Monday, June 14, 2010

Wearing the Pants

I can’t exactly remember when I started wearing pants rather than skirts. I know at the time my excuse was that I was teaching classes in a computer lab, which meant bending down to look over people’s shoulders a lot. I rationalized that wearing pants made this a lot easier, and it did. But in reality, I had just come to the point where I much preferred pants to skirts.

Why did I feel this way? Well, let’s count the reasons.

1. Pants are more comfortable, assuming you’ve bought pants that have a certain percentage of Spandex in their makeup.

2. Pants don’t require panty hose.

3. Pants don’t blow up in any random wind to expose parts you’d rather not expose.

4. Pants keep your legs warm in winter.

5. Pants make it easier to walk if you, like me, have a long stride.

6. Pants look elegant and sophisticated, again assuming you’ve bought ones that are tailored.

7. If you wear pants, you never have to confront the dreaded “What length should I try” question.

8. Pants give you a certain “take no prisoners” air, which means people may take you more seriously.

9. You can pair pants with outrageous tops or with tailored shirts—they’re versatile.

10. Did I mention they’re more comfortable?

I discovered early on that Chico’s pants fit me better than just about any other manufacturer, and I’ve stayed true for a lot of years (although I just noticed that Chico’s Web site seems to have abandoned the kind of styles that made me love them in favor of, groan, leggings--bummer). I recently discovered yoga pants, which are probably the most comfortable and good-looking traveling outfit ever; I think I could sleep in them if I was in a situation where I had to.

I think some of my love affair with pants stems from the fact that I’ve never been what you might call a delicate flower. I’m tall, five-foot-eight, and I have a lot of good peasant stock in my genetic code, which means my figure has a lot in common with Rubens’ nudes. Somehow when I put on a pair of pants, I feel a lot more confident than I would in chiffon.

Over the last couple of years, though, I’ve actually invested in a couple of skirts. Now neither one is the kind you’d wear for a quick trip to Walgreen’s. One is an ankle length wrap skirt made out of Indian silk that makes me feel like I’m cruising through a gypsy camp. The other is a formal skirt I bought for my son’s wedding—floor-length gray satin with a built-in crinoline. It’s safe to say I won’t be wearing it again any time soon, but it looked great for the occasion and in the wedding pictures.

I’m not absolutely anti-skirt. But overall, I’m still living in pants. And these days, when I look around the average restaurant or airport lounge or wine bar, it seems like a lot of other women are doing the same thing. Clearly a lot of us have tumbled to the conclusion that pants make life easier.

So let’s hear it for pants, ladies! Raise a glass to Amelia Bloomer and all those foremothers who figured out what was good for the guys was good for us too!

What do y'all think? Pants, skirts, or all of the above?


MJFredrick said...

Interesting. I'm one of the few teachers who still wears skirts at school. Everyone else wears pants (a lot of them WAY too casual IMO). I have a few pairs of pants, and will live in them in the summer because they look cute with sandals, but I like to wear skirts to work. I'm a bit girly, though.

And I do sleep in my yoga pants! French terry is the best thing ever! But I won't wear them in public--too snug.

MJFredrick said...

Also, I like to sew, and can make skirts fit way better than pants!

Skylar Kade said...

Meg, I'm with you. I much prefer pants to skirts--mostly because I eschew pantyhose and have painfully pale skin. And once you find the right cut, as you said, pants can be far more slimming.

MJ, its good to know some teachers still dress professionally for the job!

Meg Benjamin said...

Hey, MJ, good to hear from you! Nobody has ever described me as "girly", but I did just buy a great "rodeo shirt" in Steamboat Springs, complete with silver embroidery and rhinestone buttons! I will, of course, wear it with jeans.

PG Forte said...

pants are simply waaaay more practical in prolly 98% of all possible situations. Period.

And you know it's bad when I start throwing around numbers. ;)

I live in jeans and yoga pants...with an occasional ankle length Indian cotton skirt thrown into the mix, just for fun. And cause they look good with sandals. I live in sandals and running shoes, too, btw, on those sorry occasions when I have to wear shoes. Don't get me wring, I love shoes. LOVE shoes. All kinds. I just don't like walking around in them all that much.

Debra St. John said...

I am a skirt girl. To me they are way more comfy than pants. That said however, if I find a pair of well-fitting pants that are comfy, I hang on like there's no tomorrow!

MJFredrick said...

Skylar, you're right about some pants being more slimming. I do get more compliments when I wear them!

Meg, sounds lovely! Even with jeans.

Kelly Jamieson said...

I'm with you on the jeans and definitely yoga pants, but I wear skirts every day to work. I own one pair of dress pants - black ones. Unlike you Meg, I am short with short legs, and pants seem to emphasize the lack of proportion (unless I wear heels, which I usually do!)