No pants are the best pants: Why I don’t like wearing pants
For those who know me well, one fact of my wardrobe can sometimes come as a shock: I don’t wear pants.
No, I’m not Richard Simmons or attempting to showcase all the leg like Angelina Jolie, but I, personally, don’t wear pants. This includes jeans, trousers, khakis, et cetera. Even when it’s cold outside, I opt for sweater tights…which may get old come my first winter in Chicago.
You see, I used to wear pants. I used to wear pants a lot. Like, jeans every day. Like, the same jeans every day for a week, along with a green Paul Frank hoodie and Vans slip-ons or Converse with song lyrics in gel pen written along the sides (I was a weird teenager, guys).
So, once I became more a #adult (jokes), I thought it would be best to reinvigorate my wardrobe. When I initially tried to change up my wardrobe in high school, it led me to a lot of questionable outfit choices. Like wearing boxer pajama shorts to school, with yellow tights that made my legs look jaundiced, as a 16-year-old. Could I be any more embarrassing?
Anywho, when I got to college, that meant incorporating a lot more dresses and skirts into my wardrobe. Not everything I wore was entirely professional or flattering (damn you, American Apparel!), but, over time, I was able to pick out exactly what did and didn’t work with my body.
It was hard in the beginning to figure out exactly what was and wasn’t flattering. You see, I have had body image issues since I was a young thang (aka, just starting puberty), and fluctuations in my weight led to fluctuations in my views of my self-image and self-care. As I was able to find prettier skirts and dresses, as well as specific styles of skirts and dresses that worked for me, I left the jeans behind (which my fat ass was a-okay with).
Because of the change in my wardrobe over the course of my short adulthood, I probably haven’t worn pants professionally since at least 2013…perhaps longer. There are honestly so many beautiful skirts and dresses that I have been able to enjoy, feel comfortable and (pretend to be) attractive in, that my weight changes and self-esteem changes over time weren’t truly affected by my pants’ size (which, for a long time, was a 12 or above, even as a scraggly, weirdo 16-year-old). Hence, four years without wearing pants Monday through Friday never seemed like that big of a deal.
Most of my friends in college and through work came to the sudden realization that they never saw me in pants months, if not years after they initially met me; most recently, two of my fellow grad students and newish lady buds asked me about it while we were shopping.
“How are you going to prepare for winter?” they asked.
I told them about my sweater tights, that kept me fairly warm in Seattle and California.
“Yeah, but Chicago winters are brutal,” they echoed.
Well, s**t, I thought. My mom had told me again and again about the brutal winters she spent in Chicago from 1978 to 1982, which eventually led her back to the Bay Area. She felt that I was going to experience one winter in Chicago and follow her lead…even more so, since I don’t wear pants.
So, after all of my struggles with weight, self-image, and trying and failing to find great pants, I decided to finally try on a pair today.
I really wasn’t expecting to try on any pants today…hell, I have been eating like Joey Chestnut preparing for a contest the past few days while my mom’s been in town visiting. I was also planning on starting a new workout regimen (fo free), but had a little time to kill before my appointment and ended up going to Kohl’s (baller on a budget, yo).
With the half-hour before my appointment, I scoured the sales racks, looking for something I would want to buy. As I was about to leave, I saw the business casuals section, which had black flared-leg trousers along the wall.
I grabbed a pair that I assumed would be my size — 12— and headed to the dressing room. Five minutes later, I realize that maybe, just maybe, my body had changed a little since my puberty struggles. I headed back to the wall with the pants along it and grabbed two more sizes—a 6 and an 8 —and checked my watch. Five minutes before I had to leave.
In a rash moment, I decided, f**k it, let’s try the 6 for the hell of it, and see if they fit.
And, in those few seconds of trepidation, I realized that I did fit into a size 6 pair of pants. I literally had my mouth hanging open looking in the mirror, at this pair of pants fitting what I still consider to be a pudgy, soft (sometimes cuddly), but overall confusing body.
Although I have done some work (work work work work work) over the past few years to get more in shape and get that muscle, I definitely gained weight when I moved to Chicago and started grad school. I was (and still am) scared to see the jiggly bits that have come back to attack my booty and thighs and belly over the past three months, so trying on these pants and seeing that they actually fit me, me, was a complete relief.
Now, I must admit, I didn’t actually buy these pants (I’m a graduate student, for f***s sake, I don’t have a ton of disposable income). BUT, the very fact that I was able to try on these pants and feel comfortable for the first time in a long time while wearing pants was a step in the right direction in my book.
Now I just need to find some pants that actually fit my body and my budget. The struggle continues!
As I keep searching for some pants that I enjoy and can help to keep my legs intact during the hell that is winter in Chicago, you can search through my previous articles here and enjoy the hell out of them. Enjoy!