At first, I hesitated to publish this post because some misguided folks might think that I’m anti-feminist or that I agree with Ahh-nold The Scoundrel when he said he doesn’t like women wearing pants. Let’s be clear, I’m not necessarily anti-pants. No, I’m only trying to point out the absurd gauntlet of decisions that women are forced to go through in order to buy a single pair of freakin’ pants. So here goes nothin’—without further ado, my rant against pants.
Pants (a.k.a. trousers, slacks) exist in many different varieties: capris, clamdiggers, palazzo, cigarette, harem, parachute, bell bottoms, gaucho. And several years ago, when women had a limited choice of where they wanted the waistband to hit on their torso, it was like selecting a building: high-rise (a.k.a. your-mom’s-mom-jeans, family friendly), mid-rise (a.k.a. common sense, work appropriate), low-rise (a.k.a. get-a-bikini-wax, let’s party). These days, the options are ridiculously vexing, involving some esoteric formula plotting the rise on some hypothetical ‘x’ axis, the roominess of the cut on the ‘y’ axis, and the diameter of the leg opening on a mythical ‘z’ axis. For example:
- At L.L.Bean, you’ve got Original Fit, Classic Fit and Favorite Fit.
- At J. Crew, you’re faced with Original Fit, Favorite Fit and Modern Fit.
- At Banana Republic, you’re confronted with The Martin, The Jackson, The Sloan and The Logan (are these some wannabe WASPy first names or what?).
- At Levi’s, you have to decipher Slight Curve, Demi Curve (half-a-butt?), Bold Curve and Supreme Curve.
Huh? WTF? I’m so confused… You mix in any of these ADDITIONAL hazards of pants-wearing and it’s enough to make you wanna burn your bra and not shave for six days:
- elephant butt
- camel toe
- linen: when you sit down for more than three minutes and then stand up, you’ll have accordion-like cat’s whiskers fanning out from the fulcrum that is your crotch
- hemming: aah, the agony and the deceit. No matter what that curt Korean tailor promises you, your hemmed pants will NEVER break at the right place on ballet flats AND high heels.
Skirts, by comparison, are a much simpler proposition: does the waist fit? does it skim your hips? do you like the length? Even the most clueless frat boy can grasp the basics like “pleated” versus “pencil” (although “inverted pleats” and “fishtail hem” might be asking for too much).
P.S. I’m so thrilled that skirts are back in full swing for Spring 2012.