For as long as I can remember I have disliked jeans. I always found them to be too constricting on my muscular legs and, at five foot one and a half with most of my height in my torso, I find that jeans—even the ones that are made “for petites”—are a touch too long and gap awkwardly at my waist.
I also have some pretty distinct memories from my adolescence of people commenting on my behind. Those comments ranged from, “Wow, your butt is surprisingly big” to “You don’t usually see an Asian girl with curves” and my absolute favorite, “Damn, Ma, you thick.” Actual words that were said to me. Always unsolicited, sometimes well-intentioned, from good friends, from my grandma and from total strangers in passing.
Thus began my adulthood aversion to jeans and foray into flowy dresses and skirts that slimmed my bottom half and put an end to the unwelcome commentary from the peanut gallery. Midi skirts? I own dozens. Breezy dresses? They are my religion. Jeans? No, thanks.
Then I happened upon a pair of high-waisted, wide-legged Levis last year that reminded me of those Jnco jeans everyone wore in the '90s. Only these were much slimmer and cropped above the ankles, so they didn’t make the wearer look like they were drowning in denim potato sacks.
I tried them on with much skepticism and groaned when I realized there was a button-fly. (Who has time for that?) My inner voice was telling me that light-wash was a terrible idea as I pulled them over my legs, but I was quickly silenced by how easily they slid on. When I looked up and saw my reflection in the mirror, I was mildly taken aback.
These jeans actually fit me. Better than that, they looked sort of...cute. They nipped in at my waist and hugged my derrière without suffocating it. They were just the right length for sandals or boots and dare I say they even made my legs appear slightly longer?
I’ve since worn these jeans to work and to parties. On photo shoots and on my new YouTube series (cough cough, please watch). They’ve traveled across the country with me and even made their way to the streets of Seoul last month. And the kicker: I wore these jeans to meet Céline Dion during her final residency in Las Vegas.
It’s only been a year since they’ve entered my life, but they’ve already opened up my wardrobe and mind. It turns out, I can wear jeans and feel comfortable in them. And at 32, I’m officially done with limiting my options because of lingering insecurities from when I was 15. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a “jeans person,” but I have two pairs in my rotation now (which is two more than I had last year).
Ed note: It appears the exact pair have sold out online, but you can check your local Levi's stores for additional sizes. Shop similar styles here: Levis Mile High Wide Leg ($70); Topshop High Waist Wide Leg Crop ($75); Madewell Button Front Wide Leg Crop ($135); x Marianna Hewitt Hepburn High Waist Crop Wide Leg ($199); Citizens of Humanity Sacha High Waist Crop Wide Leg ($228)