My Year of Living Totally Nashville, Part One: Imogene+Willie




I don't really make resolutions, but this year I made this sort-of plan to do something totally Nashville each month. By "totally Nashville" I mean one of those experiences — cultural, recreational, culinary, etc. — that you can only do in Nashville. You know, those things that you've never actually done, but everyone else has, so when it comes up in convo, you act like you've done it too, or you just get really quiet and wait for the topic to turn to Connie Britton's hair or Taylor Swift's latest breakup.

Even though I write about Imogene + Willie frequently and have spent much time in the denim mecca of Nashville, I had never actually tried a pair of I+W jeans on. I know, total imposter over here. I chalk it up to several factors:

1. I'm always at least one stomach flu away from my goal weight, so I want to wait until I drop a few pounds before I shell out $225 plus tax for jeans.
2. I was totally confused about how to take care of these babies, after hearing you can't wash them and you have to wear them every single day for the foreseeable future in order to properly break them in. I don't do things halfway, so if I'm buying these jeans, I will effing sleep in them if I have to in order to follow whatever necessary protocol creates the perfect pair of jeans.
3. While I love to dress up when I'm actually going somewhere, most days I wear yoga clothes to work (I have become an expert in concealing said yoga clothes, though, hence our quitters obsession). The idea of putting on actual pants for the office is kind of yucky to me.

But you know what they say, excuses are like assholes, everybody's got one, so I decided that I'm always going to be one stomach flu away from my goal weight, so I might as well just get the jeans now and praise the Lord when I finally lose a few pounds and the jeans are looser. I educated myself about the simple ways to take care of I+W jeans, so now I know that when I spill whiskey all over my pants or sit on a piece of chocolate pie (you laugh, but both of those things have happened in the past week), I don't have to smell like chocolate whiskey for the next six months or look like I shat my pants. As much as I love my quitters, I decided that I could easily bring my yoga clothes to work in a gym bag and just change before class, which is probably what normal people do.

So, last Sunday I grabbed two honest girlfriends — the kinds who will tell you if your butt looks big in something — and headed to I+W. Luckily, it wasn't super busy, which was a relief because I had an irrational fear of getting stuck in a super tight pair of jeans or something.

Being so short-waisted that I think I fall in the no-waisted category, I bypassed the high-waisted Elizabeth, even though I love the way these look on ladies. Ditto for the Imogene cut, although in retrospect I probably should have at least tried them on. Next time! The rigid denim still scared me a bit — perhaps I'll save that for my next pair —  but I wanted something with a little more stretch, so I went for the Clarke and the Jesse.

The Clarke is I+W's newest jean, a slouchy, skinny cropped number that looked so freaking awesome on everyone I've seen in it. I mean, I+W model Odessa would look hot in a paper bag, but whatever. How cute are these?

  • Photo via

Unfortunately, in addition to being no-waisted, I have total thunderthighs and badonkadonk, so in order to be comfortable on my thighs/butt, the jeans hung around my waistline. This just wasn't the right cut for my shape. Perhaps if I swallowed my pride, sized up and had them nip the waist in (they do free alterations within 30 days of purchase, so take them up on that offer!), it would have been the right fit, but these didn't feel like the ones.

As soon as I saw the Jesse cut I had a good feeling. The Jesse is a skinny jean with a lower waist rise, but still high enough to prevent plumber's butt. The pockets are a tad smaller than on the Imogene, but still set at that perfect angle and size to make your butt look awesome. The Jesse boasts the slimmest leg cut, great for wearing with boots. They're also the perfect indigo shade.

As soon as I slid them on I was in love. These suckers were tight, but the girl in the shop assured me they would stretch about a half size. Ever the optimist, I asked if I could have them further altered once I drop the Christmas cookie weight (you can — but you will have to pay for alterations after 30 days, so you might want to start hitting the gym now). Sold.

Since I'm trying to break them in properly, I've been wearing them as much as possible. Last Monday, my coworker William remarked (in a non creepy way) that they were quite "form-fitting" and another coworker asked if I had underwear on. (I did. But I think that was a creepy question.) I wore them every day last week, even last Tuesday, when I worked my way through this:


And then I did it again on Friday (different day, different kinds of pie. This is research for something, I promise).


Not gonna lie, after Tuesday's Piepalooza I gave up and took my pants off at work. Luckily, my handy gym bag was nearby, so I had my yoga quitters and did not expose myself to my coworkers. You're welcome, cubemates. But now, after a week of consistent wear they're feeling awesome and definitely starting to breathe a bit.

Now, I'm no Odessa, but in the spirit of putting it all out there, here is the Day 1 shot of my I+W jeans and a basket of laundry. I will see you all again after my stomach flu.


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