I Went up a Pant Size. Here’s What Happened…

It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision to buy bigger pants. My old jeans were getting worn out (like, the threads were bare) and I finally had resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to be able to buy a new copy of my all-time favorite pair. So, towards the end of last winter, I went to Target and bought what seemed like the closest thing I could find to my beloved jeans.

In some ways, the new pair was better than the old ones. My old favorite jeans were a slightly cropped version that landed just above my ankle, because apparently that’s the style. If I could’ve changed one thing about those jeans, it would be making them hit below my ankle, so that if I was wearing sneakers and an evening breeze blows through, it wouldn’t make me cold. When I set out to buy the new jeans, I intentionally bought the “tall” version of my size even though I am by no means tall. However, the trick was that these “tall” cropped jeans ended up being…regular. They weren’t too long and they weren’t too cropped. They were just right. In the ankles, that is.

They didn’t quite fit like my favorite jeans. They were great in some places, but other places (like around my waist) they were just a bit too loose despite being the same numerical size. That’s the annoying thing about buying pants, is no two sizes fit exactly the same. But alas, I bought them anyway because they didn’t have any pants in one size smaller, and sometimes you just need to buy new pants even if they don’t fit 100% perfectly.

Sometimes, you just need to buy new pants.

Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I’m getting stubborn, or maybe I just really don’t care what other people think is stylish, but that day I decided that I was totally over the cropped jeans thing. So, I packed up the dark wash version of my favorite pants and threw them in a bin to re-evaluate next summer. As I did so, I pulled out an old pair of dark wash jeans that I had stowed away. Although they were boot cut (not my favorite), they weren’t cropped. I decided I’d rather have boot cut than cropped, even though they were also just about one size too big.

And that’s how I ended up with two pairs of jeans that were a little bit too big.

I also had two other pairs of pants in my stash, one of which was an ultra stretchy pair that my sister had ordered online and didn’t fit her quite how she liked. The return policy expired by the time she resigned herself to the fact that these pants simply didn’t spark joy, and so I inherited them from her and loved them. The other pair was my wonderful green pants from H&M that are actually three sizes larger than I usually buy, but it’s H&M and nothing fits the way I’m used to it fitting at that store. Those green pants are what I call oldies but goodies…I’d purchased them when my body was a different shape/size but they’re nice and stretchy and were always a bit roomy.

And that’s how I ended up with two pairs of jeans that were a little bit too big, and two pairs of jeans that were always extra stretchy.

Slowly, without my really noticing on any given day, the “too big” pants started fitting better and better. And one day I realized that they were no longer one size too big, and hadn’t been for a few months. My extra stretchy pants still fit the same, as they are fabulously extra stretchy. So, all my clothes still fit. In fact, they fit better than they had previously.

[I still maintain that my favorite kind of pants is no pants at all, but this is December and so that’s not really an option in the Midwest.]

The interesting thing is that my weight hasn’t really changed. I’m still somewhere in that 5(ish) pound range that I always tend to be, though it’s been a while since I’ve stepped on a scale. Maybe I’m now sitting at the higher end of that range, maybe I’m not. Like I said, I really don’t know for sure, and I don’t keep close tabs on my weight anyway. But realizing that I now fit better in a size ‘Y’ than I do in a size ‘X’ was an interesting point to sit down and consider.

I’d purchased those favorite jeans a really long time ago…probably like 4-5 years at this point. The person I was 5 years ago is a vastly different person from who I am today (thank goodness). I’ve experienced tremendous growth both personally and professionally, and I wouldn’t change any of that for anything. Heck, my face even looks different, and I dare say I even like my face as it is right now. If my hips are a little wider or my stomach a little softer, or my thighs a little…I don’t know, a little more, that only makes sense. We grow and change throughout our lives, and it’s unrealistic to expect our bodies to stay completely the same despite everything else looking different.

I won’t lie, I was a little surprised by how okay I was with realizing I’d transitioned into a bigger body. But what I think was fundamental about that process was that it wasn’t something I was actively resisting. Like I said, I don’t keep close tabs on my weight. I don’t measure my food or my exercise, and I just kind of do what feels best in any given moment (when it comes to those two aspects of my self-care.) I’ve learned the hard way that trying to micromanage my body size doesn’t work so well anyway, and just like cropped jeans, I’m so over it.


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