Ode To Stretchy Pants

Moving house is a pain in the arse but it is great for prompting a deep, introspective look at the contents of your wardrobe and taking stock of your age.

This may sound as attractive as a verucca, but bear with me. Ten months ago, I moved house to my first-ever owned flat during which I had a long chat with myself about certain items of clothing.

Some of the tight bodycon dresses had to go – they just made me feel like a sausage; while certain tops that highlighted my 30-something backfat also got the chop.

It didn’t mean that I couldn’t ever wear bodycon or tight leotards, but I had to shop smarter and buy brands that used good material and clever panelling.

Fast forward 10 months and I found myself at the end of yet another house move prompted by my imminent plans to go travelling, I faced another clothing challenge. This time: trousers.

Over the last few months, a combination of upping my weightlifting to include squats and deadlifts alternately, means my bum just doesn’t fit into my normal trousers. My waist however is the same so I can’t go up a size. Because there is less space in my trousers with all this newfound muscle, I spent about two months being really uncomfortable. Like when you eat a massive potato and there’s no give on the waistband.

Then I made the decision to not buy any more trousers unless they had an elasticated or part-elasticated waist. I was tired of feeling fat and stuffed into my clothes. But fuck me, if this doesn’t prompt some sort of existential crisis about your age.

The only pair I owned were from Warehouse a zillion years ago, so first, I needed to find out where sold them. I made the tragic mistake of going to Marks & Spencer, where I was confronted with this no (wo)man’s land of cargo pants and stretchy trousers that were high-waisted (and not in a cool ‘Mom jeans’ way – in a Mrs Doubtfire way).

I asked a friend who said: “Remember that time when I accidentally bought maternity trousers and you took the piss out of me? Those are literally my favourite pair because they have an elastic waist. You need to go maternity, mate.”

I said I would rather die. I mean surely it couldn’t be that hard? Turns out it was.

Most of the high street just didn’t do them, and similarly I couldn’t find any to fit my expanding arse.

Then I came across jeggings at American Eagle, and it seemed to be an okay solution except jeggings have literally no support around your thighs, and zero pockets. And goddamn, I like a pocket.

I spent about two weeks just wearing my Sweaty Betty leggings – the only things that were comfortable yet supportive, until thank Christ, I went to Massimo Dutti to buy a dress for a mate’s wedding. I came across a pair of beautiful white tailored trousers with – you guessed it – elasticated waist.

Then I stumbled into Uniqlo after serendipitously spilling coffee on myself and frantically on the hunt for a white vest.  Again, extremely comfortable yet smartish trousers and pretty great price point too – somewhere between the £25 – £35 benchmark.

With a few of these pairs in hand (and an amazing pair from Sweaty Betty made from this buttery soft fabric but was eye-wateringly painful at £110 – see below) I feel a lot more confident in my wardrobe.

I don’t think it’s okay for your clothes to make you feel awful or like you don’t fit a certain body type, and so my advice is if you are starting to feel that way, it might be good to a) look at how old your clothes are b)if they still work for your body type and c) make some changes if they don’t.

Because I sure as hell carry myself a lot better now that I’m wearing clothes my body actually likes. Bring on the squats AND the potatoes.

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