I’ve (mostly) stopped wearing pants

a flourish of fabric

Happy new year! I’ve spent much of the past two weeks in pajamas, playing Little Big Planet on the new PS3, and knitting a gift that I don’t want to blog about until it’s given to the recipient. There was also a lot of driving to see family, eating fabulous meals with family, and generally just having a wonderfully relaxing vacation.

I also bought a sewing machine—my first!—and plan to take classes in the coming months. One of my goals for 2012 is to make more clothing, beyond knit-wear, like dresses and skirts. This goal has arisen not only from my growing love of 1940s fashion, but also from my increasing reluctance to wearing pants.

A couple years ago, I finally admitted to myself something that many people have come to realize years before I: jeans are not winter wear. Denim is not insulating, and in the middle of a chilly walk home, the wind rips right through, leaving thighs frozen and red upon returning home. What I did at that time was switch to warmer winter pants, coupled with layers like long johns and leggings. When spring eventually rolled around again, I tried on a pair of neglected jeans, and immediately felt uncomfortable. Were these the same pants I used to live in? I threw most of them in a Goodwill-headed box when I packed up my apartment.

(I still have one pair of denim capris that I’ve worn all of seven times since I bought them in March, and most of those outfits were witnessed at Viva Las Vegas back in April. What else says cute casual rockabilly outfit that an adorable pair of denim capris?)

As I cut jeans out of my wardrobe, other pants started to fall out as well. As I wore more dresses and skirts, I felt less and less comfortable when trying to pull together an outfit with pants. Nothing felt right, nothing looked right. I started my new job in mid-July, and I have only styled work wear once that included a pair of pants, not including my Halloween costume.

A lot of the new-found love for skirts and dresses has come from my growing self-esteem and fat-acceptance; once I realized that being fat didn’t mean covering up or hiding my body, I started loving different styles of clothing that I’d previously ignored. (Skirts and tights! Scoop neck sweaters!) I also finally accepted that I don’t have to feel bad about myself because store-bought clothing doesn’t fit me properly, and, gosh darnit, I can do something about that.

For my first class, we’ll be making tote bags, but I won’t be surprised if I have myself a circle skirt or two before February is out. How exciting!

Photo credit: “a flourish of fabric” from erin_everlasting


3 thoughts on “I’ve (mostly) stopped wearing pants

  1. Crystal says:

    I stopped wearing pants as well, except for in situations where skirts would be impractical (yard work, camping, etc.). I would love to learn to sew, but it’s one thing at a time for me. Right now, I am focusing on crocheting, then once I feel like I’ve got that down, I’ll be moving on to knitting. After that, I will probably begin sewing classes, but if I start trying to do everything at the same time, I’ll get burnt out or frustrated and stop everything altogether. Are you taking classes through a craft store like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s?

  2. Oh man. I didn’t realize denim wasn’t winter wear until my first winter as an adult in Chicago. The wind and cold CUT through jeans like they are not even there!

    I salute your skirt life style! I go back and forth, but I always feel better in skirts myself!

    I was also hoping to get myself in the habit of sewing this year, but I need to start trolling Craig’s List for a functional sewing machine first. Good luck with your classes!

  3. @Crystal: one of my local Meetups is a sewing collective, which occasionally hosts sewing classes at the library. The tote bag making class will be my first introduction to the group, but I plan to post a write-up shortly after.

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