Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In My Skirts

I feel best in my skirts.

Maybe you've already noticed, but maybe not--I am a skirt wearing woman.  I am empowered to make the choice that skirts are better than trousers.  I realize that an older generation of women who were not given such an empowered choice, but rather required to wear skirts might not agree with this view I hold, and that is fine.  No one likes to be forced into something.  I certainly understand that.  As a tom-boy youth I can remember unhappily being required to wear skirts or dresses on special occasions (like weddings and first communion) and how I loathed it.  But, its different now.  No one says I have to wear a skirt except me. 

I can remember quite clearly the last time I wore pants.  I even have pictures of the occasion.  It was April 5, 2011.  I had switched to skirts almost exclusively already at that point, but when it came time for garden clean-up day at the community garden I was still new enough to skirt-wearing that I thought it better to wear pants for such a physical task.  These days I garden in my skirts just fine, but at the time I wasn't sure that was a good idea.  Skirts were still new back then and I was unsure of myself in them.

People ask me why I wear skirts from time to time.  Especially if I should happen to mention that I do not own a single pair of pants (aside from my long underwear) which women my age find absolutely shocking.   No pants?!?!  I am not sure I always give a very good answer to the question because in a way its a little awkward and challenging to explain beyond "It just feels right to me," which doesn't seem to satisfy their curiosity and my seemingly curious behavior (which I consider traditional, not curious).   I feel its a deeply personal spiritual and cultural conviction.  As the fabric envelops me I feel a kindred connection with the strong pioneer women (including my own kinswomen) who came out west before me.  Women who helped farm, care for livestock, raise children, clean, cook, sew, and travel, etc, etc--all in skirts.  I feel a modest, feminine grace when I have my skirts around me that I do not feel when I put on pants.  I feel more humble and more spiritual, more open.  I have an open admiration for Plain People (where women tend to wear skirts) and the type of simple lives they typically lead.   They inspire me and while I don't want to run off and join the Amish I think they have much to emulate.  All spiritual stuff aside, skirts are also tremendously comfortable to wear!  I feel more attractive, too.  How do I wrap that up in a succinct answer that doesn't sound completely oddball?! 

People ask me how I do this-or-that task while in skirts--most frequently being how I ride bicycle in one.  But, you know, I cannot really think of one thing I've been precluded from doing by my wearing skirts in these last couple years.  I still run the sidewalks and trails, dig holes and transplant seedlings, climb rocky hillsides playing folf, hike around in the mountains and prairie, mow the lawn, wrestle with children,  practice yoga, not to mention riding my bicycle. 

There are some other unexpected bonuses to wearing skirts.  People think I am dressed up when I am actually in my every-day clothes. I also quite enjoy dresses because they also offer the practical bonus of not having to match and coordinate outfits.  You pull on a dress on and you are good to go.

Skirts are great for twirling and dancing, for peeing outside modestly, to tuck legs up into like a blanket, to feel like you're wearing almost nothing whilst still being decent, to carry produce to the house from the garden in, to look pretty in, to feel free in.

Not all skirts are created equal though.  An appalling lot have no pockets which just does not work for me.  I must have pockets.  Some skirts are too long for hiking altogether and must be tucked up into the waistband in order to be safely worn cycling.   I have one skirt with a built in pair of shorts I wear for yoga and other upside down activities, or when I played softball last year.  I own some silken long underwear which keep me toasty warm in the winter...warmer than when I wore just pants even, I think.  I am slowly and surely building a wardrobe of my own creation and I am all the more satisfied when I made the skirt I am wearing (and they are certainly easier to sew than pants).  And that way I can always be sure my skirts have pockets, too.  I also don't personally feel that skirts above the knee allow for the full range of activities I get up to.  For me it has to be below the knee to be practical, functional, and you know, not flashing my underpants to the world.

I've gone from wearing both pants and skirts (as youth), to only wearing pants(as a college student), to only wearing skirts (as an adult) and I have found that in my skirts I feel best and, I think, look best, too.  It works for me and makes me feel lovely and alive, free and strong.  Funny, that a transition to skirts should do that to me...but they do.

8 comments:

  1. I have heard a few of these arguments for wearing skirts. I am a jeans lady myself. Sometimes I wish I could become a skirt lady. They really do seem more feminine and in the summer they are much cooler.

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    1. They are pretty great in the summer heat! But, not if you felt uncomfortable in them....

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  2. I don't own any pants either. Skirts and leggings in the winter, and skirts in the summer. I have old skirts for when I am cleaning, or gardening, an ancient jumper for painting in, it has many splashes of color.
    I too love the feel of fabric swirling around me, I make most of my skirts, they are long, elastic waisted and have two large pockets on the front. Other skirts I have gathered over the years from resale shops and Goodwill.
    I have worn skirts for years, the fuller the better,comfy, liberating skirts = I love them.

    Bean

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    1. Cool. Thanks for sharing this, Bean. How very neat that we can share this connection, especially since I don't share it with anyone in my day-to-day life here.

      The fuller the better! Yes, I agree. So comfy and modest and lovely.

      When you make skirts do you use patch-type pockets then, not in-seam pockets? I've never tried to make patch pockets, but I like how they look.

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  3. One of my favorite things to wear is my long ivory linen skirt with my longjohns. It is so warm and comfortable.

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    1. I bet that is super comfy. I like the feel of linen a lot...though I don't always like the wrinkles!

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!