Life Lesson #11: Fashion

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Listen, I am not claiming to be a fashion expert.  In fact- most would say I’m the furthest from a fashion expert as you can possibly get… They’re totally RIGHT.

You can find me in this most days of the week- Cargo (sometimes, they're functional at work) Khakis (it for sure was a Thursday because we always wear Khakies on Thursday), Dry Fit shirt(s), with a quarter-zip, and top that off with tennis shoes
You can find me in this most days of the week- Cargo (sometimes, they’re functional at work) Khakis (it for sure was a Thursday because we always wear Khakies on Thursday), Dry Fit shirt(s), with a quarter-zip, and top that off with tennis shoes .

My wardrobe is more about comfortability and functionality than it is about being “in.”  Not only during the day, but like, 100% of the time. My mom taught me some very serious lessons about fashion that I still follow today even if some of them might not be true.

  1. Dress for YOUR body type.  This one is my favorite and number 1 for a reason.  MY body type, is not YOUR body type and we WILL NOT look good in the same stuff that we see online or in a store 98% of the time.  NO ONE wants to see me in a crop top. NO ONE wants to see me in low rise jeans anymore- that butt crack is all too high.  NO ONE wants to see me in a pair of white leggings that are a size too small. NO ONE wants to see through my clothes. I’m not saying that other people can’t wear these things, I’m just saying you’re welcome that I don’t.  This means I wear clothes that aren’t form fitting, that are long enough (arms, legs, and torso), that are the right size, and help show what does work, not what doesn’t. MANY women struggle with this- I like to think it is because they didn’t have a mom like mine growing up that showed me how a LADY dresses for all occasions even if I choose not to do it all the time.  The other reason is weight fluctuation- wear what you got no matter what journey you’re on at that time.
  2. Make sure your belt and your shoes match- if you’re wearing black shoes, wear a black belt!  If you’re going out or you’re the leader of a business meeting, make sure your purse does too.
  3. Color does matter.  Not just “no white pants after Labor Day” because we have to break that every once in a while.  But also, if you’re going to a job interview or you’re public speaking- don’t wear predominantly red.  It is a power color and can make people have the wrong impression of you. It is appropriate sometimes to wear a power suit or a power color- but typically not, soften up and show your personality in your clothes.  
I’m so committed to quarter zip shirts I’ll wear on on Christmas Day. None of us planned the whole black and red thing this day. But we were all dressed appropriately- Harper is a Month old and I was wearing maternity pants.

You should also know that not everyone can wear yellow.  Not everyone can wear pastels. Not everyone can pull off tan or cream.  KNOW THAT ABOUT YOURSELF.

So again, I’m no fashion expert, but I wear clothes and I’ve got some serious questions and some serious ideas.  These ideas and questions will lead us to our life lessons portion of today’s post:

My questions and ideas are related to length, pockets, rise, pockets, sizing, pockets, fabric, and most importantly- pockets.

So let’s tackle length first- have you noticed that besides a few places women’s pants only come in “short,” “regular,” “long” and in some rare cases “extra-long?”  Raise your hand if you actually fit in one of those sizes consistently and across more than one brand… I’ll wait… I know the answer is a small percent of the population.  In some places I’m a regular (but still a hair long) and in some places I’m a short (but a hair too short). It is rather annoying. Ladies, did you know that men’s pants come with specific lengths EVERY TIME THEY BUY PANTS.  All of their pants. Dress pants, golf pants, jeans, suite pants. All of them. I can count on one hand the number of time I’ve seen a precise number on the length of my pants, and they were not cheap (thank you to the Buckle, I guess).  Why would this be hard to do across the board?

Dude pants also come in “fits” and then their sizes are in like “inches” or something.  They don’t have to worry about going to Kohl’s to find a size 8 and then going to White House Black Market and being an 18 (disclaimer I don’t know if that’s the exact sizing difference but you get my point).  Not to mention you need to determine if you need a high rise or if that actually means your pants are going to come up to your rib cage. My butt crack comes up so high they better be high rise for the good of the general population.  So next time you’re looking for pants make sure they’re an 8R-High but your husband’s are a 34WX34L. Can we just agree to be uniform across the board?!

Let’s finish talking about rise… I mean I know some of them are out of style.  When I was in high school you wouldn’t be caught dead with your pants anywhere near above your belly button or you were in mom pants (you had better make sure your whale tail was visible too)!  Now, mom pants are in, and the higher your pants the better because then you can wear a shorter shirt. I still don’t totally understand this fashion trend, however, I will agree that having more pants from your crotch to your belly button is really great and under utilized.  This is why maternity pants are just the best and you won’t be able to convince me otherwise.

I think we talked enough about my frustration with sizing.  Just know that the variability is not just limited to pants.  Dresses and shirts have the same problems too. Why don’t we also talk about shirts not being labeled with lengths too?  I’m that weirdo that could use reg/short pants but needs extra long shirts. I know people who need shortened shirt sleeves.  So what if I could buy a long sleeve shirt in a Large-ExtraLong? That would be great- thanks. This leads me to telling you why I wear a lot of quarter zips/athletic looking shirts- they have thumb holes that make the sleeves longer.

Fabric.  Why aren’t all pants just jeans?  Work pants? Jeans. Weekend pants? Jeans.  Workout pants? Not jeans but certainly not something that becomes see through after a few washes.  Why my obsession with jeans? Denim is comfy (especially stretch denim). Denim can be dressed up, or down.  Denim washes well. Denim is an American made fabric that started a fashion revolution! Denim is patriotic!

My last complaint, but also my biggest… POCKETS.  WOMEN LIKE AND NEED POCKETS AS MUCH AS MEN! There I said it.  The ONE time in my life I agree that women are being held to a lesser standard than men and this is a serious injustice!  I have a phone and I have hands and I have keys and other stuff I might want to put into my pants pockets. BUT most of my pants have FAKE pockets. WHAT EVEN IS THAT?!  Or some pants have front pockets, but not back pockets (or vise versa). It’s awful and annoying.

What is my solution?  Well, if I could make pants, I would.  But I do have a solution. Take a lesson from toddler pants.  A website where you choose your pants based on answering a few questions.  When you get them, you try them on and adjust the inside with that little pull tab and button system that are in toddler pants (disclaimer- if someone knows how to do this, its my idea, I need royalties here).  Here is what I mean:

What kind of pants are you shopping for?

  • Jeans
  • Khakis
  • Work pants
  • Scrubs

What is your age?

Have you had children?

  • If yes, c-section or natural?

What is your typical pants length?

  • Petite
  • Short
  • Short/Regular
  • Regular
  • Regular/Long
  • Long
  • Long/XLong
  • Extra Long

What rise do you prefer based on your build?

  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Ultra High

If you chose Ultra High were you referring to maternity pants or just regular high rise pants?

Then we would get specific about wash, if you want holes, fabrics, all that jazz.  You’d create an account and wouldn’t have to answer these questions all the time- just the type of pants you want.

All of the pants would have the pull tab.  All of the pants would have the standard front and back pockets.

I love this picture because again, I’m in my every day type of wear, but Harper is too. Dry fit t-shirt and khaki shorts. The khakis are a size 9 mo-12mo and have the pull tab, she was in 2T clothes at this time. What is that even about?!

Was there a life lesson in this?  Absolutely.

Don’t let the fashion industry tell you you’re not enough.  Don’t let the clothes everyone else is wearing define what you’re supposed to be wearing.  Be you. Be comfortable. Be confident.

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