Verita Stewart

Writer, blogger, social media | Racer of bikes with Specialized Women's Racing Team|

Jeans, we’re spoilt for choice, but does my butt look big in this chammy?

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I think that we’re (women) all in the same boat on this one. And if you’re not, I hate you, you have an easy life and it’s not fair.

Buying jeans sucks.

You know what I’m on about. The horrid routine of dragging yourself to the shops, then browsing, sifting, trying on, listening to sales staff and their life stories, putting up with shoppers and their lack of spatial awareness, all to find a pair of jeans that fits – arrrgh! That is why I keep my jean shopping to a minimum, it is a once a year effort for me. The whole thing is all too overwhelming, I usually max out my heart rate within about 15 minutes, quicker than on a hot-dog crit. Gee there have been plenty of times where I’ve gone shopping with the intention of buying jeans, bailed, but come away with something I don’t need, like overpriced hand cream. I hate hand cream.

Anyway. Back to the jeans. Well like every other woman on the planet, I’m not a mannequin…I am short, and small in the waist, my legs are not skinny or long. Jeans are either too tight, too loose, waist band loose, tight, legs too long, saggy bum, too skinny, not skinny enough, does my butt look big, small, the knees are baggy, all of the above and more.

I have spent far too many hours and spent way too much on hand cream, in search of the perfect pair of jeans. There is nothing we can do, Reality is that we aren’t all the same. I’m the pink Smartie in the box, and you’re the blue or brown, or green. But the thing is. As women, we have too much choice in the jeans area, and in women’s clothing in general, whole stores dedicated to service (and exploiting) all our clothing needs. Hooray! Gender equality at last. We do have it made fashion-wise. We are spoiled for choice. It is partly why I find the whole shopping for jeans scenario so overwhelming. Where does one start the search? There are too many brands, styles, cuts, colours, stores…

It may take a long time to find the right pair, and a shite load of hand cream, but we get there in the end. We will sort through the piles and piles of poorly fitting jeans available and eventually find that pair! That pair for me, is my Sass and Bide Neon Nights. Now they’re not perfect, but they do the job.

So, before I was into cycling, jeans were my only clothing bug bear. But you know what, I’ve found something else. And this is not because I’m spoiled for choice. It is because I’m not spoiled for choice. And it peeves me right off.

Cycling clothing.

Unlike regular women’s clothing, there is limited or no choice and variety for cycling clothing for women and it beats me as to why. Someone’s about due to make some money…

For far too long women have been wearing ill-fitting “men’s” kits, with chamois that work as well as contraceptive pills.

There are a few brands that dabble in women’s specific. I thank them for that. But most brands don’t. They produce a fantastic looking kit. Great style/colour/design. Vainly appealing to all the women out there. I want to spend my money on your great product… And I can’t, do you see a problem? My money, not going into your pocket.

Do these men’s brands think that women will just slot right in to their chamois, none the wiser. Maybe they think that women would not wear their kit anyway? Maybe they just don’t think. I’ll never be able to purchase a men’s kit, I’m freaking tiny…. well maybe a boy’s size 14. The cut is wrong, sleeves are too long, and I definitely don’t want to wear a chamois that has enough room in the front that I can store my spare wind vest. But I do want to wear your kit because I love it.

Okay a bit harsh…so there are some brands that do “women’s specific”. Some do it incredibly well. I’m going to sound terribly ungrateful for a second here, I’m apologising in advance.

Why does “women’s specific” clothing a) 80% of the time look absolutely hideous and/or b) only offer a few token items in a range?

I have written letters about this to brands in the past. With the response being that “women only make up a small percentage of the market”, it is not cost effective to cater specifically for women. Fair point, but why should we be punished with the ugly colours and designs that you do produce for us?

For once, I would love a little bit of choice… I would love to have to sift through mountains and mountains of nicks in order to find the perfect pair. Fight the shoppers for some personal space, have my size in stock and I would freaking love to be so overwhelmed when shopping for kit that I need to bail out of a store, impulse buy in hand.

Unlike with jeans, I really don’t care “how big my butt looks in this chammy”, I just want more than one option to choose between and a product that actually works for me.

The brands that don’t do women’s specific need to get on the women’s specific band wagon… the brands that do already need to give us some choice and size range that is equal to the men’s.

Most women want to wear the same style/colour/design kits that the men do (some of them at least – you can keep your pirates and race cars), but in a size that fits and won’t affect our chances at motherhood. So the search for the perfect kit continues. There are not many options, so it won’t take long. One day I’ll find my cycling version my trusty Sass and Bide jeans.

End rant.

Neon nights

a) My Sass and Bide – Neon Nights Jeans

ASSOS tights
b) the shit women have to put up with. This image does not want to make me purchase these nicks. But because the selection is so limited, I may just have to… Against all morals.

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Author: Verita Stewart

Cyclist for Specialized, Instagramer, blogger, desk sitter, coffee lover, recycler

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