Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Elephants, Hippies, and Twirls, Oh My! Why I Love Skirts that Swish and Flow

Some people get all passionate about shoes. I don't wear shoes. So, I get passionate about skirts.

My name is AnneMarie, and I have been wearing skirts and dresses nearly exclusively for three years. (Gee, this feels like an AA meeting introduction. Instead, how about an SEA meeting introduction? Skirt Enthusiasts Anonymous...?)

A declaration like this may generate a couple shocked responses:
"Are you Amish?"
"It's probably 'cause you think pants are immodest, evil, and send women to hell."

Well, I'm not Amish (though I think Amish people are super cool!!),and  I don't think  women who wear pants go to hell (yes, there are people who believe that!). When all is said and done, I wear skirts because they are awesome!

I've gone through my phases; I had the phase where I favored straight skirts with ruffles at the bottom, then I went through a pencil skirt phase, and these past few years I have been in a "flowy skirt" phase. I've always liked wearing skirts when the occasion called for it (nicer events, Sunday Mass, job interviews), but in the past would frequently don a pair of capris or basketball shorts in the summer months; in the winter, jeans or slacks.

But, three years ago, I met this super awesome young woman through a mutual friend. She was my age, super nerdy and geeky, and--every time I hung out with her, she was wearing a skirt. Not in a frumpy way, or an overly dressed-up way, but just a feminine, fun way. Inspired by this woman, I decided to purposefully wear more skirts. When I went off to college at the end of that summer, I brought a bunch of skirts and one pair of jeans. Well, the jeans got pushed to the back of my tiny dorm room wardrobe. Skirts were just as easy--if not easier--and far more comfortable. Now, I typically wear flowy skirts that hit just above the knee, though I have some favorites that are a bit longer, and it's great!! And I've decided to share this passion for flowy skirts with anyone who desires to here we go!

Why I Love Skirts that Swish and Flow:
1. They express a wide range of personalities and styles! 
My sister-in-law gave me this skirt last summer.
Yes, those are giant giraffes on it!! Super fun!
Seriously, jeans are so generic. Everybody wears 'em, and even though there are different styles and colors, they are still super similar. But with skirts? The sky is the limit! Whether you like soft pastels and chiffon overlays, or bright patterns and loud colors, you can always find the color or pattern you desire. I cannot even express the wide range of skirt styles out there, either! Gypsy skirts, A-line skirts, peasant skirts, broomstick skirts, hippie skirts, fifties skirts, pleated get the idea.

2. They are super fun!
I have some skirts with crazy patterns, and I love them! The creativity and fun in my outfits is expanded immensely with skirts.

3. They are great for my mentality regarding body image. 
It's definitely a plus that wearing skirts takes my mind away from worrying about body image. Let's be real:  pants and shorts many times bring our weight, fat, and body shape to the forefront of our minds. Whether we are thinking about the added fat to our upper legs--which would be totally noticeable in a pair of shorts--or trying to find a pair of jeans that fits perfectly, us women are plagued by clothes mocking our weight. Pants and shorts tend to point out where we haven't been exercising, or call our minds to those extra cookies we had at dinner.

But flowy skirts are a lot more forgiving. Unless you wear a skirt that barely covers your legs (which I really do not recommend), nobody will notice added fat on your legs. In fact, since flowy skirts often gently swish around your legs, people aren't really focused on the details of your body shape at all. Some skirts have elastic waistbands, so you don't have to worry about being able to pull up that zipper. And, some of my personal favorite skirts are from the hippies.

My latest find from the Goodwill in Wichita!
Just $2 got me this awesome wraparound hippie
skirt that is covered with elephants and cool swirls,
which all look very Indian : )  
I LOVE HIPPIE SKIRTS! When I was a freshman in college, one of my southern friends took me to a hippie store in Georgia. Amid the wafting incense and chatter of the New Age cashier hippie, I discovered just how wonderful hippie wraparound skirts are. Many of them are labeled as "free size." Not, "Size 4," which automatically makes you grimace if you aren't a size 4, but "free size." Wraparound skirts can fit many women with different body shapes, so we aren't trying to fit into a particular skirt size. Isn't that great?

5. They are incredibly economical, which is great for a poor college student like me :)
Sewing your own skirts is easy, fast, and super inexpensive, if you get bargain fabric. If you don't want to sew a skirt, or don't know how, hit up a thrift store! Many of my favorite skirts have been
thrift store finds, typically costing $3 or less! Which, I want to point out, is far cheaper a cost than most pairs of pants.

6. They are extremely convenient. 
Grabbing a skirt and tossing it on is really fast and easy on those mornings when I've overslept the alarm. I typically like to have at least three different tops I can wear with each skirt, so that way, I have plenty of convenient clothing options on hand.

7. They are so comfortable! 
Always a plus with clothing in my book. It's like having a comfy blanket wrapped around your waist!

8. Wearing clothing that swishes is awesome. 
Not gonna lie, sometimes, I look down and watch the way my skirt swishes, because it feels awesome. Especially on windy days, when my skirt ripples in the wind...oh, I can't handle how cool it looks :P

Yes, skirts can be worn while hiking in the snowy
mountains of Austria! In fact, I prefer hiking in skirts,
because my movements aren't constrained
by pant legs. Just wear bunches of leggings
underneath to stay warm!
9. They are all-purpose and interchangeable. 
 I know many people think skirts are only for "fancier" occasions. I used to think something along those lines. But skirts are good any time! Many skirts I have can be dressed up or down for the occasion, depending on what top I'm wearing. If I'm running errands or doing housework, I might throw on a simple t-shirt or light cotton blouse on with the skirt. If I'm headed to a job interview or Sunday Mass, a satin top, sweater, or lacey top is much more suitable. One of my favorite bloggers has a great post about this here.

I highly encourage anyone who wants to expand her skirt wardrobe to obtain a black skirt. The main black skirt I own is just above the knee-length, made of a simple knit fabric, and its awesome. I've been wearing it frequently for the past 7-8 years. It goes with anything (since its black), and can be dressed up or down. I also am a fan of the denim skirt. It works better for more "casual" days, and it also goes with anything. Plus, denim skirts are pretty durable.
The glory of denim skirts! Hanging out in
Nettuno, Italy, where St. Maria Goretti is buried. 
When I moved to Kansas, I decided to start wearing shorts under my skirts, in case the wind happened to blow crazily. Now that I live in Ohio, I continue to do this, because I can run around and play freely, and have no worries! When I wear shorts under my skirts, I can hike, sprawl on the lawn, play on the swingset, play kickball...its awesome! Skirts are so versatile and all-purpose!!!

10. They are feminine. 
When I wear a skirt (particularly a flowy skirt), I feel a lot more feminine than when I just throw on a pair of jeans or basketball shorts. Flowy skirts exude a simple elegance, whether they made of a fancier knit fabric or a more casual cotton. They affect how you act, how you feel, and how others perceive you. A blogger friend of mine (who I first met in high school!) has a great post about that as well.

Thanks for staying with my ramblings about clothing; I promise that I'll try not to ramble about clothes too much anymore :)
Keep being awesome, and have a great day!