I Haven't Worn Pants in 5 Years

Bucknell Freshman Move-in Day was a nightmare. I watched helplessly as football players and Orientation Advisors carted over 85 dresses and skirts into my room on hangers. Giving up pants 5 years ago meant giving up something that society expected of me. Yet in doing so, I found out what I really needed in order to be my authentic self. Here are four things I gained by giving up pants:

 

1. A New Winter Wardrobe

Baby it’s cold outside- but your legs don’t have to be. One of the most common questions I get about the way I dress is, “Aren’t you cold?” What they don’t see are the layers of considerations that go into every layer of my outfits. Thermal tights and knit thigh high socks come in clutch whether you’re a dress fanatic like me or just looking to spice up your go-to knee high boots. 

 

2. Every Day is Dress up Day

Goodbye lazy days! Truth is, I haven’t missed my sweats or jeans since I sent them packing. Have you ever gotten all dressed up in your favorite outfit and felt a major confidence boost? Imagine feeling that every day. The perfect outfit is just what you need to ace a presentation, talk to a cute guy, or have an impromptu photoshoot with some fall foliage outside of Bertrand. If you really need to dress down, pair an oversized sweatshirt with a tennis skirt for major Ariana Grande vibes.

 

3. A Conversation Starter for Guys

And not in the way you’re thinking either. Assumptions are made about women every time they wear a short skirt; about their intelligence, their reputation, or their willingness to consent. I use my appearance to force guys to not only acknowledge what I’m wearing but also the intelligent ideas, witty remarks, and firm boundaries that I bring to the table.

 

4. An Art Form All My Own

I dress up to I test the limits of what I feel comfortable wearing, regardless of society’s preconceived notions of fashion. I’ve gained body confidence by treating myself as a canvas. Each outfit is an expression of my mood, my personality, and my heritage. So take back all the clothes we were told were too girly or too promiscuous to wear. Own the fishnets, bodycons, little plaid miniskirts, or whatever makes you feel beautiful. 

 

When people ask why I chose to give up wearing pants, I answer simply: because I’m asking for it. Not for attention or something more, though I know that’s where their minds wander. No, I’m asking for more than that; I’m asking for freedom of expression. I’m asking for men to stop inquiring if I dressed up for them, because the only person I’m trying to impress is myself. I’m asking for the possibility to be seen as both feminine and strong, beautiful and smart. I’m asking for these words to no longer be seen as antonyms. But one thing I’m not asking for is respect; I’m demanding it.