I wanted to follow up my somewhat controversial anti-cake position with what I imagine is an even more controversial opinion: I hate jeans. I do not wear them. Ever.
I wore jeans like everybody else until I had an epiphany somewhere in the middle of college — I realized that, while the word “comfortable” had been applied to jeans my whole life, that *jeans are not actually comfortable at all.*
They are made of stiff and very heavy fabric, which means thick seams anyway, and they usually emphasize this with double-folded seams and rivets and things. So everywhere you’re sitting or leaning against one of those monster seams, it’s digging in hard. Jeans also bunch up at the back of the knees when I sit cross-legged or Japanese-style.
Jean fabric is not very insulating in cold weather, and not very breathable in hot. And when it gets wet it stays wet for a loooong time.
To look good jeans have to be relatively form-fitting, which means the chore of finding jeans that fit right. And once they are tailored like that, they do not allow for a complete range of waist and knee motion. I mean, can people do yoga in jeans? That’s what I’m talking about.
Also, jeans wear out at the butt and knees pretty rapidly. So, even though the fabric gives the appearance of being “tough,” jeans don’t last all that long.
I wear skirts. Yes, skirts.
In addition to the “jeans are comfortable” cultural message, I had also absorbed the cultural message that skirts were “uncomfortable” and that it was a great liberating thing that women and girls could now wear pants, and that naturally, now that we could get out of skirts, everybody would want to.
Then I started actually wearing them.
I bought skirts in second-hand shops. They were much easier to buy than jeans — they tended to fit right, and they tended to look right.
After wearing skirts for a while I also realized that they were more comfortable. As long as they aren’t too narrow, they allow for a complete range of motion, with no annoying thick seams or bunchy fabric.
They are also better for temperature control. If it’s hot, thin fabric, long skirt, no tights. Normal northwest weather gets opaque cotton-blend tights. Super-cold weather gets a plaid flannel skirt, thermal leggings, and wool socks. (The plaid flannel is so the heavy socks and boots make me look vaguely punk instead of like a complete dork.)
And they last! I have a nice collection of vintage skirts, and skirts that I personally have owned so long they are almost vintage now. Skirts don’t have automatic wear points the way jeans do, they tend to rip out at seams, and that can often be repaired.
Also, I can make skirts myself. Skirts are easy. Basically a tube, and if I’m feeling ambitious, pleating. Pants? Not so much.
As an added bonus, skirts are culturally perceived as more formal than jeans, which means that I am always ready to crash a cocktail party or an art reception.
Vive le jupe!