Monday, May 10, 2010

Why I (rarely) wear pants

It was brought to my attention by a coworker recently that I rarely wear pants to work. Yep, I'm that girl that was wearing skirts and dresses in the dead of winter with doubled up tights and knee boots. I don't personally have anything against wearing pants for religious or political reasons. So, why don't I wear pants on most days?

Cheaper. I don't wear pants all that often because it's cheaper for me not to wear them. As a vertically challenged lady (aka short), I can rarely go into a store and purchase pants without getting them shortened. Because I lack sewing skills, those alteration costs can add up. I mentally tack on $15+ to a pair of pants when I try them on in the store. Unless I have a specific occasion to dress up for, that extra cost is just usually not worth it for me. I have bought skirts in recent months, but I believe the last pair of pants I purchased was when I had a part time job at a retail store in 2008. I've made denim purchases fairly recently. I've bought two pairs of jeans in the last two years, one pair of which were purchased in the late winter.

My personal style is less casual as I get older. I do have to admit that as I get older, my style has changed a a bit; in college I felt way more comfortable in jeans, I now feel more comfortable in a skirt or a dress. I don't feel as much social pressure to dress a certain way, and I really wear what I like and what suits my style aesthetic. During the week, I like to dress up and don't usually have to worry about being under dressed when I go to any functions I attend after work because I've never been a fan of really short, tight skirts or dresses. I do wear jeans on the weekends and that really is enough for me.

Pants styles change frequently. Pants styles change in minor ways from season to season, but most of the skirts and dresses I wear are at least a season or two old. Hemlines rise and fall on pants. Wide legged styles go in and out of style and I usually see slight moderations when styles 'come back around' such as less pockets on cargo pants or cropped pants in jeans instead of regular lengths. Skirt styles like a black pencil skirt or A-line skirt depending on your figure type are closet staples that won't look out of place from year to year. I have a penchant for prints and florals and they have been in style for the last few seasons as well. My skirts rarely need any alterations that simply putting on a belt can't fix. Dresses are a bit trickier, but they still usually require no alteration unless they were purchased from thrift or vintage stores. I have purchased dresses that were larger than my normal size in the past from thrift stores and got them altered to fit me because I saw the potential in the dress and felt I'd wear it for several years and for different types of occasions. My petite girl trick when I do have to purchase clothing that I want to fit my smaller proportions, is to shop in the junior's and even the kids section of my favorite stores.

I know taller folk face a whole other set of clothing (and maybe shoe) shopping problems, and overall, I like being a small lady. Making minor adjustments in how I choose my clothing isn't really a big deal. But in the future, I will take the time to learn some basic sewing skills and maybe even take a class, but for now, I'll stick to skirts and dresses and just wear the pants I already own.

Anyone else face pants shopping woes? What other factors affect your clothing preferences?


LaShaune said...

Oh the pant woe...what a royal pain. I too am short, but have long legs so I can't generally buy off the rack (unless I shop at Talbots) without having to have the waistband altered.

Another thing to consider is that I have my pants dry cleaned more often than my skirts and dresses and that cost can add up quickly the more times I wear my slacks.

And lastly, because it's so darn hot and humid here in Houston, I prefer skirts and dresses as breathable options - whew!

fallingintofavor said...

Well...I'm like you in the short department. But I love jeans! Earlier this year I gained weight (it was a goal of mine) and I had to get rid of 25 pair of jeans. I had a lot of jeans. And, yes I have to get them altered... 20 bucks a pop to get the original bottoms put on.

Now, I'm building up my collection...I don't have nearly as many. I don't want nearly as many. I actually would like to wear more dresses/skirts but I'm never satisfied with them. Like, it's a mission to find skirts that aren't short.

Ann said...

I hear ya! I am also vertically challenged but on the other side of the spectrum! At 6'0" I rarely find slacks and pants that are long enough unless I go online . . . and I hate purchasing clothing without trying them on first. So I wear most skirts . . .and I'm okay with that!Skirts are versitile and being a southern california girl, they work with the weather too. :)