I tend to be different. Nothing new there, nothing unique. But one of the things that make me different has come along almost inconspicuously in the recent years, and it wasn’t until I was already head over heels into it that I discovered it had become a part of my current true nature. And that something are skirts.
Remember the title of the blog? I’ve already covered the werewolf subject at least a little bit – if talking about your pack is not a werewolf thing, I’m not sure what is – so the time has come to tackle the other part of it – namely, skirts.
Confession time. I was a tomboy for twenty two years, strong, short-haired, quite sure of my style choices. (Except that I had no style whatsoever – and often no common sense, either – but that was a problem of me being me, not me being a tomboy.) I’ve also bean a hobbyist seamstress twenty+ years. The two collided when, in the summer of 2010, I started wearing three of the skirts I’ve made for myself in the years before out of pure boredom. In the course of the next couple of years, the collision came to a wonderful, earth-shattering blast when I discovered I actually liked the feeling of – you guessed it – skirts.
So, without further ado – which will be added in the weeks to come – I give you a five-bullet list for those interested in bringing skirts into theirs lives, at least on a small scale. I do not claim to know your reasons, colors or measures, or whatever’s come into your mind. My only intention is to give a better starting point to those that have dared to peek outside of the jeans-defined living we are most commonly brought up in. I merely offer a few suggestions to those willing to try, at least for a couple of times, an experiment in the dangerous, uncharted land of living in… you know what I mean.
#1 To begin, choose a skirt you really, really like.
It may or may not be practical. It may or may not be ugly. It may or may not be appropriate. The only thing I’m really interested in is that you love it. I would never dare consider encouraging you to wear something you can’t stand the mere sight of. Nor should you – encourage yourself, I mean. Like what you wear and there’s a lot bigger chance you’ll like the wearing of it as well.
#2 Choose a warm weather period for the experiment.
There’s nothing wrong with wintery skirts – I’m a huge fan myself – but roaming around in your jeans-dependent winter ankle booties while wearing a skirt is not guaranteed to make you feel like the skirt fits your life. Skirt-appropriate footwear is one of my main struggles to the day – and warm weather shoes and sandals are usually more forgiving, even in a pants-only-person’s wardrobe.
#3 Play around with length, color, detail and cut – and observe the outcome.
Not to say you should buy a dozen skirts from the get go – one skirtlike object of clothing should usually do. But if there’s any reasonable way for you to gather more skirts to try on – by sewing, borrowing or shopping in your own closet – do. I started with way too short, playful girly skirties – and to this day kept only the one almost reaching my knees. (There are some things you have to sacrifice for a job – not everything, though. I’d be heartbroken if I had to give up skirts – so I compromise by wearing those of appropriate length, and save the shorter ones for evening play.) Some people will hate the shape of a pencil skirt – some will understand it’s flattery to certain body types. Some will frown at hippie-like floor length ones – others will have wardrobes consisting almost entirely of those (I have a larper friend who qualifies). You should try at least a couple of different types to see if it’s really skirts you dislike – or just a certain cut, length or fabric.
#4 Get inspired.
We’ve come to the other part of my confession. None of this would’ve happened if I didn’t have a friend who lives in skirts close by. She was the shy, awesome dressed girl in my class at the university, with incredible eye for colour – even before she became one of my best friends. When we started hanging out together at coffee shops, I was already a lost cause. If you’ve never had someone in your everyday life who rocks skirts, it’s not impossible – as always, try the internetss for inspiration. I am hopelessly inclined to suggest one of my favorite blogs as a start (alreadypretty.com), but it’s your honourable duty to find your own style icons. They are everywhere – and often not the people you’d first think of, as currently I have two at my workplace, both double my age and awesome in what they wear. I’d never suggest you mimic your inspiration to the letter – but do observe, note, and the ways people use skirts all around you. The skirtliving approach which might suit you best may easily not be the first one your think of.
#5 Do it for fun or don’t do it at all.
This piece of advice basically rewrites all those noted above. Because, if you don’t accept this one, none of the other – or anything else I’ll have to say about skirts – will matter. If you’re not a skirt person – and you’ve tried the experiment and lived to tell the tale – by all means, rock on in pants! If you find skirts really uncomfortable, or cumbersome, or offending (khm… we might get to this one later in our time together), or a plain pain in the waist, repeat after me, do not. do. skirts. Life’s too short to wear things you hate – and even shorter to wear things you feel bad in. I may be shameless in my love for “all things skirty”, but I would not, ever, claim that everyone’s lives are cut for them. There are reasons – some of them very good – pants have been the norm for western everyday dress in the last couple of decades. The only thing I would like you to consider is avoiding skirts for the good reasons – practicality, commodity etc. – and not because you’ve never given them a try. And most certainly not because they’re “too girly”. I own at least two skirts I like to refer to as my “battle skirts” (one of them still waiting for that hemming to be adjusted to my preferred length) and, as a larper, I’m more than familiar with guys in kilts. (What? You wanna challenge me on the notion that kilts are not skirts? You know where to find me…) There are girly skirts. As there are girly pants – especially in the flowers-on-every-fabric era we are living in. It’s not the clothes that make you girly. It’s the act. And the act is – like everything else – your choice.
What’s it gonna be?