Nancy Roman

Skinny, But Not Too Skinny

Back in November, I went to The City (New York City, of course; we just call it The City in Connecticut – we’re that cool) and discovered that I had slipped off the fashion treadmill.

I was still wearing boot-cut jeans when everyone had gone to skinny jeans tucked into tall boots (“Country Mouse“). This only dismayed me briefly, since I went right out and bought skinny jeans, and tucked them into my tall boots, which I also went out and bought (“But My Ankles Look Slim“).

As an aside, I must be a real writer – just look how many times I can quote myself.

So Wednesday, I went back to The City. I was going to wear my skinny jeans and boots, but the weather has turned very warm. The forecast predicted 75 degrees. I didn’t want to commit another fashion faux-pas by wearing boots out of season. So I figured it would be safer to commit the same old faux-pas and wear my boot cut jeans with my high-heeled ankle boots.

Because I figured by now the boot-cuts might be back in fashion.  Things change quickly in the Big Apple.

Umm, no.

Still skinny jeans.

The only women wearing boot-cut pants were OLD.  Like my age. But I don’t want to dress my age. I want to dress younger than that.

Actually, skinny pants seemed to have gotten even skinnier.  Like for instance, leggings. I saw lots of girls with leggings. But I can’t go quite that far. I may want to dress younger than my years, but even for fashion-conscious me, the thought of leggings on a sixty-one-year-old makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

So I’ll go skinny. But not too skinny. If the pants need a zipper at the ankle to fit your foot, I may have to take a pass. My bunion might not squeeze through.

So then, Skinny-ish. Which is maybe Straight-leg.

(But not mom-jeans.)

And now that the weather is warmer, there seems to be two options for shoes with skinny jeans. Either stilettos or ballet flats.

Some of the women in stilettos looked pretty nice, but mostly they looked unsteady. Since I still can’t balance on one foot after ten years of yoga, I’m not holding out much hope for me. Besides, the older women in tight pants and stilettos looked slightly disreputable. Not to mention top-heavy. Once you lose your waist, stilettos just look wrong.

But the ballet flats were nice. And I have some. And I can walk in them.

So as soon as I got home, I tried on my skinny jeans with my ballet flats.

But the jeans were a bit too long. This didn’t seem to matter much tucked into boots, but now, I have to fix them. They have to be hemmed to the ankle. Or a little above. Slightly short is nice with ballet flats. Sort of Audrey Hepburn. Which I could absolutely be, given forty pounds or so.

Do you know how hard it is to hem jeans? How many sewing machine needles you can go through in fifteen minutes?

I tried just a roll-up at the cuff. Boyfriend jeans, the magazines call them. Well, I’m too old for a boyfriend I guess. More high-water than high-fashion.

So I’m off to the tailor, where I will turn my frugal jeans into expensive jeans.

And in the meantime, I have dozens of cardigans that I wear with everything. (“I’m Sticking With It” – yes indeed, I am a prolific writer.) And in The City, all the cardigans were either very long or very cropped. So maybe the tailor can cut one sweater short and use the remnant to make another sweater long?

Leggings and Stilettos: Not a good idea.


  1. bigsheepcommunications

    I’m with you – jeans that don’t cut off my circulation, flats & a cardigan.


  2. I had some jeans that zipped at the ankles. Back in the 80’s. I wish I had held onto them now.


  3. Bonnie

    Teaching at a NYC university, I always know what is au courant…

    Lots of girls on campus just scrunch their too long jeans at the ankles. Also, boots are fine through about June or so. Then you switch to flip flops. Actually, you can switch to flip flops in March, leaving a period of about 3 months where you have a choice of boots or flip flops.

    You can also consider the look that I call “Queens hijab” : head covering, hoodie, teeny poofy micro mini, over the skinniest darn jeans on this planet. The micro mini serves to meet the letter of the hijab law, which evidently is to cover one’s butt.


    • Intriguing look – micro-mini and skin tight jeans… but perhaps I am a tad too mature.


  4. Bonnie

    I will never again part with my skinny jeans. I had to endure about 10 years of never wearing jeans because I cannot, will not, wear boot cuts, aka bell bottoms. They remind me too much of the horror of 70’s era junior high. As soon as skinny jeans returned, in 2007, I bought 6 pairs at once.


    • And I love my boot-cut and even my wide bell-bottoms because it reminds me of my hippie days. I can hear Crosby, Stills, and Nash right now…


  5. I am thin for my age (not as thin as I was in the good old days) so I eagerly tried leggings or jeggings last fall. Yikes! When your butt cheeks fall to mid-thigh, it doesn’t work no matter what your weight is. Ballet flats intrigue me. Love the look but my feet hurt from non-support. I wonder if they make orthopedic ballet flats. Oh yes, loved Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (remember him?).


  6. I just bought new jeans and was a bit sad because I like boot-cut and wanted boot-cut, but the boot-cuts were not on sale like the skinny jeans were. So I got the skinny jeans. At least now I know that I would be fashionable in NYC! Stilettos, though, sheesh! I’ve been wearing mine with penny loafers.


  7. I had a similar experience visiting Chicago last summer. All the young women were wearing mini-mini-just-below-their-hinies dresses. By the way, why didn’t anyone warn me about the whole losing the waist thing? Ughhhh. NOTHING looks nice anymore!


  8. Dor

    Speaking as one oldster (but not too old), all I care about is elastic waist jeans! Fat, but not too fat, is the way to go. High heels already went…. to Good Will. There is a self-satisfying, smug kind of joy in being free to be me. But your posts are hilariously funny and I thank you for sharing.


  9. You always make me giggle! I can’t get jiggy with the jeggings either (let’s both pause and say that sentence out loud. Now, wasn’t that fun?! You’re welcome). I’m actually wearing bootcut jeans and stilettos right now. I like to think I’m ahead of the curve. 😉


  10. Nancy – thanks for making me laugh.


  11. With the way this country seems to be going, you know the whole anti-contraception thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if the burka becomes the new must-have.


  12. I love jeans and will NEVER give them up. Not old lady jeans though I have boot cut and skinny and since I don’t move in such fashionista circles as NYC, I’m not going to worry about what’s in or out. I have seven pair (assorted) and am about to buy another pair, Hmmm, what kind will it be this time? Not sure.

    My mother wore wedgies and 2-1/2 heels even at 82. Don’t wear stilettos but have a sparkly pair of hooker shoes I’m saving for my next BIG night out.

    Love the sketch, Nancy and post too funny once again.


    • I’m with you. I think I will be buried in my jeans. Bell bottoms, probably.


  13. Never have been into fashion, just know what I like. Lately, what I like is to feel comfortable. When I see the young “kids” wear stuff that I would not have worn even when I was young, I know I will never pass for being with it. So I give up. No elastic waists, but jeans and slacks. No dresses or skirts. Believe me, if my ankles would go, I would happily wave goodbye=I’d buy the ticket.


  14. I don’t know how you do it, but you have the exact same fashion conversation with yourself that I do. With myself, I mean. It would be funny if I had them with yourself. But, alas, they are just sad one-sided conversations.


  15. Love your post–haven’t been to NYC, but I doubt that if I had been, I wouldn’t at all fit in with the ‘fashionistas there…As for me–I don’t think I can wear skinny jeans–people would think I’d be about to fall over…
    But I do remember Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young…(Neil Young is Canadian, after all)!
    I’ve been trying to buy ballet flats–but can’t find any to fit me yet…my feet are very narrow, and the shoes just fall off my feet! Sucks to be me.


    • Oh, it could be worse…you could have wide feet like me. Most shoe designers think feet are skinny. (and toes are pointy)


  16. I haven’t been reading blogs for a while (too much family angst). So glad I started back with yours! To be in style I’ve always needed a few more inches in length. That’s all it would take, I’m sure. Thanks for putting so many of my thoughts into words.


  17. Having more generous proportions I love wide cut pants! I also love boot cuts and given my age love generous cuts on those. I don’t know, I don’t mind a generous cut straight leg either. Frankly, I will simply take comfort with tailoring for work and comfort with a great cut for my body! Fashion be damned these days … but you my friend do a wonderful job of putting things into some perspective.


  18. Now if you’re into middle school fashion where eigth grade girls are experimenting with the vamp tramp look, it’s bandage skirts and hooker tights…but that will be an upcoming post. 🙂


  19. goodoldgirl

    Levi’s and Keds. Socks optional.

    Enjoyed your post!


  20. Hmmm…I don’t want to be out of fashion either, but isn’t something that looks good on you, that works with your figure, always in fashion?

    Does this mean I have to throw out my Mork and Mindy rainbow suspenders that make me look so awesome?


  21. I’m still waiting for my butt-skimming Daisy Duke shorts to come back like I wore as a college freshman and paired perfectly with my 70s-esque wooden-soled clogs. Ah, tramping it up. Those were the days.


  22. pharphelonus

    So glad to be a man who just wears clothes. LOL


  23. fanfare

    Still like my slim boot cuts. Much more flattering on my short frame than skinny jeans which give me the chicken leg look and are always too tight. IMO, skinny jeans only look good on young girls and tall emaciated models. And Crosby, Stills and Nash…going to see them in concert next week! 🙂


  24. Yep, I have plenty of cardigans that go well with black bootcut jeans for women in my wardrobe. Enjoyed your post!


  25. I think you should wear anything as long as you feel its comfort and convenience. Moreover, you should know that bootcut jeans for women will make you become taller.


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