Skirts never felt right to me, yet I bought them each spring because it felt weird not to. They’re pretty, breezy, fun and flouncy. They paint a picture of who you in a skirt could potentially be. Most shorts, meanwhile, are practical in a boring way and crotch-threatening. You know what your thighs look like in denim shorts in pictures and it’s never how your thighs look in denim shorts in your head. Skirts always seem like the most fun option at the start of the season. But I’d put them on and spend the whole day wishing I could change into shorts or pants instead.
For about two years I gave skirts up. I stopped trying to be something I wasn’t and accepted that I was a shorts girl when it came to casually baring my legs. When you accept something about yourself in fashion, when you’ve determined a stylistic choice that says something about your persona or character — even if you don’t love it — it can be really hard to wiggle out of. It’s a rule that we set in stone for ourselves, like being in a crap mood no matter how much fun it looks like our friends are having over there, or telling everyone you’re lactose intolerant just because you said it once to get out of something and now have to live with the lie. It’s possible that I decided I didn’t like skirts one bad skirt day (a weird outfit, an unflattering cut, chub rub) then shut down any future thoughts about the ways my summer self could look in skirts. For two years I was convinced: skirts weren’t me.
Just as it gets harder and harder over time to remember why you and an old ex-friend no longer talk, however, I slowly stopped being able to remember what it was I didn’t like about skirts. I tried them here and there. Fall felt like a safe time to experiment because of suede and layers. By May, I began to notice I suddenly had clothes — out of nowhere! Skirts, man. Who knew? The revelation invigorated my closet. (I also bought a few new styles and donated some that were totally off the mark, which is important to note; it’s possible I was wearing “the wrong ones.”)
For the past month I have tried to wear skirts as much as possible. Any time I’d normally reach for jeans or shorts, I have a pep talk with myself, then grab a skirt. The skirt forces me to think a bit more creatively about my outfit, because tops with shorts or jeans are a whole different story. I have to find new ways to think about balance, colors and proportions. If it sounds dramatic, that’s because I was being dramatic, but I was entirely out of my comfort zone.
Which felt great. I’m wary to say what kind of person I am or am not when it comes to clothes because clearly, this person is fickle, but right now, I’m into being “more of a skirts girl.” The acceptance feels like a breeze blowing ’round my nether regions.
Feature image by Edith Young; skirts documentation via Amelia Diamond. Georgia Alice skirt in feature photo.