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?