In Search of Looking “Hot”


Barbara Morris, R.Ph., Editor

Barbara Morris, R.Ph., Editor

While taking a short cut through Penney’s at the mall I spotted a rack of Levi 512 boot cut jeans, with a sign that promised they would make me look skinny. 

“Gloryoski”, I thought to myself. “Can it be true?” 

I have yet to see an older woman who looks skinny, or even attractive in jeans. Before anyone starts to jump up and down and scream how wrong I am – it’s just my opinion. (Girlfriends, let’s be tolerant of each others’ foibles)  I could be wrong. (But probably not.) 

Here’s what happened. They were on sale so I decided to give them a test-drive to see if they could really make me look skinny. I thought if they could make me look a size smaller, maybe, just maybe, I’d wear them. I didn’t try them on at the store because I didn’t have time but figured I could take them back if they didn’t make me look skinny. The promise of losing some visual poundage overcame my better judgment. 

I tried them on at home – looked in the mirror and thought, “Why in the name of sanity do women wear these things?” They are heavy and ugly. They look like a reject from a thrift shop. My mother would have relegated them to her “rag bag.” I looked like Harry the plumber in them.  They make my backside look like the broad side of a barn. 

I asked my husband how I looked in them. The conversation went like this: 

Me: What do you think?
He: They make you look skinny.
Me: Hmmm. You mean you think I’m fat?
He: No, they just make you look – – – leaner.
Me: Well, which is it–skinny or leaner?
He: Why don’t you just take them back. 

I asked my daughter how I looked in them. She rolled her eyes and in a tone of exasperation said, “Mom, just take them back.” She’s a “chip off the old block” so it didn’t surprise me when she announced she has given up wearing jeans because she feels they diminish a woman’s femininity and furthermore, they promote nullification of women. I’m still trying to figure out what that means, but I think I understand it somewhat when I see someone in jeans and from the rear can’t determine the gender. The person is just another nondescript object on the landscape. 

Determined to give the jeans a fair shake, I pow-wowed about them with my boomer friend Tammy: 

Tammy: You look fantastic in them. You do look slimmer.
Me: Where?
Tammy: Just in general.
Me: You’re just being nice.
Tammy: Barbara, it wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than those baggy khakis you wear all the time.
Me: But they are comfortable. And they are not baggy. They give me room to breathe.
Tammy: Just take them back. 

Tammy weighs more than she should, but accepts herself just as she is, which I applaud. However, when she wears jeans, I think she looks awful, but she thinks she looks hot. I have to admire her ability to see reality through rose-colored glasses. Of course, it could be argued that my perception of reality is distorted as well, but probably not. 

Tammy has convinced me that looking skinny in jeans is no longer good enough – it’s more important to look “hot” in them. The Levi 512 jeans may make me look thinner (not skinny by any stretch of the imagination), but nobody said I looked “hot” in them, so, yeah, I took them back. Maybe when China sends us a boatload of “designer jeans” that promise to make me look skinny AND “hot” I’ll reconsider. 

And I do reconsider. I watch the TV shopping shows, and well – you probably know the rest of the story. There she is –designer Diane Gilman with her DG2 jeans, promising to make boomers not only feel sexy again, but look “hot” as well. The promise must be true because old ladies call in and proudly trumpeting their age (only old ladies volunteer their age) rhapsodize about how hot they look in them. Twice I’ve fallen for the promise that perhaps I, too, could look hot in DG2 jeans, and twice I sent them back, convinced  that I look neither sexy nor hot in them. Not only that, how can anyone possibly feel “hot” in jeans that are heavy and stiff as cardboard?

I’ll continue to wear my baggy khakis. I think I look hot in them. But then, I could be wrong, and probably am.



  1. marylloyd says

    This is so true…and not just about jeans. (Let’s not go anywhere near swim suits with this….) But I live in the Pacific NW. I wear jeans every day 9 months out of the year–plus a few days in the other three months. I also wear men’s oxford shirts as an over layer. Those do look sexy–because I’m fantasizing that I’m in a Van Heusen commercial–without my not-so-sexy jeans on.

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