Pants Are Obsolete

What if we never see people’s pants again?

I am starting to think that pants might become obsolete. For the past 7 weeks, unless you are my spouse, dogs or cat, you have only seen me from the chest up. All interaction whether work or social, has been done via video chat. I mean sure, pants serve basic functions such as providing warmth and keeping one from being an absolute creeper while chatting with peers and coworkers online, but no one sees the pants. What if we never see people’s pants again?

This is far fetched. But, it got me thinking. What choices would I make if no one ever saw those choices? Specifically, what would I choose to wear, surround myself with, and entertain myself with if no one were to ever see?

Is it for you or for others?

Let’s go back to the pants as an example. I am happy to report that if no one were to ever see my pants again, I am still happy with what I own. I have some pretty unconventional pieces to adorn my lower half and I like wearing them. I know for a fact that some people don’t appreciate these styles as evidenced by one individual’s comment of, “gross,” on a Pinterest pin of a pair identical to some I own. I’m cool with that. I got them because I love them, not because I was looking for someone else’s approval.

Let’s contrast the pants to some designer handbags I own. I must admit I have some handbags that if no one were to see them, I probably wouldn’t carry them. I realized this after the fact of the purchases. Indeed, before the acquisition, when I was lusting over said handbags, I was convinced that I wanted these pieces for myself. Delusional that someone else’s initials smattered across the canvas was something that I intrinsically valued, not something I coveted because society said it was valuable. 

Now, there are designer handbags I own and adore. In fact, they are subtle and would not necessarily be recognized as designer by anyone other than handbag fans. I enjoy beautiful things, appreciate design and am noticeably impacted by my surroundings. Probably due in some part to being creative, an HSP, and frankly, neurotic person, especially when it comes to the undertones of paint colors.*

If no one saw it, would you want it?

The COVID-19 shelter in place has helped me to start identifying what I have in my life because it sparks joy and what I have to show off.** No longer venturing out of the house to be seen and without anyone coming into my home to socialize, I am getting clarity on what I own for me and what I own to impress others. From this, a key question was born, “if no one were to ever see this, would I still want it?” This is a question I will ask myself before each purchase from here on out.

How about you? What do you reach for in your closet because you feel good in it, not because you are thinking of what someone else might think of you in it? Which decorations do you have in your home because it’s on trend and which items consistently and genuinely make you smile? And entertainment? Do you keep books on the shelf because you hope someone will see them and form their opinion of you based on how well read you are? Have certain technology that you don’t use, but keep around because it creates a certain impression regarding how tech savvy you are? If you start letting go of those items, what will you be making room for in your life, physically and emotionally?

* HSP means Highly Sensitive Person. It is argued to be a trait that is present in about 20% of the population. Characteristics of an HSP include deeply processing information, easily overstimulated, strong emotional empathy, and sensitivity to subtleties. If you are interested in this topic, I suggest starting with Elaine N. Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person.

** Asking oneself what “sparks joy” is from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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