For me, every day is no-pants day. Not in the sense of Improv Everywhere’s no-pants subway riding, but rather, in the sense that when I get dressed, my options are all skirts and tops or dresses. I no longer own any pants, save for sweats to sleep in and my workout gear. For the last three years, I’ve worn a dress or skirt daily, and before that, my pants-wearing was sporadic.
This wasn’t a challenge I set for myself or an experiment I embarked on but, instead, a natural evolution of my fashion sense. I used to wear jeans, but when I moved this year, I found only two pairs when I unpacked — and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d worn them. Certainly telling.
So, why do I stick to skirts and dresses? First, let me be clear that it’s not a religious or moral thing. In fact, if anyone ever told me I couldn’t wear pants, I’d probably sport them out of spite. I don’t believe, as some Christians do, that pants would “defraud men with the way I dress” because “if a lady wears pants, a man’s eyes are drawn to a part of her body they should not be drawn to,” or that jeans represent an immodest way of dressing, as a few other religions suggest. Let's be real here: Of course pants can be just as revealing as skirts or dresses. But, there are a number of legit reasons why I've basically banished them from my life.
Skirts and dresses make me feel good. They make me feel sexy and pretty. I am not a huge makeup wearer or what you'd call a girly girl, so dresses and skirts are my biggest nod to femininity, aside from having long hair. I don’t go all out with them, only occasionally adding jewelry or heels. But, even with sneakers, I still feel good wearing a dress.
They’re comfortable. Only dresses and skirts feel breathable to me. Pants — even jeans — just don’t seem right on my body. In them, I'm constricted and squeezed in, and even if I like how they look, which is rare, I can’t truly relax because I feel encased like a sausage. Maybe it's because I carry a lot of my weight in my stomach, but pants seem like they’re pressing on my bladder, or I worry I’m going to pop a button. And, I imagine Spanx plus pants is too bulky a combination.
They work with the shape of my body. Unlike Ke$ha, who wears dresses to showcase her legs, I’m actually the opposite. I'm short, and my legs are not my favorite part of my body. I don’t wear dresses to show them off, per se, but I think they best accentuate the parts of my body I like most and help to shape or disguise the areas I don’t love. In fall, winter, and spring, I couple my dresses with a selection from my extensive collection of patterned and solid tights. I do admit that I’ve never gotten custom-made jeans, so it’s possible that if I did, I could find a pair that suited my body perfectly. However, even if I did, they still would only be suitable if I remained at that exact weight. Which brings me to my next point…
They’re forgiving. With many of my skirts and dresses, I can gain or lose about 10 pounds and still manage to make them work. The tighter ones are less forgiving, but there’s still room for a bit of weight fluctuation. I’ve found the opposite with pants, where I feel like I have to struggle to get them on even when they do fit properly.
They’re versatile. I have as many dresses and skirts as I do moods. I have frocks that are so short or revealing that I tend to only wear them in the house; I have summery Yumi Kim floral dresses and a beautifully draping purple Catherine Malandrino number that’s so soft, I want pajamas made of the same fabric. When it’s cold out, I usually opt for heavier knits and longer hemlines (or thicker tights), though, as jeans-lover Michele Zipp pointed out, sheer summer dresses can easily be repurposed in the winter with a little strategic layering.
I travel frequently, and dresses pack easily. When I had an office job, the preferred attire was casual, but I still wore dresses. They weren’t all fancy, but they worked for daytime and nighttime. The other night, my boyfriend and I hosted a dinner party. That morning, I mentioned that I was debating about what to wear. “It’s not fancy,” he said. But, that wasn’t the point — I like dressing up, and sometimes, even though I work from home and the only people I may see all day end up being my boyfriend and the mail carrier, I like the thrill of wearing an especially fun or pretty frock for no reason.
This doesn’t mean I’m anti-pants for others. I admire women who can rock trousers and enjoy wearing them, but I just don’t think I’ll ever be among their ranks. So, pants lovers, have at it. I'm basically just leaving more for you!