Friday, 15 August 2008

Generation gap

I've never been very cool, not even when I was in my prime. Now, aged 32 and with children, I'm less cool than ever. My 20 year old sister, however, is cool. After I had my second child, she decided to upcool me. (Upcooling is like upskilling, but in the area of one's coolness. I just made it up.)

I began university in 1994, when there were still traces of militant eighties feminism in the air. My sister is a similar age to what I was then. But whereas my mates and I rejected flashiness and consumption, my little sister can't get enough of either.

When my sister took me in hand and tried to upcool me, the vehicle she chose to enhance my coolness was skinny jeans. Now, I don't really understand skinny jeans. I have gone through life under the impression that most people do not want to see my knickers and/or buttcrack, so I have duly kept these hidden from the public with high-waisted trousers.

As I learned from my sister, coolness is not simply a matter of purchasing skinny jeans. You've got to know what to do with them. At my sister's urging, I went to Glassons and returned with skinny jeans. They kept falling down, revealing my buttcrack and causing me to trip over the trouser legs. I hiked them up as high as I could and held them in place with a belt.

My sister looked at me with a mixture of frustration and pity.

F the sister: 'Stop pulling your pants up your crack'.

Me: 'They keep falling down'.

F: 'You bought them a million times too big. They're supposed to sit on your hips'.

Me: 'If I bought them any smaller, they'd be too tight to sit down in'.

F: 'That's how you're supposed to wear them'.

Me: 'Eh?'

F: 'I have to do scissor kicks to get mine on'.

Me: 'But if I wear them that tight my fat rolls will come over the top'.

F: 'That's why you wear a long top over them'.

Me: 'What the hell is the point of wearing your jeans like that if no one can see them?'

No answer.

When I'd mastered the Glassons training jeans, my sister tried to upcool me once more. She said, 'I'll give you a pair of my Lee jeans if you promise not to pull them up your crack'. I said, 'I'll try'. She said, 'I mean it. I'm not giving you a good pair of jeans if you're going to pull them up your crack'.

A couple of years on, I'm not pulling my jeans up my crack. You could say I've made some coolness gains. However, I still wear non-skinny-jeans-friendly underpants. Some days you can see up to five centimeters of floral nylon granny knickers above my jeans. Am I cooler? My six year old daughter thinks so. So there.


Julie said...

He he, thanks Anna! I hear you on the knicker-jean gap. I read someone somewhere out there in the ether who commented that their hipster briefs were still clearly visible beneath their high-rise jeans. That's confusion I can identify with.

Ari said...

Oh god, if I were a woman that would so totally be me, haha. Don't feel bad Anna, you're in good company. :) It took me ages to figure out that whole fashion thing, (despite it being even simpler in some ways for men) and frankly, I still can't be bothered most of the time. XD

GG said...

A few weeks ago I finally got sick of pulling my panst up in front of company, and decided I was going to part with 100 on a pair of jeans that fit. I went into 2 jeans stores on Queen St (well known brands) and in one store I was determined to try on every pair until I found a pair that fit. One store had no high-waisted at all- my test is- if I bend over and my undies surface, it's all over. No jeans passed the test and the worst thing was the snotty 16 year old store clerk who looked at me like I was pathetic (and fat). I promptly walked into Farmers and bought 2 pairs that fit just fine for less than a hundred bucks. I'm25 and just don't know when jeans stopped fitting- I say we start a campaign to boycott the jean stores. Frustrated!!!!

The Bewildering Case of Ms Enid Tak-Entity said...

I cracked after what must have been a five year boycott on skinny black jeans in my own domestic circles back in AK (read: indie band hipsters) and got a pair in Berlin over New Years. You know why? Europe is frakkin' cold and you need great big boots that you can tuck your jeans into. Now I can't go back. Skinny jeans are weird - they are simultaneously unflattering around the abdomen and ass, and flattering around the legs. You look munted and fat in the middle but leggy at the same time. It's a paradox. And now, after an equally long boycott, I again heard the cracking noise and ended up buying... *leggings* last weekend, because it just got too hard wearing the really short dresses of the summer that have been designed to be worn with leggings, without leggings, when you realise how old you are and that you look stupid in that really short dress after all.

Helen said...

I hear you! I must be such a Nana, I actually have sewn belly bands (30cm strips of stretchy fabric) to cover the gap, oh, and I have high rise thunderwear. I hate not being able to find jeans that fit. I'm on a mission to sew an entire wardrobe of clothes that fit me properly, made from fabric I like in a style that makes me feel good. So there glassons!

Lita said...

You know you're old when you worry about sitting down. I hear ya, dammit, I hear ya.

Totally stealing 'upcool' as my new word of the week.