If you could engineer jeans, like it is now possible to manipulate genes then there would be a pair to fit everyone.
Well, there may just be a shop in Leeds that can code jeans to suit every shape and size. In fact their slogan is that “there is a jean on that wall for everyone”. So I thought I should put that challenge to the test.
Working in the heart of Leeds city centre means I have easy lunch time access to an array of stores. The need for a pair of simple skinny black jeans for a friends 50th birthday party recently took me in the direction of the retail heart of the city on Briggate. With a vast array of stores from the high street brands to the more boutique denim outlets and high end fashion stores I felt confident I could find what I wanted.
Being sat down in a wheelchair places additional sizing requirements over and above the average person. As we all know when we sit down our trousers ride up and expose a sock or an ankle. Perhaps if you’re not 46 and in a wheelchair this may be a desirable attribute. However, I’d rather have a jean that reaches my shoes so really need a minimum inside leg length of 34”, and ideally 36”. This starts to make finding any trousers that fit well rather more difficult. Combine that with the likely hood of builders bum due to the current trend towards low cut trousers and the search becomes even harder.
So I set out in my lunch hour with a plan to find a long legged skinny stretch jean with a sensible height waist. The idea was to try the main high street brands and hope they had something suitable in stock. However, the entrance to a dedicated denim store and jean maker at the bottom of Briggate was flat and accessible and the smell of their coffee brewing drew me in. After a quick look round I asked what they had in my size and as if by magic a pair of jeans matching my exact description appeared. It’s not often that happens. With the option of then having them adjusted in store I was amazed at the range of colours, finishes and possibilities. Fearing the worst I took the jeans to the till and was delighted to learn they were in the sale and affordable, especially given the quality. So after a quick natter, an espresso to keep me going that afternoon and the discovery that there really is a jean on their full wall of shelved denim to suit everyone I left a happy man.
The whole shopping experience is not always one I relish with my disability. Often stores aren’t easily accessible, the changing rooms are too small and the staff are not always as helpful as they could be. However this time it was made very comfortable, very easy and I’ll be back the next time I needs some new jeans.