I’ve said it before, but women have not been wearing skirts for thousands of years ONLY because of male oppression. Other, powerful reasons exist. I love skirts, I’m not ashamed of it, and I think it’s time to shed some light on these maligned garments. (Which, by the way, some enlightened men wear.)
Before I start, I should probably specify that I like full, ankle-length, sturdy, cotton skirts. I should also add that it’s possible to wear these while not totally giving off a hippie vibe. I may possibly be biased on that score, however. My husband DOES like to sing “New Age Girl” at me occasionally. I may not be the best judge of hippie v. not. Maybe.
Top Ten Reasons I Love Skirts
1. They’re comfortable. Cool and loose in the summer with a tank top, skirts have no sticky, sweaty parts. Worn with a sweater, they’re also warm in the winter and have lots of material to, say, cover your feet when you’re curled up on the couch.
2. They hide my least favorite body parts. My knees, people. Sheesh.
3. They carry things, Part 1. Now my hubby can (and has) put keys, money, maps, a camera, and my shawl in his pants pocket (simultaneously) and looked none the worse for it. However, if I put a piece of tissue paper in my pants pocket, I look like I gained ten pounds around the hips. Skirts with pockets do not have this problem—lots of room for stuff to disappear in there!
4. They carry things, Part 2. Anyone read Clan of the Cave Bear? Skirts make recyclable, portable, convertible baskets. Seriously, I can load up and still have the skirt cover everything to Catholic school standards. My two frequent fliers are laundry and boy toys (Legos, Matchbox cars, et al.). When Little A. makes a “parking lot” in the living room using all of his cars AND the ones he inherited from his dad, it’s nice to just scoop ‘em up, take one trip to his room, and dump the in the bin. Fabric dump-trucks, that’s what skirts are.
5. Great for sitting in grass. With all that material, you can kick your shoes off and sit “criss-cross applesauce” with no itching. Your kids can hop on, too! Have a picnic!
6. Wiping. Seriously—when you’re at the park on that day when you thought you’d travel light, without the enormous Mom Bag, then two-year-old Junior gets his hands plastered with dirt and now insists on feeding himself goldfish, one at a time and with much finger contact, and you REALLY need to get that dirt off—you’re gonna love the underside of your skirt hem.
7. Privacy. You know that thing where you never go to the bathroom alone, ever? Well, it’s a lot harder for the kids to make loud, blunt, constant comments about your body and it’s functions when that’s all happening under a skirt instead of with your pants around your ankles. It’s the little things, people. Moms, can I get an Amen?
8. Flexible sizing. I have The. Most. Awesome. Skirt. It’s tiered and linen, so it looks very tailored (for a hippie; see disclaimer above) and it has absolutely no give in the material. I splurged and paid $50 for it when we’d just bought a house—boy, did I feel guilty! But I’ve worn that skirt through every size involved in two babies and a substantial weight loss. (Except extreme pregnancy. Then I wore sheets. Maybe a mu-mu on my skinny days.) Seriously, the skirt gets a few inches shorter when I’m heavy (and possibly sits more around my ribs than my waist) and a few inches longer when I’m fit (and sits on my hips—sweet!), but it always works.
9. They swish. Oh, c’mon. It’s fun to swish.
10. Lots of things can happen under a skirt. Believe me. It’s a lot more fun to get “under her skirt” than “in her pants.” Just saying. Women didn’t wear these things for millennia JUST because of male oppression. Y’hear me?
If you know me, you know I believe people can do anything they want. I think it’s great that society finally decided women should have the option to wear pants. I like pants, too. In fact, while I can (and will, if needed) kick butt and take names while wearing a skirt, I’m really glad I can wear pants to work out.
But let’s not throw the sartorial baby out with the bathwater of oppression.