L.A. wedding (part 1): how to pull off (and put on) tight, white jeans

Hands up who else thought “Joshua Tree” was just an inspiring somebody that U2 must have known growing up?

Or perhaps someone less than inspiring, given the resultant eponymous album.

Only when the US government shutdown happened, and the apparent national park called “Joshua Tree” became vandalised, did I realise it was not only also a park but also a type of tree.

All of this was useful knowledge when I received an invite to a best friend’s wedding in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree this year.
  
The only notes I have found from those 8 days in May are a list of clothes to pack – white jeans, white tux, the “cat” t-shirt (more on all these items soon) – and a note describing the customers of the self-proclaimed “famous” breakfast burrito stand in Pasadena, where a side of heart disease comes free with every serve.

And yet, the whole 8 days is so fairly well inscribed into my brain that I will try to wing this account from memory, for this was a wedding where I had a special privilege: I was to be one of the bridesmaids.  

Talk all you want about being “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”, but at this stage in my journalism career I was just happy to attend a wedding in some capacity other than as catering staff.

The bride, who had successfully escaped Bris-Vegas to live marginally closer to the real thing, had a strong vision of how her wedding would look.

And no, she did not want “Queensland formal”. Instead, she prescribed us white clothes with a touch of cowboy or UFO sect. And no deviations or anal probes please.

Given even her cats would be getting dressed up and joining the procession down the aisle, there was little excuse for me not to at least try to find something appropriate.

Yvonne loaned me a white tuxedo jacket she’d found on a vintage trip to LA (funnily enough), but how would I find some white jeans?

Luckily there’s a quaint little vintage Levi’s store between the Marais and Bastille, run by some eccentric elderly Jewish guys who sell 501s in every colour imaginable, so long as your imagination is restricted to black, blue or white.

“These must be worn tight,” the owner counselled me, handing me a gleaming white pair. “Otherwise they’ll look very unflattering.”

Having grown up frequenting suburban Australian nightclubs, I knew just what he meant. But I was sceptical about their tightness.

No need to be worried, he promised to show me a special manoeuvre that would help me squeeze inside.

The secret method for squeezing into tight jeans

“Go to the changing cabin and pull them on, but leave them open. Then call me.”

It sounded like a stitch-up, but I saw little other choice but to trust him.

Minutes later my legs were transformed into a gleaming white denim skin, and the modest bulge of my boxers was hanging over the wide-open button fly.

“Do all but two buttons up, and then squat for 35 seconds,” he ordered me. He’d definitely had luck with this routine before.

He counted out loud to 35 while looking at me squatted on his floor with my pants open.

“Stand up. Do up the second-last button,” he commanded. “Now squat again. For 35 seconds.”

His stare was unwavering. Squatting only for 34 seconds might ruin the pants; squatting for any longer might ruin me.

I stood up, and lo, the pants did now fasten at the top button.

He smiled. “See? I told you. Now, don’t you also want them in blue?”

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