I think we really need to talk about something. It is a long overdue conversation. We need to talk about pants. There are more serious things going on in the world, I agree. But I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about pants, and I think we need to get some of these things out in the open.
Pants. Ah, pants. Those belly pinching leg prisons. Pants are not my friend. And yet, they are so necessary for warmth, coverage, and the health of our society. I mean, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where people walked around with no pants. Please do not make any such inference.
But, seriously–how many of us spend the better part of our days thinking about how uncomfortable and frustrating our pants are? Most of the time they are tight in all the wrong places, even though you thought they fit perfectly when you tried them on in the store dressing room with the flattering lights and the mirrors that made you look two sizes smaller than you really are. Sometimes they stretch out and sag in the butt or the knees by midday, and you spend the rest of the afternoon hiking them up to avoid a plumber-bummer situation. Quite commonly, they start out feeling fine in the morning, but then by the afternoon it becomes clear that your pants either have room for your body or your lunch, but not both.
Is it me, or have dress pants become so complicated? Some of them have a zipper, a series of buttons, and then two or three hooks over top of the buttons. And what’s up with that clear button that you have to fasten on the inside before you move on to the outside buttons? Is it a modern day chastity belt? Is it some kind of backup plan to hold your pants up in case the three outer hooks and two outer buttons experience some kind of equipment failure? I personally have left that particular button undone many a time and I did not suffer any noticeable consequences. In addition to the fact that it leaves a semi-permanent button imprint on my belly, it just seems superfluous. And it’s very labor intensive, especially if you are striving to maintain proper hydration. I went through this really embarrassing phase where I kept leaving my fly down at work, because by the time I fastened the inside button, two outside buttons, and three hooks, I had forgotten all about the zipper. I just felt like I was done at that point.
My current job affords me the opportunity to wear scrubs every day if I want to. If I want to? Well, let me think about this for a second. I can either wear dress pants that require hemming, dry cleaning, high heeled shoes, and a 4 minute re-fastening procedure every time I go to the bathroom, or I can wear pants that are basically work pajamas. Not a hard decision.
On the positive side, I think one of the best things that has happened to pants is the mainstreaming of the legging. Leggings are everywhere. They are taking over! You can get them in colors and patterns. You can dress them up or down. You can wear them with a dress or a sweater or a blouse, with flats or boots or slip-on sneakers. When I was a kid, leggings were for dance class or worn as an extra layer under your “real” pants in frigid weather. No more! I know some would argue from various directions that leggings aren’t pants. These are not my people.
However, I do believe that one should follow certain guidelines in order to successfully wear LAP (leggings as pants). If you are over the age of 13, wear a long top. Please make sure it covers your crotch and preferably most of your booty. I don’t have a problem with people who think they have a nice butt trying to show it off, but sometimes you just don’t really know what’s going on back there. You can’t see what the rest of us see. We don’t want to see your panty lines or the pattern on your underwear. We most certainly do not want to see your camel toe. These are relatively easy guidelines to follow, given the fact that tunics and long, flowy tops are all the rage. Please follow them, for the sake of your fellow citizens who have to walk behind you in the grocery store. If you are indeed going to the gym, you may disregard the guidelines about wearing a long top and covering your butt. However, continue to avoid camel-toe at all costs. P.S.–mom and dad, if you’re reading this, DO NOT GOOGLE camel toe. Trust me.
While we are on the subject of the gym, let’s discuss the athleisure trend. Athleisure is a way that we can wear sweats around the town and still look presentable–super cute, even. Your old ripped sweats with the hole in the butt from college say to the world “I just rolled out of bed because I was up all night with my vomiting child who now needs Pedialyte, so here I am in the grocery store at 6 AM.” And by all means, if you were up with your vomiting child all night and have to go out for Pedialyte, wear those crappy sweats. Or if you’re going to Walmart on a random Tuesday. Same/same. In comparison, your sporty space-dye joggers and fun long sleeved hoodie with those thumbhole thingies that look adorable but are such a pain for people who wash their hands a lot say, “I can be cute AND comfortable, and now I’m going to Target.”
While athleisure is both comfortable and cute, and LAP are a huge leap forward for womankind, nothing beats pajama pants. I like to go right from my scrubs/work pajamas to my sleep pajamas, while strategically avoiding any weeknight activities that may require me to wear anything nicer that a pair of sporty joggers. I mean, after I have worked all day, there is no greater reward than changing into my jammies and some soft, fuzzy socks. I get very grumpy when this reward gets delayed by things like band concerts, parent-teacher conferences, dance class, or any number of pajama pant delaying activities.
Alright, let’s talk about jeans. Jeans have come a long way since the pair of Buffalo jeans I had in ninth grade with the leather button fly and pleats. And thank the Lord that the low-rise trend appears to have mostly run its course. It seems that the people who make denim have recently gotten the memo from women that we want to look like we’re wearing jeans, without feeling like we’re wearing jeans. Because let’s face it, jeans are not very comfortable unless they’re doctored up with all kinds of stretchy fabrics. I’m not talking about 98% cotton and 2% spandex. If this is the best your jeans can do, they are underperforming in the comfort arena. Especially once skinny jeans came on the scene, this sort of fabric scenario became completely inadequate. You need to look for words on the label like elastane, modal, and sometimes even words that are completely made up but someone trademarked them to make them look legit. A good pair of very stretchy jeggings can take you to many a social outing feeling stylish and relatively comfortable until such time that you can politely excuse yourself and sneak home to get in your pajamas.
I realize that I have just thrown a lot of information at you. I am very invested in helping all of us be more comfortable and avoiding constrictive waistbands. So for your convenience, I have summarized my thoughts into this helpful flowchart below.
That is all for today. Until next time: Stay comfortable, my friends.