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How to Quit Jeans Forever

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Down With Denim

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:

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  • 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. Annemarie Dooling, director of programming

The New Tiffany & Co. Needs Women
A ring display.

In October 1986, the United States International Trade Commission issued a report on the jewelry industry at the request of the Senate Finance Committee. Explaining the landscape, it wrote, “Jewelry has traditionally been considered a gift item and most purchases were for that purpose.”

It's not just that gift giving had dominated the jewelry industry, the gifts had mostly been from men to women, and so the industry’s marketing was often aimed at men, the buyers, and not women, the wearers.

“During the ‘60s and ‘70s, the incidence of female self-purchase was small,” says Hedda Schupak, editor-in-chief of the Centurion Newsletter. “For one thing, there were relatively few women in the workforce, so there wasn't a lot of female spending power for costly items. But also at that time, both men and women typically considered jewelry to be something a woman received as a gift. If there was female purchasing at the time, it was more likely to be female-to-female occasion gifting, like mother/daughter, or grandmother/granddaughter.”

Thirty years later, the jewelry industry looks remarkably different. Today the industry’s buzziest terms are “self-purchasing woman” (a woman who buys jewelry for herself) and “just-because purchase” (a causal buy in which the jewelry doesn’t mark a special occasion). For years the industry considered women "secondary influencers." They are now the target customer. 

The self-purchasing woman is a result of more women working than ever before, and these women are earning more and seeing significant career progression (though, of course, not as much as their male counterparts). They are also staying single longer and having children later, resulting in more discretionary income at their disposal.

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Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant, $22

I’ve been using Malin + Goetz products forever, but I did not know about the deodorant. My goodness — the deodorant is amazing. I found out about it after a very ill-advised Tinder sleepover. Before long I couldn’t remember the Tinderoni’s name, but I was logging on to Malin + Goetz dot com to re-up on that peppermint shampoo I like so much and finally copped the deodorant I’d been thinking about for days.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the price tag: $22! Twenty-two United States dollars for 2.6 oz of deodorant. What a time to be alive. Spending $22 on deodorant sounds bananas, especially to someone like me who has been a diehard user of the Old Spice stick in Pure Sport, which is $2.54 on a bad day. I spend my money on ridiculous things, but I wanted to believe this is where I drew the line.

Then I remembered everything I liked about it: it kept me dry most of the day (on a particularly gross day), no sweat stains, the awesome eucalyptus smell my next Tinderoni complimented me on, and the very cool packaging (sorry, but I am a sucker for cool packaging, which is probably why I buy $22 deodorant). Plus, it was non-toxic to boot!

You already know how this story ends: I obviously gave in to the Malin + Goetz gods and I have never been happier. I keep one in my bathroom and one in my travel bag, and always change the subject whenever anyone asks me how much it costs. —Aminatou Sow, editor-at-large

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