Necessary Skills: Wearing Pants

Yes, you read that right. It sounds so easy, and yet, seems to be so hard for our society. Put on pants. It’s September, which means people are going to be transitioning from shorts to pants, with the exception of teenage boys who seem perfectly content wearing shorts at the bus stop in January. (Really. I have friends who have had to resort to hiding their son’s shorts come December 1st.) Boys, however, don’t seem to fall in the trap girls – and a growing number of grown women – get caught in: the default yoga pant.

I’m serious here. Yoga pants are for yoga. That’s why they’re called yoga pants. Leggings are appropriate if one is wearing some form of tunic, but if we can see your panty line, no matter what your age, then really, reconsider. (I, personally, have no desire to see the panty line of a 15 year old OR a 47 year old. I can’t be alone on this – entire advertising campaigns have been based on banishing panty lines).

Do you want people looking at your teenager and seeing this?
Do you want people looking at your teenager and seeing this?

Why wear real pants, you ask? Well, I don’t expect to retrain the 40 year old woman who does her shopping at my local Wegman’s wearing bright purple spandex pants. Is she sweaty? No, so she isn’t on her way home from the gym. Nor is she on her way to the gym, not with that many perishable items in her cart on a hot day. No, before you ask, her grocery shopping is not so athletic that she needs workout clothes on to complete this task. If you’re wearing leggings without a tunic or long top or yoga pants, you run the risk of showing up on the people of Walmart page – do you want that for your child?

This may sound extremely old fashioned and uptight of me (really, society, as a whole, has only just gotten past the ‘visible thong’ era of fashion) but I’m telling you now, parents, so that you can get to your children early. We live in a society where putting on a pair of jeans is dressing up. After a certain age – say, twelve years old – our girls become a member of a community. That means that when they exist in this community, they not only have some responsibility to treat this community with respect, but they start knowing more and more people. If you want them to be wearing yoga pants when they meet their priest, potential employer, or boyfriend’s mother, then by all means, let them walk out the door without having this conversation. But if you care how your children present themselves, you need to remind them that how they look sends a message, whether it’s one they intend to convey or not. Ask your daughter what message they want to send the world. Hopefully they will realize they don’t want to send it with purple spandex or – even worse – pajama bottoms and slippers.

It's a small world. If you are wearing this outfit when you bump into your college counselor, it does NOT scream "I'm a real go-getter."
It’s a small world. If you are wearing this outfit when you bump into your college counselor, it does NOT scream “I’m a real go-getter.”

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