From Sweat Pants to Dressing Up

Why Sweat Pants?

I wore sweat pants out in public 90% of the time for years. Once in a while I would wear pajama pants, but more rarely. There was a point somewhere in college where I was worn out. I decided to wear my sweat pants and a comfy shirt to class one day. I was so comfortable, I did it again the next time I had class. This eventually became some routine that I did not manage to break. I felt comfortable, I could sleep in late and slip on a clean pair of sweats with a t-shirt and call it dressed. The habit continued and instead of buying myself pairs of jeans, I would buy new pairs of sweat pants. I didn’t have to worry about ruining super nice clothes and I could feel comfortable all the time.

Not only that, but if I needed to run in a certain situation I could rather comfortably. I didn’t need to worry about clothes that hugged me too tight. When using the restroom, I didn’t need to undo a billion belts, buckles, buttons, snaps, and zippers. Wearing a loose fitting, comfortable shirt certainly felt better and like it fit as opposed to some women’s clothes that hug the armpits so tight it should be illegal. Sweat wasn’t going to cling to my skin and cause rashes as easily in loose, comfortable clothes.

If I was out for the day doing a lot of walking, it certainly helped to be as comfortable as possible. If food got on my clothes, I wasn’t going to be as upset as if it landed on a super nice shirt. There were times when I had a health issue or two with my body where I could not wear tight clothes so this was the best option for going out. I wasn’t (and still not am) a huge “fashion” type person. I am not interested in fashion trends or keeping up with what the fashion is.

Why Quit?

I arrived at the time in my life when I realized, “I have been married for years and I am still wearing sweat pants.” I did wear sweat pants in public before my husband and I married. He knew this, and he told me I was beautiful in whatever I was wearing. I definitely have a keeper! Years later, when a child comes into the picture it feels as if you can justify it more. I mean, mom’s and dad’s are tired when a new baby arrives. You don’t want to wear anything too nice that will get spit up, drool, or pee on it so why wear it?

People will judge, it doesn’t matter whether you are wearing a nice dress or sweat pants. I don’t feel it is ever right to judge someone based on their clothing or what they look like. Don’t let this alone affect your wardrobe. There were days when it would sink in and I would be at the store and get some stares. “Do I look like the super lazy mom that lets the television raise my children?” I don’t want to seem that way because it is not true. I thought, “I will be remembered as that one girl that always wore sweat pants, is that the legacy I want?”

Even though my husband said I didn’t embarrass him, there were times where he wanted to show me off in something nice. He thinks I’m beautiful no matter what, but doesn’t want others to think poorly of me. He doesn’t want others to think that he isn’t willing to buy me clothes, or that I don’t want to take care of myself.

The final straw was thinking, “Would the way I dress ever embarrass children that are with me?” Children can be both judgemental and extremely non-judgemental. When they get older, their friends might call me “sweat pants mom” or “PJ mom”? Will they make fun of my child for the way I dress? Would this bring down their self-esteem? Are they going to be ashamed of me? Will my child one day copy my wardrobe? That is the one thing that hit the nail on the head. I could not bear to think taking my child places and my clothes embarrassing her. Something that could be so easily preventable.

How Did You Fix It?

You won’t believe this, but there are “comfortable” clothes that are not sweat pants. Don’t believe me? Look online, check out different stores, and try on the clothes before you buy them. If you do buy a shirt or jeans and they are uncomfortable, take them back to the store for a refund or exchange. This seems to be more of an issue for women to find comfortable clothes than men since many styles for women are overly constricting or have too many parts for them.

When shopping for comfortable clothes, pick 100% organic cotton when you are able. If not organic cotton then 100% cotton will breathe best and be the most comfortable. Try to avoid polyester, rayon, spandex, acrylic, and other synthetic fabrics. These fabrics don’t breathe easily and aren’t good for the environment. I understand they don’t seem completely avoidable, but avoid as many as you can.

If you try it on and it isn’t comfortable, the solution is simple: don’t buy it! Only buy it if you can imagine wearing it comfortably during the day. Don’t give up your search for a comfortable wardrobe that looks presentable when you go out. You will feel a lot better when you can go out with nice clothes that are comfortable.

When working on your clothing budget, do not allow yourself to buy one pair of sweat pants. If you do, this can snowball. “Oh, only one pair? I’m going to need more.” Yeah, don’t do it. I’m sure you have plenty already for around the house.


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