A Big Girl Rant: Denim vs. Chub Rub


Yesterday I attended the funeral of my favorite pair of jeans.

I made my way down the steps to the trash cans behind my apartment building with my jeans lifeless in my arms. As I lifted the metal lid and placed the jeans on top of some trash bags I wondered if my neighbors would think I was nuts if I said a few words.

My Svobodas were a very special pair of jeans. They came from a family of denim designed specifically for PSP’s (Plus Size Princesses) and this pair did everything that jeans should. Not only did they elongate my legs but they enhanced my, um… assets. My Svobodas and I have been through a lot together; casual Fridays at work, first dates, nights out with the girls… I could always count on them to make me feel good. Sadly, these jeans fell victim to an untimely death at the hands of… Chub Rub.

Chub Rub: discomfort caused by chub (fat) rubbing together.

As I looked down into the garbage can at my dearly departed denim, it started to mist. I wanted to shake my fist at the grey sky and cry out “Chuuuuub Ruuuuuub!!!”

Chub Rub has been an arch Nemesis of mine for many years. Mostly attacking when my bare legs rub together under a dress or skirt. This friction can result in anything from slight skin irritation to burning and/or blisters. I thought I’d won when I began to find ways to avoid chub rub skin irritation while wearing skirts and dresses (I’ll write about that later). My victories were short lived though, because Chub Rub has always had the last word when it came to my jeans.

I’ve laid many pairs of jeans to rest because of this silent killer.

With every step I take, each pair of my jeans will slowly wear thin in the space where my thighs touch and eventually the thin fabric will rip, fray and ultimately become a hole. The Svobodas were a higher quality, so they did last a lot longer, but it was still the same fate. For this reason I try not get too attached to any pair of jeans, no matter how great they are.

Of course, there is reincarnation for denim. I’ve converted many torn jeans into shorts or denim skirts, I’ve even sewn one pair into a shoulder bag. But, no matter how clever I am with their remains, my jeans are never as amazing as when they were in their original form.

This may sound terrible, but when I am pushing my legs together on the inner thigh machine at the gym, I sometimes wonder how much easier it could be to get a little liposuction done to rid myself of this problem. At the rate that I’m running through jeans, it may actually save me some money….

  • http://www.twitter.com/Kemiade Kemi

    I totally agree! I can't justify paying alot of money for premium denim when I know thats the fate of jeans I wear alot. Maybe that's why I have so many pairs. I started to count last week and I think i Have 25 pairs and counting! Would you say that your Svobodas lasted longer then other, less expensive jeans?

  • http://www.twitter.com/thasingajoe Big Boned Beauty

    "Chubbbbb Rubbbbbb" lol I have definitely had the same heart wrenching eulogy for many pairs of jeans myself. So I started buying multiple pairs of the same jeans to save me the heart. Nonetheless I feel your pain! ;o)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02860514520067890741 The Big Girl Blog!

    Hi Kemi,

    Yes, the Svobodas did last longer….


    P.S. 25 Pairs? Wow… you put me to shame! ;-)

  • http://www.twitter.com/Kemiade Kemi

    LOL, thats why my closet is screaming! I've been thinking to pick up a pair when my jean collection thins out….. alot.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I think that chub rub is a curse for all but the most skinny and curveless. I'm not too overweight (25 lbs or so), but I get blisters and ruined jeans as well, and I did even at a light weight. So no resorting to drastic measures!

    (Personally, I've done the clear-deodorant-swipe ever since I heard that pro runners use that method.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01946648954862696660 ~*mb*~

    my jeans are headed for the same fate! i love the "chub rub" term and will be using it all the time. thanks :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17857524350958781429 Missouri Girl

    Oh yea, I have had to trash several beloved pairs of jeans/pants also!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11194807978672375444 BrooklynShoeBabe

    I usually wear bike shorts or some cotton version of Spanx underneath my skirts and tighter pants to prevent Chub Rub. When it comes to jeans, well, I just gave up. :-(

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14864878710641637506 LadyApple32

    You can avoid the chub rub…or at least delay it! I use an iron in patch on the inside of the crotch and then sew around the patch (for a little extra, discreet security). I assume you could use any kind of patch, but iron in denim patches are best because it's difficult to sew in that area and they're really tough.

    Also, when I was at band camp in high school, I learned that using deodorant on your thighs stops/relieves the pain of chaffing. Just make sure you're using a solid, not a gel…Gel burns.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13220339701774995467 MissMelisaMae

    Thank you for this post!

  • http://www.jamieann.net Jamie

    Ugh I hate that. And I hate when it ruins jeans even more!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16198524206719376327 Jennifer Weeks

    oh I love this post! So glad to see others go through the same thing.

    I have also invested in bike shorts and spanx for under dresses in the summer bc otherwise they are completely unbearable.

    I must say I would love to see the day that my jeans don't get holes and I can wear a dress spanx free.

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    Dead written content material , thankyou for information .

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  • Cassie

    I do the same thing LadyApple does…well, sort of. Iron-on denim patches cost like a dollar for two, so when I get new jeans I grab a packet of them and put them on the inner thighs of . You know the part that always goes first–right along the seam, usually just behind it (the weaker side of the fabric that takes more strain from the wear). So far, this has given me an average of 4-6 months longer out of a pair of beloved pantalones. No accounting for acts of god or the dreaded crouching-girl-splitting-pants phenomenon, but it helps for at least general wear.

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  • Diana

    I almost cried with your story because I myself have attended many favorite jeans funerals throughout the years. I did have enough and had local anesthesia tumescent liposuction in my inner thighs a couple of days ago. It was one of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced and it takes up to 3 months to show, but it was still worth it, so I understand what you go through.

    unfortunately as you may already know, chub rub isn’t weight related only, I am a size 8 and I still suffer from it. Hoping for the best here!

  • Rueroux

    Oh god, I cannot tell you how many pairs of jeans have sacrificed themselves upon the vindictive alter of chub rub. I’m a little on the poor side so I can’t go around buying expensive jeans. Thighs that touch are their own self-perpetuating hell. I, too, have fantasized about liposuction once day. I know that’s kind of cheating, but *my god*, no matter how much weight I lose, I never lose my inner thigh issues. For that matter, I can never seem to slim down the backs of my upper arms either :(

  • Rose

    I have always had thighs that have rubbed together, even when I was a size 3. I just have large muscular thighs. I was tired of tossing those amazing jeans away just because of holes in the thighs but perfectly fine everywhere else. I found this post on a blog and it has worked for me. You can’t even tell that I sewed up the holes unless I’m sitting with my legs wide open for a long time, and a proper lady never does that ;) http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2009/12/essential-blue-jean-mending-method.html#.Un_hs_mkrG8 Maybe it will work for you!

  • Stephanie Hubert

    I was informed by the lady at Torrid that the ripped thighs in my jeans where not in fact caused by chub rub, but by DRYING my jeans!! she said the heat ruins the “stretch” material in the jeans! I stopped drying my favorite jeans & haven’t had any thinning since!!

  • LarraKyleen

    Even better than iron ons! I *swear* by this method to repair and significantly extend the life of jeans that have fallen to chub rub! All you need is scrap denim (from a pair of jeans beyond fixing, or you can buy it at the fabric store) and Aleene’s Fabric Fusion glue.
    Cut a piece of demin to cover the hole with a little extra (about 1/2 inch) of space around it, flip your jeans inside-out and stuff a grocery bag inside the leg behind the tear to protect the outside of your jeans. Coat the back side of your denim scrap with Fabric Fusion, apply it to the hole, and let it set overnight. No peeling like patches often do, and no sewing necessary! Lasts in the washing machine and dryer as well. I have jeans that I patched this way 4+ months ago and they’re still going strong!