For even before starters — Within the bounds of municipal legalities, people get to wear what they want. In fact, I suppose, even outside the bounds of legalities, people get to wear what they want so long as they are prepared to accept the consequences for their actions. (Because municipal legalities are not always reflective of what is equitable or just.) And while I don’t think that general clothing choices should be unilaterally free from criticism, I do think that reaction to an individual’s clothing choices should recognize that we do too much body policing in this world already.
For starters, it is basically true: When I’m not expected to wear any type of particularly “nice” or professional clothing, I am pretty much always in yoga pants.
Along with a top, I mean. Most places have a “no shoes, no shirt, no service” rule here, and I respect that.
It is not, as one acquaintance recently suggested, “to make people think [I’ve] always just come from a workout.”
Fun fact: When they mentioned this, I was wearing yoga pants and had just come from a workout.
But let’s lay out a few less fun facts, shall we?
One. I have a chronic pain condition that often manifests with pelvic pain and sometimes manifests with pelvic swelling. There are times when, even if other pants technically fit, comfort asks that I wear pants made of stretchy materials instead. There are also times — though rarer — when I’m sufficiently swollen that my regular pants do not fit.
Two. Because of plus size shopping availability where I live, I own precisely four pairs of pants that i could go to work in. Two of them are jeans, which are sort of frowned upon at my work. (Definitely frowned upon this early in the school year.) No pair cost me less than $30, which on my salary is not small money. (I have to wrangle a lot of freshman for a lot of minutes to make $30.) I really cannot afford to be ripping, staining, or wearing out these pants willy nilly.
Three. Two of the pants pairs were on clearance and two more were from a store that’s closing (and that’s already stopped selling plus sizes in my area). That is, as of right now, they are virtually irreplaceable.
Four. There is a place I can go to purchase yoga pants for about $10 per pair. While I am not actually fond of going to this place, the fact remains that this means I only have to wrangle one-third as many freshmen — or for one-third as long — in order to purchase a pair of yoga pants. Additionally, they are regularly available, meaning that if I stain one, rip two, or wear three out, the pants remain available for repurchase.
In sum — I wear yoga pants so often because I don’t really have other viable “casual wear” — in a clothing-available environment where dark wash jeans must be saved for “career wear” — alternatives.