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The Leggings Post

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PLEASE NOTE: I have started and stopped this blog post way too many times. This happens a lot when I want to write about something pretty polarizing.

I usually start with wanting to be 100% REAL and unfiltered with you. Then I get all freaked out and worried about hurting your feelings and I go back and try to wrap up my thoughts in a nice, inoffensive package so the four of you reading this will still be my friend. Or at least still read my blog. #Priorities

The following is kind of a weird combo of the two.

You may get offended and irritated with me. This is OK. This won’t be the first time one of my posts have pissed some people off.

Please know that even if we disagree on the topic, that doesn’t mean we can’t still be homies. I am amazed that you took time out of your busy day to read my wordy ramblings at all, so for that, I thank you and I think you’re pretty special.

Jenny


If you know me in the real, non-internet, world, you may know that I love fashion. I’m also extremely opinionated about fashion and have made some rather broad sweeping statements to some of my poor friends and loved ones about “the rules” and when and where they MUST be followed.

Remember this Facebook post?

Me being a snarky ass hat.

I think I went on to compare TOMS shoes to something that would be worn by the homeless or models in the movie “Zoolander” who were showing off the Derelicte campaign.

Yep. I can be pretty snarky about fashion.

I admit to using the term “Chico Dad” more than a hundred times when describing some poor older gentleman that happened to walk by me wearing his Costco polo shirt/cargo shorts/hiking sandal combo out in public. (It’s like they pass out a uniform in this town to guys or something!)

In all fairness, I’m certainly not what you’d call “a fashionista” myself.

I have a weakness for cameos that can’t be explained and I refuse to give up my obsession with stripes or polka dots. Almost everything I own is one of three colors (black, white or blue) and I’ve been known to stick a huge bow in my hair for a look that says “Thirty-something mom who is also part anime character”.

But I’ve noticed a trend lately that I’m having a real hard time with.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people sharing videos, infographics or just their own written thoughts about leggings and how not to wear them.

If you haven’t seen these posts, they usually center around the theme that if the leggings are too thin or don’t cover the wearer’s ass or choach, this makes them a skank who shouldn’t be allowed out in public to tempt mankind into lustful damnation.

Please know, I come to you now as an imperfect, mouthy fashion-wannabe. I’ve totally offended people and gone for the easy fashion joke about some unknowing person who really had no clue that I was making fun of their clothes.

I know it may be hard to take any advice from me on this subject, but I have to ask, can we just knock it off with the leggings-as-pants bashing already?

I see two main camps of bashers:

The casual “I’m sharing this leggings post because it’s relevant and lots of other people are talking about it, so I want to feel cool too” person.

You’re very sweet and want others to like you. I’m here to tell you that turning your sweet self into one of the Mean Girls is not the way to do it. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon of any other social media trend such as your thoughts about bacon, posting your pumpkin patch photos or being excited that it’s finally FALL!

I mean, shoot — it’s almost November which means the whole “30 Days of Thankfulness” thing is going to start soon and you’ll have lots of opportunity to jump on that bandwagon and post all sorts of trendy things while at the same time, being positive! Awesome!

Sometimes you want to post about the leggings topic because you think that people just look awful when they wear them in public. You think, don’t they care about their appearance? Should you really be able to see someone’s cellulite through their clothing? 

Again, knock it off. It’s not your job to point out the flaws of the humans around you. Go back to being nice and share more videos of adorable animals.

The other group of bashers are the ones I have the bigger problem with.

These are the people who feel that leggings-as-pants crosses over the big MODESTY line, and therefore, it’s their spiritual duty to warn the women of the world of their evil and tempestuous leggings-as-pants ways.

“Don’t you know we can see the shape of your B-U-T-T in those pants?!”

“Don’t you know that if my husband has to look at your fanny in those leggings, you may tempt him to start looking at pornography or go out and become a sex addict?”

Have I told you the story about when I earned the nickname “The Morality Monitor”?

Bear with me. I’ll get back to that last bombshell I just dropped on you in a sec.

One day, I was in an airport flying from San Francisco to Orlando. There was an attractive woman who bent over to check her bag across from my group. As she did so, her thong underwear crept up over the top of her waistband to reveal a black, lacy Y.

My eyes flew wide and I jumped up and stood between this woman and my FULLY-GROWN ADULT, MALE BOSS. I made it my job to protect him from the wanton ways of the slut-bag across from us. What if he had actually SEEN her lacy underpinnings? Would his Godly faith be shaken to the core?

My boss, and his gorgeous, clever, and brilliant wife who was with us, saw what I had done and questioned me about it. They were kind to 21-year-old me and came up with the Morality Monitor nickname. They weren’t as ruffled as I was with the underwear lady and let me off easy.

Back then, I saw what I had done as Godly and heroic. I had helped stopped a possible sin or temptation! 5 Jesus points for me! Yay!

Now I wonder…what the hell was I thinking? Mainly when it comes down to what was going on in my heart.

I’ll admit to totally judging that poor woman. Didn’t she do the “squat test” at home in the mirror like any self-respecting pants wearing person? Where did she get off actually trying to bend down to her luggage? In a busy airport of all places?!

I actually CARED about the people around me and I was very careful to never wear anything that could be too flirty or send the wrong message or show off parts of my body meant to be covered by my bathing suit.

I was more Godly and modest then she was.

I was, therefore, BETTER than she was at being a human.

Blergh.

I do not miss the judgmental-bitch part of my old self. At all.

But back to my earlier statement about those leggings. I have something to say to those people who bash women who wear leggings-as-pants as if it was part of the 10 Commandments:

Please stop.

I know many of you love Jesus and are totally on board with the whole dressing appropriately thing. You probably own a tankini with ruching in the tummy panel and that is totally OK. You can make whatever fashion choices you want when it comes to you and your children.

But I’ve gotta tell you, some of these things you’re saying about people who wear leggings as pants are just downright judgmental, nasty and you are making some pretty big assumptions about the women who wear them and their moral compass.

You are better than that and have a much bigger destiny on this planet than to become Captain of the Pants Patrol.

Do I personally think that leggings can be worn as pants without a shirt covering the ass? I honestly don’t care.

I’ve totally done it with my workout clothes since the idea of wearing leggings with a long shirt while I attempt to run 5,280 feet without stopping sounds even more annoying than the part where I have to move my legs quickly. Maybe I’ve even popped into Target in my “Here’s my ass-sorry!” running outfit before I got to the park because I didn’t want to go afterwards when I was all sweaty and red-faced.

And yes, I know that leggings and running pants differ (sorta) but still, I really think we need to just let go of the topic as a whole and focus on our own hearts and the choices we make. 

I know there are a ton of things we giggle about in the fashion world.

Mom jeans.

Sandals with socks.

Guys in skinny jeans.

Have you noticed that those things don’t get us thinking that the people who wear them are making an immoral choice. They’re just people who really don’t care about being on trend. Or blood circulation. I’ll admit to laughing about those things.

But my hope is that we would be known for our love of others and our words of encouragement–not for our opinions on fashion faux pas.

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Odd Man Out

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I’m not sure if you were around at the beginning of this blog gig. If you were, you may have stumbled into a reading coma, especially after my early long-winded posts. Originally I wanted to take a stab at writing about things that were super-cool or trendy, even though in a normal setting, they were actually really odd.

Remember that?

Being a crazy coupon fanatic, sewing your own clothes and raising chickens were all super fun to poke fun at and call into question.

The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs by MLP and she had done a really fun post about her Not-In-My-Bucket List. It was awesome! It reminded me that even though I have an insane appreciation for many go-with-the-crowd activities like Pinterest, Downton Abbey and frick, even blogging, there are still many, MANY, things out there that I just can’t stand, even though the masses around me seem to have banded together in an unofficial if-you’re-cool-you’ll-do-these-things club.

Well, not me, brilliant reader!

Here’s a list of more things I love to say “Psh!” to:

1) Drinking coffee

I really tried to to be a coffee drinker, especially during those two summers in the late nineties when I worked outside of Seattle.

Drinking coffee is like wearing shoes; sure, not everyone does it, but you know you look funny at the ones who skip it.

My dislike of coffee is actually a mutual thing between us since it technically hates me back too. My stomach lacks the hipster-enzymes needed to break down the acids or something, I don’t know. But I am in pain for two days minimum after attempting any coffee drink.

Mochas, the baby-steps version of How-To-Start-Drinking-Coffee, kill me, too.

I think if coffee tasted better to me, I could see sacrificing my stomach-sanity for a cup or two, but it just refuses to taste like anything other the bottom of a bitter old shoe. Coffee ice cream and coffee-flavored candy are nasty too. That’s just a train I refuse to board, people.

2) Eating sushi

Yeah, yeah…I have finicky taste buds, so the fact that I abhor sushi should really come as no surprise to you.
My jaunty little rhyme to explain my food quirk goes a little something like this:
“If it lives in the sea, it’s not for me!”

Yes, this includes seaweed. Blech!
Rice, I have no problem with. Fish, crab, squid etc. will most likely poison me.

Friends have told me just to get avocado, rice and cream cheese wrapped up in egg roll wrappers and yet, since avocado is on the ‘no-thanks’ list, I can’t really do that either.

Sushi is so dang cool, yet it will continue to be in the land of Can’t-Tolerate-It-Ville until I can manage to deaden all the extra-sensitive taste buds in my mouth.

3) Wearing bedazzled jeans

Cross my heart and hope to cry. These things are hard to take in.

Cross my heart and hope to cry. These things are hard to take in.

Okay. I’m going to level with you. I started you off simple with coffee and sushi, because people love feeling superior over us picky eaters. I knew I wouldn’t lose you over those items. But wearing bedazzled jeans just may push some of you over the edge.

Ladies (and sadly, some guys), I just don’t get the attraction. Why are you wearing fake jewel details on the back pockets of your jeans? Do tons of fake jewels equal femininity now? Is there a theory out there that says plentiful pearly pockets will help minimize the symptoms of mom-butt?

Even if the jeans fit your tush well and make you look ten pounds lighter, you lose me with the crazy details. Why would a fleur de lis or — Father, forgive you — a cross, be an acceptable accessory for each of your butt cheeks? Please tell me there are no plans for a crown of thorns version too.

Bedazzled cross jeans! Putting the “God” in “gaudy” since 2010!

Bedazzled cross jeans! Putting the “God” in “gaudy” since 2010!

When Christ said “Do this in remembrance of me”, this is NOT what he was talking about! This bedazzling pushes me over the edge, friends. I know you won’t be letting those pants go anytime soon, but you need to stop thinking I will ever join you in that butt-dazzle territory.

4) Wearing TOMS shoes

TOMS Shoes: Perfect for sitting around on the ground and looking too cool for school. Now in herringbone to keep things classy!

TOMS Shoes: Perfect for sitting around on the ground and looking too cool for school. Now in herringbone to keep things classy! Image courtesy of This Girl Sylvia (who actually is drop dead gorgeous, despite her shoes).

Do you want to see people get all riled up and feisty? Just post something on Facebook about how you think their TOMS look like hobo-shoes and watch the sparks fly!

I still think they resemble homeless shelter shoes, and honestly, friends, they kind of make your feet stink like hobo toes, as well. I get that they donate a pair to the shoeless in Africa (or wherever they are needed) but I’m just not a fan of the swaddling-cloth slash burlap-sack look for my tootsies.

What’s that? They’re comfortable? Psh! Again I say, “PSH!!!” I can recommend at least 100 other pairs of shoes that are comfortable. Even better, my picks won’t make your feet look like potatoes.

Moving right along…

5) Sporting a French manicure on your toenailsI get the whole French manicure thing on your finger nails, but why in the world is it OK to wear that look on your toes?

To me, I see that little white crescent-tip and think, “Gee whiz, someone needs to trim their toenails. Oh wait…they did that on purpose?”

When did having long, glamorous toe nails become something to strive for? On fingers, the painted technique looks neat and clean; simple, if you will. But on toes, to me it just looks like you’re bragging about how long you’ve been dodging the clippers. And that kind of grosses me out.

Have no fear!

Even if you’re a coffee-drinking, sushi-loving, walking fashion faux pas, it’s OK! We can still be friends! I’m not shallow enough to (or popular enough) to weed out the people in my life, simply because they love things like tankinis, Crocs or scrapbooking (or the list above).

I know I wouldn’t want to be skipped over for a pal-gathering because I insisted on wearing the same hairdo I’ve had since 2009 or because I occasionally over do it with the cameos.

Thanks for putting up with me!

Swimsuits: Satan’s Little Secret

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There was a time when my dream wardrobe consisted of a one-piece swimsuit and a pair of nose plugs.

I grew up in the high desert of So-Cal and most of my relatives lived in Phoenix and Las Vegas. It’s safe to say that I was no stranger to burning-hot, liquid-magma climates.

I didn’t have a pool when I was little, but occasionally, my friends did, which helped summertime pass by in the best way. Freckled noses and shoulders, weird tan-lines and blood-shot eyes from peeking underwater during Marco Polo — Oh, huzzah for summer!

Even though it’s only January, it’s safe to say that I’ve already been thinking about this year’s bathing suit season. Sure, our local Target has been selling suits since the first week of January, but that’s not why I’ve been thinking about it.

I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere in life, I developed a great aversion to swimsuit season.

At the moment, I feel like blaming it on my strict private-school’s dress code. I HATED that dress code that held me in its evil, no-midriff clutches for 12 long years.

The school dress code varied every couple of years, but basically it looked at whatever clothes were fashionable, affordable and/or easily accessible, and made those items illegal on school grounds or field trips.

Clothing with WORDS on them? Psh. Not unless they were promoting a college.

Sorry ALF. You’re not allowed at school.

Skirts? Try again. Unless you were lucky enough to find a frumpy piece that wasn’t any higher than 2 inches above your knee. When you’re 5’ 9’’ and 15 years old, you can pretty much count out skirts all together.

Thanks a lot, Cher. I’ll never be allowed to dress like that on school grounds.

Shorts? Sure, it gets over 100 degrees out, but apparently shorts were the Devil’s way of causing mankind to stumble face-first into a pile of cool and comfortable sin. Nope. No shorts were allowed. Ever.

Yikes! I’m not so sure I’m bummed about never being allowed to wear those things.

Midriffs were also not to be seen, even when that fad was everywhere. Midriff tops were made for teenagers! I feel like a great injustice was done to me by having me skip that fashion-blip when I actually had the lack of jiggle to take advantage of it.

Think again, Kelly Kapowski. That midriff top will have to stay at Bayside and far from my school.

Now, no one was wearing swimsuits to school, but if we ever went on a class trip (which for some reason, we seemed to do every year like it was our God-given-right as teens) we’d get to bring our swimsuits.

One-piece swimsuits, only, please.

I get it. A bikini basically looks like a bra and underwear that matches and is less see-through. I can see how that look may not be appropriate when you’re trying to teach teens to memorize scripture instead of ogling classmates in their underclothes.

One-piece suits seemed like another cruel joke on Teen-Me by the fashion-gods. Nothing cute was ever long enough for me. Normally I just had to try and hide the fact that my suit was actually compressing me together like a sad accordion. Either that or riding up into a constant wedgie in the back. (And people wonder why I have such horrible posture? Yes! Another thing I can blame on that dress code!)

To help keep our male classmates from getting caught up in the great ‘Who’s-got-bigger-cans?’ debate, many times, we thoughtful teen-gals would don a charming old t-shirt over our swimsuit. Nothing says ‘comfortable swimming attire’ like a baggy t-shirt. I’m actually surprised that lifeguards haven’t attempted to outlaw them. But, we had to come out of the water some time, and that’s when the accidental wet t-shirt contest would begin. Those poor boys had no chance.

When I worked at a summer camp in college, the one-piece swimsuit rule carried over into my daily activities. By this time, I had discovered board shorts, which meant even more modest coverage, and I never went to the pool without them. I was a regular Joan-of-Arc for modesty, I tell ya.

By this time, I was sure that being in a bathing suit in front of the male species was akin to dressing up as Delilah and performing on a pole. It was somehow, my responsibility to protect all of the men around me from stumbling into some random over-appreciation for the curves the Good Lord had given me. (Or not given me, if we’re still talking about those teen years. Yeesh.)

To love others, I must contain my lady-ness at all times.

Now that I’m well-past the age of bathing suit innocence and above-reproach summer-employment rules, I find myself running into the arms of the brazen two-piece swimsuit.

Not just because they were so forbidden, but because they just fit better. Plus, going to the bathroom is WAY easier in a bikini.

But I feel like there is a weird Mom-Law about swimsuits. Sure, a two-piece is great for when you look like a fresh-faced (or string-bean-big-boob-ed) twenty something (like an obnoxiously HIGH number of my mom-friends actually do). But, if you’re a standard mom in her thirties, tankinis are more of your expected tune.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that tankinis have helped with concealing stretch marks and occasional jiggly pieces left behind by pregnancies and parenting-stress. Hey, they even have helped make the going to the bathroom issue even easier. But for some reason, they just reek of ‘mom-ness’ to me and even though I am 100% M-O-M, I just can’t bring myself to enter into the tankini territory.

I think I put them in the same mind-corner as mom-jeans and minivans. Great for you if you need it, but God, help me if I ever get to that stage because I just may not recognize myself anymore.

Being a mom, I have had my children take over my home, my brain, my heart, and my body. They bang on my bedroom door and ruin nearly every Song-of-Solomon-session as if they think that if their dad and I spend more than 15 minutes alone together, we may forget about them and abscond to Aruba or something. “HURRY! Bang on the door! They may forget to feed us!”

Do they have to take away my fashion sense and vehicle-vanity too?

But that’s for another blog.

Seriously, if you have a minivan or wear a tankini, just calm down already. You’re fine. If you’re wearing mom-jeans, on the other hand, we need to talk. There are options out there and comfort is nothing you will have to sacrifice to look presentable to the rest of society.

So, basically, tankinis (for me) are out but if you love sporting the ol’ tankaru while cruising around in your Odyssey-Caravan-Town-and-Country-Swaggerwagon, then more mom-power to ya.

I don’t think I am cooler/better/more chic than you. Well, maybe a little bit, but we can still be friends. You’re probably way better at cooking, sewing, teaching your children how to make bird feeders, raising livestock as pets, wearing a fedora, decorating your home, wiping down the baseboards, eating vegetables, buying organic toddler-snacks, etc. than I am.

Now that I’m working two jobs and juggling a home, two kids and a marriage (not in that order) my swimsuit time has obviously dropped significantly.

Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

The lack of swim-time (and swim-place availability) has actually saved me money by not needing to invest in new suits.I still wear the one I bought to go to Mexico with my husband way back in 2009. In fact, I actually still have the swimsuit my mom bought me when I graduated high school and the one I bought for my honeymoon. (As if those will ever come in handy one day again.)

I love the idea of wearing shorts and a swimsuit without feeling overly self-conscious about my mom-thighs. I really do. I’ve actually become so obsessed with the sad state of those two traitors, I’ve started taking Pilates and am even drinking water during the day. I have also tried cauliflower and have taken to regularly forcing down a salad or two. Dear Lord, I hope it’s worth it by the time the warm days arrive.

Because — just maybe — the stars will align and I will get to go swimming and frolic in a pool or lake or something with my family and friends. Probably not, but I like to be prepared in case the situation arises. And the idea of getting to stroll around in my swimsuit bottoms SANS COVERUP shorts/dress/skirt has me all kinds of excited and hopeful.

What do you think about swimsuit season? Do you overthink it, too? Do you choose a bathing suit based on the audience around you, or based on what would make you the most comfortable?

Do tell. I have no life and cyber-discussions are a bit easier to squeeze into my schedule than actual face-to-face ones. Don’t judge. It’s just a season. Right?