Monday, February 02, 2015

Why I Do Not Wear Yoga Pants

I realize that this is a rather personal matter, but we all know that it is essential to the wellbeing of the entire world that each and every one of us expounds in detail on the contents of our closets and the why and wherefore. I just want to say that this is only my personal conviction and I wouldn't dream of it imposing it on anyone else. Nonetheless, it's important to tell it to everybody. Because.

So, to understand this story, you must first understand that I grew up in a very old and rather drafty farmhouse, with no heat on the upper two stories. It was cold in the winter. Very cold. Our beds generally had a number of wool blankets under the quilts, and our standard pajamas for the winter once we outgrew the zippered footie kind were thick sweatsuits. We never quite woke up to sifted snow on the quilts--the walls were snowtight and also we had a depressing lack of blizzards--but it was a similar idea.

Back in those long-ago days, people generally labored under the notion that there was one kind of clothes for bed, and another for daytime wear. When we rose in the morning we changed in our frigid rooms into our long johns and jeans and sweaters for daytime wear. Especially--and this is what seems especially strange nowadays--one would never, ever appear in public or greet visitors in night clothes. It had nothing to do with decency, as evidenced by the fact that our nighttime and daytime clothes were equally bulky. It simply Wasn't Done.


About the age of 10, I noticed that some people wore sweatsuits as daytime wear, both for their intended athletic purpose and sometimes for other occasions. Especially sweatsuits with decorative tops. One of my acquaintances, a girl about my age, wore them on every occasion. Admittedly she wasn't a fashion leader, but still, it was plainly something that was Done.

And I had a few sweatsuits with decorative tops, bought by my great aunt who did such things, no doubt, and not by His Majesty who always found the 75% off sales of the mix-and-match sport solids.

So after much deliberation and in the spirit of experimentation that has fallen upon me with mixed results throughout my life, I decided to try wearing one of these decorative sweatsuits to an evening church event.

About five minutes after arrival, I realized my mistake. I was wearing pajamas in public. It was exactly like one of those nightmares where one discovers one's self to be wearing pajamas in public (I suppose nobody has those sort of nightmares anymore, but they were common back then. Perhaps people still have nightmares about being naked in public, though, and they are roughly similar only slightly less exciting.) Only it wasn't a nightmare, it was real, I had done it to myself, and there were two hours and twenty-five minutes of church event to go.

Somehow that evening ended and I returned home and never, ever wore sweat pants out in public again.

What I later discovered, however, was that the deep psychic scar I had impressed upon myself did not limit itself to sweat pants. I could not wear *any* cotton knit on my lower extremities. Even perfectly legitimate knit skirts and dresses, which were clearly not sweat pants, after a short time would betray me and I would be left with that uneasy and inadequate feeling of appearing in public in a nightie.

I finally swore off knits on the lower half altogether. And so, when everybody else got yoga pants and debated where they should and shouldn't be worn, I didn't. (Except for one pair, which I use for doing exercises and occasionally curling up on the couch with a book and such pajama-suitable activities.)

I suppose I could get counseling for this and try to undo the damage and free myself to wear yoga pants, but at this point it's easier to just keep wearing jeans.


Diary of an Autodidact said...


Who knew knits could scar the psyche?

Brandy Vencel said...

Oh my goodness you make me laugh, QoC!

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose it would help to quote my mother here, "If you knew how much people actually noticed you, you'd be disappointed."

And it turns out that I do have a pair of yoga pants. I think they're yoga pants, anyway. I just got them because they were comfortable and decent in a slummy kind of way. I've been edgy for YEARS now! But not very many people noticed (see quote above).