to “let myself go.”

I need an adult version of “Seventeen” magazine for guidance. “Fifty Magazine” perhaps?

Left to my own devices I can surmise that this is meant to be some semblance of casual elegance, well-styled hair, and lip gloss, I guess?

I’m a devotee of “big hair” and will hold my ¾” barrel curl iron close to my heart — and scalp —forever. I also never leave the house without lip gloss. What’s tripping me up is my britches.

I’m reading that “skinny jeans” are absolutely out — as if anything on my body has been called “skinny” since the early 2000s.

The problem is that I need skinny jeans — even if in name only — because bootcut or “flares” as we once knew them, pants with a nice roomy swing at the ankle, do not tuck into tall boots. I need a tight calf and ankle on my pants because I, like almost every female of my generation, love a nice high leather riding boot.

I wear them with everything in cooler weather. Are we going fox hunting? Marching on Germany? No one can be sure.

Through the ages

I am a child of 1980s denim. I was raised on a nice high-rise waistband. Pants don’t necessarily need to belt right under my clavicle, although I wouldn’t hate it. Belly button coverage is fine.

I loved my teenage jeans. Sure they were skin tight, and even as a slim person, I often laid on the bed to zip them. However, once zipped, they covered almost everything from ankle to armpits. Blue jeans encased us like a denim girdle — or a hug.

Prior to that, my childhood was spent in OshKosh B’Gosh overalls, remember those? They had all the fit and style of wearing suspenders and a barrel, but they were oh-so-comfortable and practically indestructible.

I am convinced there were actually only a handful of OshKosh products made. They were then handed down and traded among the mothers of America forever after.

Then, all of the denim designers started cutting corners — or at the very least waistbands — in the early 2000s. I was a new mother right around the time America’s zippers shrunk. Just about the time I needed to bend, crawl, stretch and lunge after toddlers, all pants became low-rise “hip huggers” with a stubby little zipper.

Worse, if you bent over or sat down in low-rise pants, you risked an indecent exposure charge. I took to wearing long cardigans and “wraps” for a solid decade for fear my pants didn’t cover enough.

Cool

Now, we are assured that the 1990s are back and with them the coolest trend ever: mom jeans. Apparently, the word “cool” has lost all meaning as I once knew it. There was a time that “mom” and “high fashion” simply did not exist in the same sphere. Now they are all the rage.

I’m seeing waistbands that reach the belly button, pleated fronts (no, just no), and a nice straight leg with plenty of room in the seat and thigh. Not only can you sit safely without a hint of “back crack,” you could probably do cartwheels in these jeans. That is some consolation in a world of tiny zippers and “low rise” that risks arrest.

I do not know what misconception the denim and zipper industry is operating under, but I am here to set them straight. We, the women over a certain age in America, would like to zip up our pants, preferably using zippers greater than a quarter inch long.

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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.

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