6.12.2014

how i love my crotch of many colors

in ruggy's opinion, possibly worse than the unblogged drop crotch pants: the balloon dress.

around this time last year, i was in dallas, texas, sweating like a fool, flying through the air, and far away from ruggy.  that last part never goes well.  we don't do apart, as a general rule.  but do it we did, for three whole summer months.  and i began to notice something: i stitched differently when i was away from my man.

a pair of yet-to-be-blogged pants started the whole shebang.  i made them in what seemed like sixty minutes, the day before i left for dallas.  LAUGHING ALL THE WAY.  ruggy, i said: i can no longer fight it.  i am going to make a pair of drop crotch pants.

ruggy blinked, steadied himself.  are you telling me you're going to succumb to trend pressure? slowly, i dropped my head: ...yes.  i'm afraid i am.  and wait till you see the print i'm going to use.

an hour later i clambered up the stairs, cackling maniacally.  LOOK!  AREN'T THEY HORRIBLE!!! we agreed the pants were meant for indoor use only.  and not just indoor use, ALONE indoor use: i.e., my hotel room in dallas.  after all, being lonesome, i would need something to make me laugh, something to keep my spirits up, other than spirits.

but one sunny rehearsal day, when the pile of laundry was greater than the pile of clean clothing, i threw them on. and suddenly...a shower of compliments rained down on me from the glorious gaggle of stunning female dancers in the company.  what?  how could they possible like these...things?  this insane pair of droopy spandex pants that give me, essentially, more junk in the back, and MAN junk in the front?

good lord does ruggy hate him a jumper

now, let me be clear: none of the heterosexual men at work ever complimented me on them.  not a one.  and at this point in the summer, everybody knew i made my own clothing, and commented on it daily. no, the pants praise was doled out only by women, gay men, and all young children.  

but the category specific praise was enough.  i began to feel good in them.  they came to be known as the-pants-that-ruggy-hates, the running joke being that i had to get enough wear out of them before he came to visit.  hey!  a random child would cry, you're wearing ThePantsThatRuggyHates!  a surprise bonus: a guaranteed mention of ruggy whenever i wore them, further guaranteeing my grinning like a fool and skipping 'round the room.

started in dallas, reunion with ruggy imminent, finished in nyc: sewing with wiggle again

so: a year has passed, happily back in the company of ruggy, and still in possession of the pants.  i know the man i love is not in love with them.  will i wear them anyway?  yes.  ruggy grins and bears it like a champ, same way i bear that damn faded mauve t-shirt he refuses to throw away.  i wore them 3 times during me made may.  i think i dress about 60% for myself, 30% for ruggy, and 10% for i-have-to-look-like-a-lawyer-for-this-audition.  but DO i? the pants were mutually laughable when it was ruggy & me in our living room.  the pants became high fashion under the opinion of long legged ladies in a rehearsal room.  i fancy myself a strong willed brat whose fashion sense is entirely of her own making, but really, these are the pants that opinion made, unmade, and made again.

(i realize i have not shown you the pants in question...yet.  i'd like to build them up to godzilla proportions in your imaginations first.)

i've probably asked it before, but i think the answer changes as we grow, so: who do you dress for? yourself?  or the company you keep?

50 comments:

  1. I dress for myself, and an imaginary audience. And a little bit for my boyfriend; there are pieces and looks that I know he likes, and sometimes I wear them for his sake (and sometimes just for my own, because I like them too, or I wouldn't own them). But for the most part I dress to create an identity. It's as though by dressing in a particular way I can become a slightly different character. It's a little like acting, and more like costume design, and sometimes it can be a lot of pressure when I just want to put on clothes and go make breakfast, but I have to decide who I want to be first.

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    1. i am so there with you, on that last sentence especially- i can change my clothes 3 times until i feel i'm in the right thing for "eating popcorn at 9pm watching buffy."

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  2. I was just writing a post about the people or even ideas for whom we dress. Mind meld.

    Right now, I dress 100% for myself, but I'm beginning to rethink this tack. I like big, bold prints and bright colors and huge skirts. Some days I want to look like Mrs. Roper, others like a turn-of-the-century dandy, and I don't think anyone really cares. But then I'll go on a date or go to talk to one of my deans, and detect a raised eyebrow, and start to question the function of my wardrobe in my everyday life. Then again, I'm at the weird stage where everything feels like an audition, and I have to constantly prove that I am not too [whatever] or not [whatever] enough to actually do my job (or, er, get my job), and it's kind of exhausting. I suppose what I'm saying is that I need a pair of magic Oona pants.

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    1. i like that oonapants are akin to a charm. the viewer sees whatever image they'd most like. i'll take mrs roper for the win.

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  3. I think I dress mostly for myself, with (usually) my man's acceptance, if not approval. I do value his opinion, though the time he told me my yoked high-waisted trousers made me look like Tweedle Dee I almost cried before I started laughing. He was right, of course. I changed my blouse to a long tunic, and all was well.

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    1. HA!!! i hope you told him that made him tweedle dum :)

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    2. If he had said Tweedle Dum, I'd have poked him in the eye! Or slain him in a berserker rage: my father claims to know a perfect place to dispose of a body. Dad told me one time where the place is, and he is right. No one would find Dear Husband for centuries. I may need to call the Old People Police out on Dad fairly soon.

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  4. Probably around 40% for me, 40% for the hubby, and 20% "I want to make people in this small town realize that jeans and t-shirts are not the only options around/look at the look on their face at my neo-victorian/goth/loli/whatever it happens to be that day outfit." The 20% moves to a "people think I have good fashion" when I visit large cities.

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  5. This is a really interesting post (and since I am currently LOVING my drop crotch pants this is even better!)

    In the last few years, I haven't really thought so much about who I'm dressing for as much as what I want my outfit to say about me on a given day (eg: I am a polished professional yet welcoming and open; I am confident and sexy; I am fun and relaxed; leave me alone...) In that way, I do feel like I dress for myself, but always in a way that makes me feel confident in the situation that I'm in - as you say, even if it's only for eating popcorn and buffy!

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  6. I dress for myself. If my hubby asks nicely I'll wear something he likes. ;)

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  7. Haha I absolutely adore your teasing! I also adore the idea that these pants when finally roaring through the clouds into full view will have the people of New York running screaming away like little ants.

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  8. I really can't wait for these pants you speak of!

    What an interesting exploration, for who do I dress for, and how do those proportions change with time and setting? I find day to day I dress almost entirely for me (luxury of being a student with a long-distance boyfriend), but when I see boyfriend I do think I try and dress a little "cooler" haha because he has such cool style!!

    We actually had a talk about this though, and we realized that it is the expectation that we support each other in our personal style, but we each have a little clout within those self-set boundaries. (does that make sense?! haha I don't know anymore...)

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  9. Great post! Can't wait to finally see them :) I do a bit of both, I have a pair of (semi) dropped crotch pleated pants and my bf isn't a big fan, so I basically only wear them in the car/plane/inside/walking the dogs, but for the most part he really likes the things that I make. I do make them for me, because I think it looks good, but it's always nice to get his approval. Or my sisters approval (she is a bit more critical then me, so sometimes its a good thing)

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  10. I'd like to say for me, but I do always have in the back of my mind, the company I'll be keeping. There are definitely certain things I do or don't wear with certain friends. And if my husband really hTes something, I probably won't wear it much either...

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  11. When do we get to see the pants?! I love that jumper. I think I dress mostly for myself, but I do have some items (like jeans) that I wear when I want to "blend in". I really want to make a pair of harem pants for yoga, but I know people in my small town will probably look at me funny when I wear them. I guess some days I want to be myself, and other days I want to camouflage.

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    1. soon soon!

      i hear you on the camouflage. though, then we get into what IS camouflage;)

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  12. such a funny post; I laughed even without seeing the pants!

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  13. I think that if we dress to be totally out of fashion, then fashion is dominating us just as much as it does a fashion slave. It provides some context, variety and common ground. :)
    As for them pants? They sound like fun. And you know what? The day our menfolk dress 30% for us will be a fine one! All those ugly t-shirts of metal bands or productions they were in in 1976, or about BEER. BLEEAGH!!! ;-)

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  14. I dress for myself, but I have man-taste so that suits Ben, too. Although he doesn't exactly get a say in what I wear, Ben is allowed to make suggestions - he was the one who pointed out that I look nice in yellow, and he's excellent at telling me whether things actually go together or not. I think I dress in a similar way whether he's here or not (he works in Scotland three days a week), but I probably make a bit more effort when he's here. Still, small amounts of effort. Lazy.

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  15. Ok, I'm 3/4 dressed by my mood and then toned down so I look like an adult if I have too! The other 1/4 is random bad decision! Luckily the mister likes most of my foolishness- he hates a romper too, whats that about?

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    1. all men hate rompers. i like marsha's theory below!

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  16. BAHAHA! Those drop-crotch things were all over the dance recitals up here this year... and I think you have exactly the right kind of crazy to rock them! :)

    What a great question, too. So apt. I'd say I dress about 90% for me, but I am always surprised by the little things that he thinks that do affect what I wear. I wear a lot more black (his favourite colour) and a little less red (mine) than before we met. I don't wear green any more, really, at all.

    I do like dressing for attention, though. I like the compliments when I wear a fun dress, or crazy pants, or whatever. That's probably a character flaw, right? ;)

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  17. Here's my theories about why many men hate rompers: 1. They're something worn by little kids, so grown-ass men feel pervy if they think the romper looks good on a woman. 2. The construction of many rompers make it difficult for a man a strip a woman out of her clothing if he's feeling frisky.

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  18. I dress mostly for myself and partial for my man.

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    1. by which you mean you are only partially clothed for your man? your man must LOVE the way you dress :)))

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  19. I dress for myself. I feel good when I look good and look good when I feel good. I have a "paper shirt" the hubby absolutely loves, but I would be charged with public indecency if I wore it in public. If you like it...rock it!

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  20. I want to see those damned pants!

    The boring truth about me is that comfort is the bottom line. So I guess you could say I dress for myself, except once my comfort requirements are met I'm easily swayed by people around me - especially in the workplace. For the last few years, I worked at a very fashion-conscious office and the higher heels (platform, bien sur, but still) started creeping in. Now I'm in a more casual office and I don't feel as inspired to put together novel outfits as much. I'm sure the husbo would appreciate me wearing something other than my PJs on days I work from home, but otherwise, he's pretty laid back. Hilariously, he only inserts little diplomatic comments about my sewing projects after I've made them myself (me: "I think these pants don't look very good in photographs," and him, feigning surprise: "Well, they are very flowing...")

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  21. This is a great question and I am not entirely sure. Most of my clothes I can wear to work. I can wear my jeans ripped at the hem and t-shirt, tho I should dress more Front Desk friendly. Can we say I dress for my body type? Which might not be my style. Oh and laziness. I do hope to start dress for my own taste soon. I am happy to say I don't dress for any males.

    I can't wait to see these pants, Godzilla is anxiously waiting, I am sure.

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  22. This is an interesting question as I recently moved from LA back to Boulder, CO. The first time I moved to Boulder, I initially dressed like I did back in Berkeley and got so many comments, I toned it down to look like everyone else.

    This time, I don't care if I blend in or not. What a difference a couple of decades make. My family stayed behind in LA, so I can wear whatever I want*. But, when my husband comes to visit, I'm going to wear the dresses he likes the best--just because it's a treat to be together now.

    * If I am teaching or making a presentation, I don't wear anything that would be too visually distracting. My rule is that my graphics/presentation should speak louder than my clothes.

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  23. I've been a postgrad for the last 4 1/2 years so I've been able to wear whatever the hell I want (and able to wear gumboots rather than proper shoes on wet days, which is great when Sydney decides to give 3 inches of rain in 12 hours). But now I'm finished and looking for a job, so depending on where I end up I might have to start dressing like a grown-up. So I've just made a georgette blouse, but still used Zebra fabric (as in it has Zebras on it, not just Zebra stripe) because I still need the fun in my wardrobe.

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  24. Hilarious! Love a good man repelling pair of pants. I dress mostly for me but try not to make things my beloved will despise. I thought my gold pleated pants would be hated - 'they're not terrible' was my comment - win!

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  25. Oona as much as I love my husband I rarely pay attention to what his opinion is about what I wear. If he likes what I wear great! If he doesn't, he can keep it to himself. :)

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  26. As much as I'd like to say I dress for myself, if hubby doesn't like it, it hangs in the closet. Me made, RTW, expensive or cheap........ I also happen to trust his opinion most of the time :)

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  27. Great post. I dress for myself most of the time and hubby always says I look great. The true test is my daughters, they are the harshest critics!

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    1. i've heard that offspring can be truthful to a fault. to ALL faults :)

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  28. This is a good question, and I don't love my answer! I think that I have been dressing a lot to fit in at work. I used to wear more vintage, more comfortable things that I liked, with my new job, I am trying to fit in by "looking" the part. Maybe that is just normal, but it bugs me that I care so much! Maybe the longer that I am there, the more I will strike a balance of professional/ funky vintage/ comfortable.

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  29. Oooh such a good question!! I think now more than ever I mostly dress for myself and for the type of woman I want to be - confident, elegant, feminine, powerful, and, yes, sexy. I like clothes that make me stand up a little straighter - because I need all the help I can get in the posture department! But I like being comfortable too. Luckily, I have very few people giving me outright opinions on the way I dress these days. I don't have a dress code at work, but my boss has taken to telling me "tomorrow is a gardening day, you're going to get dirty" which is helpful so I don't show up in a maxi dress, heels, and a full face of makeup! And generally, if I like it and I'm comfortable, Nick likes it too. When it comes to clothing, Nick mostly prefers NO clothing!! Hahaha!
    I've definitely had moments where I thought that perhaps if I dressed a certain way people would take me more seriously in my job (less curve hugging, sensible shoes, less mascara, NO lipstick) but those moments are generally fleeting, and are replaced by "F**k that!! I'll MAKE them take me seriously, AS IS!" I think the signals we get as women from society on "how we SHOULD look/dress/act" is so absurd and confusing and convoluted... and just plain infuriating. I've been told by women bosses to cover up and show less skin. I've had people assume that I don't do anything at work except sit there and look pretty. Men AND women sales assistants at the hardware store ask me INCESSANTLY if I need help, like I'm lost or something... Anyway, I'm heading into rant territory here!! But we can't deny that our bodies and wardrobe choices are political! Basically my point is, if I listened to all the societal cues that were thrown at me day in and day out about how to dress, I'd be a headcase! In some ways, it really galvanizes your own inner voice - I'm dressing this way for ME, not YOU, creepy guy at the bar!

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    1. i love AS IS. and it's laughable to think anyone would think you didn't know your way around a hardware store-- i get that in wine shops all the time!

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  30. I dress for myself and my kids and a little for my husband (-; I have to dress for the kids because I stay home and if clothes don't move they are annoying and if they are a light color or many solids they just end up with hummus and dirt all over them. I don't think much about what my husband will like , maybe I should! I have a very colorful and slightly quirky style and I love patterns! My husband generally appreciates my clothes I think. The only time he comments is if he finds something truly crazy. For awhile he lovingly referred to my favorite anthropologiie shirt as my "#1 shirt" because it had a large applied bow on the front and he thought I looked like I had won a horse race. But honestly I think it almost made me wear it more! Ahhahah , poor husband. Loved the post, see you later, I am off to the races, neighhhh!!!

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    1. that number one shirt is SUCH a good image...

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  31. You're hilarious! I totally dress for the company I keep most of the time..... I dress to keep eyes off of me..... I dress to blend as best I can..... It's hard being a 6 footer and not standing out as it is.

    If I were in a country where no one knew me, or an island paradise I'd wear what I want.

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    1. okay, you need to wear what you want, you leggy colorful goddess. I HAZ SPOKEN.

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  32. I usually dress for me. DH seems to really like my choice in clothes (or else I guess he knows better than to say something...) I often dress for freedom of movement. Other times I dress because I like the look. Sometimes I will ask DH for his opinion.

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  33. At this point in my life, I really dress pretty much for myself, and that's it. I think it's going to change again, but I'm at the point where I'm finding myself quite comfortable in my own skin and in my eclectic tastes of historical proportions (ha!), and wanting to explore that more.
    It has a lot to do with the historical and vintage costuming blogs, and sewing blogs, that I know (so there's you included :D). And down there, I think there's also the idea that this is me, the way I was created and put into the world, with these tastes and inclinations (because I always find myself drawn back to certain things I've always liked), so why should I not work on that and make it as good as I can?

    Now I made it sound so profound. :D

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  34. I dress for me :) ALWAYS! And no matter how many looks I get from other people, I will keep wearing my funky clothes!

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  35. Hmm, interesting questions! I'd like to say that I dress for myself, but I'm always responding to different situations and social pressures in the way I dress (like most people... there are things you can wear to weddings, things you can wear to the beach, things you can wear to the store, but these things don't always intersect, you know?). So I think that I tend to weigh the situation, and then choose clothing that projects what I want to project- confidence and approachability -and inject my own style into it. I don't really consider Man Friend's opinion very much because we have very different styles. And I'm known to push the envelope and really antagonize him with the things I make! But I always respect his style, even though I don't necessarily agree with all his choices, so if I make or buy him something, I make sure that he will like it. In a relationship, there are so many situations where you have to sacrifice individuality for the sake of compromise, and that's necessary for a relationship, but fashion is one place where we can each do our own thang and agree to disagree. :)

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!