Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dress pants and khakis are way more comfortable to me than jeans

When I began my career, I worked at a newspaper. My summer office attire was a t-shirt and shorts. If I was feeling fancy, it was a pair of jeans and a polo.

When I transitioned to the 9-to-5 world in the mid-90s, the bar was raised to wearing a dress shirt and tie most days. For my first PR job at the Cleveland Clinic, it was a full suit every day, apparently on the off chance that as a hospital spokesperson, I might unexpectedly be asked to go on camera if a TV crew showed up and wanted a statement (which never actually happened).

Nowadays I have a formula when it comes to dressing for work: If the weather is warm, you will see me in a button-down shirt and a pair of solid-color pants (either dress pants or Dockers). If it is chilly, I wear the same thing with a sweater over top of the shirt.

I rarely stray from this approach. As a 53-year-old suburban dweller, I feel it is my right to dress in a boring, formulaic manner.

Here's what I don't get: Why do office workers treat "jeans days" as some sort of bonus? Over the years at the various organizations where I've worked, there has always been a desire for Friday jeans days. Or in the case of certain office competitions, one of the prizes has often been a jeans day.

I do not understand this. Maybe I'm buying the wrong jeans, but to me, jeans are not the ultimate in comfortwear. I would much rather wear my looser-fitting dress pants or those good old, dad-approved Dockers. They just feel better, especially when I'm wearing them for 9-10 hours at a stretch.

Office dress codes have evolved to the point that  at my place of employment, anyway  you can wear jeans just about every day of the week if you want. And I have done that before, but it only served as a reminder that jeans are not the sartorial delight they're cracked up to be.

Of course, your perspective on this may vary greatly. I'm someone who honestly never minded wearing a suit and tie every day (it greatly simplified the process of picking out clothes in the morning, I'll tell you that). So maybe my definition of "comfortable" clothing doesn't necessarily match that of the rest of the world.

There's also this: I'm a man. Maybe women value jeans more highly than the office-approved alternatives they're given.

Jeans were originally developed in the 19th century for mineworkers, weren't they? I'll you what, then...the next time the Materion Corporation asks me to descend 300 feet underground to search for gold, I'll throw on a pair of Levis.

In the meantime, my closet full of patterned button-downs and black, blue, gray and brown pants serves me just fine, thank you very much.

1 comment:

  1. Agree 100%. As a women prefer skirts and dresses. Much more loose fitting than the Jean material. Great blog!