Quest: Perfect Skinny Pants

As of late I've been spending a whole lot of time in the indoor cycle room of my gym. Cardio wise, I'm in great shape and all that Spinning has toned and tightened everything from my hips to my toes. I still don't have abs (the one and only time I did was when I was 25ish and doing a few hundred crunches a day because I was a poorly supervised office worker). My upper body strength is also on the feeble side (I can manage maybe 10 push-ups, but they're done with plenty of complaining and on my knees) and while I can touch my toes, my flexibility leaves much to be desired.

But all this doesn't matter because I'm able to wear my skinny pants, the ones that have no give and the ones I almost gave away and this makes me happy. I won't even call it a Christmas miracle because I've worked pretty damn hard and have made myself go to class when I didn't feel like it and made myself stay away because I know there's only so much I can ask my unbalanced body to do. And believe it or not, I didn't just do it all to fit into unforgiving pants. I work out because I enjoy it and anything else that comes with it is just gravy. Gravy, yum. But back to the pants...

For the last couple of years J. Crew's Pixie pants, $88, have been my go-to item in my closet. Ask just about anyone who I've met for lunch or done a book event with. If I'm not wearing my 'nice' jeans, I'm wearing a pair of these (with flats). They're just about near perfect in every way (even when I'm not in the most spectacular shape). Mostly this has to do with construction and that they're made of some wonderful type of material. They hold their shape (I'll admit to throwing mine in the washer and occasionally the dyer) and they just look put together.

My only complaint is the yoke type thing in the waist, there isn't a waistband. I took my first two pairs to my local tailor and he slip stitched them down. I tried my hand at my newest couple of pairs with not as precise results. Either way, I don't wear them with such short tops, so no one ever sees the waistband.

Sadly, I've realized I can't always wear the same pants (even though I'm wearing pair number 3 of the same pants). People start to wonder if I change my clothes and even I'll admit to getting a bit bored. Not bored enough to stray to far from what I've found to be comfortable yet still nice enough to wear out to dinner, a teacher-parent conference or a book event. So I've started to look else where for my skinny pant fix.

When I was in my 20s, a gal about town with a metabolism like a race horse and getting about 2-3 of activity a day (between a gym visit and all the walking I did in San Francisco), I shopped at Express a lot. Now that I've 'grown up' I don't go in there as much. Sadly, I just don't have the Express kind of life, but sometimes I still wander into the store for old time's sake.

Last week, I tried on a sweater that was the wrong size and wrong color but was smitten enough to look for it on the site. With the right size and color in my cart, I clicked around and came upon the Microtwill Leggings, $4950. I was willing to give them a shot because, well, just because. And because they don't fit at all well (think lumpy, bumpy ill fitting sausage casing), I'm returning them in-store as soon as I can face the mall again. Goodbye, Express. Maybe this time forever.

Even though I should know better (if J. Crew fits, why bother with anything else?), I'm still on the hunt for skinny pants to add to my life in pants. Gap is another one of those stores I hardly ever think about even though I'm on the Old Navy site every Friday to see what's new.

Looking to avoid interacting with relatives who'd overstayed their Christmas welcome, I was hiding behind my laptop and after a few dozen clicks, found myself staring at Gap's Skinny Stretch Pants, $49.50. Now, even I'll concede they don't look that great on the toothpick model, but they have three things going for them--they're black and they appear to be more pant than legging. At my age this is a crucial consideration.

I won't know if I'll be disappointed or elated until they get here, but for once I'll assume the best. Which is good because I ordered two of them.

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