I was running late on Friday morning. The combination of sleeping through my alarm and cutting checks for a new apartment piled up on top of me, and I barely had enough time to jump in the shower and brush my teeth before I was out the door. Luckily, my office doesn’t have a dress code, so I tossed on some jogger sweatpants and an old Greek Week tee shirt and hopped in the Uber, making it to my first meeting of the day by the skin of my teeth.
The rest of the day was fine, nothing particularly eventful, until about halfway through when I realized what I was wearing. You see, I normally will drive to work Monday-Thursday and take an Uber on Friday because that way, I can just go straight to the bars and not have to worry about my car. That means that whatever I’m wearing to work on Friday is what I’m going to be wearing when I go out that night. In this case, I was wearing gym shoes, red cotton jogger sweatpants with the ankle part scrunched up to my calves, and a Greek Week 2014 tee shirt.
And so there I was. Crunched into a ball at my desk, firing off feeler texts to see if anyone wanted to have a “heavy pregame” that I would try to turn into a party. No takers. Plus everyone was already heading back to their parents’ places for the holiday weekend.
For a while there, I thought my hopes of making regrettable decisions on Friday night were diminishing by the hour. I was torn; I don’t have a problem with going out by myself, but I didn’t want to go home and change clothes in order to do it. Time wore on and I remained there, sitting awkwardly with one leg up on my chair and the other tucked under my ass, thinking about how badly I needed a drink after the week I just had.
“Damn,” I thought to myself, trying to find a bright side to this situation. “I can’t believe the range of motion that I can get out of these pants.” I stood up and walked around, doing some leg swings in the process. The whole time, they never came unscrunched.
It wasn’t more than 30 minutes later when I tossed out this tweet:
There was no turning back. Between that tweet and the time I made it back to my apartment, I had gotten texts from a few people saying things like, “You won’t,” and “You’re an idiot,” and “Hey did we ever pay the gas bill this month?” I dominated some tacos that I picked up along the way, gave myself a few rubs of deodorant, and made my way over to my regular bar.
Normally, I’d feel anxious. I was wearing something that men really don’t wear to the bars, and the whole thing could backfire immediately. Lindsey the bartender could very easily fry me, resulting in my getting roasted by the rest of the regulars. It would make sense for me to be uncertain.
But you know what? It didn’t. Here’s my rationalization behind this: I’ve never personally worn leggings, but from what I hear, that is the way to go when it comes to comfort in a public setting. They look good, and you can wear them with almost anything. As someone who has absolutely no stake in the argument, I would venture to say that leggings are the best style of legwear for women.
Men don’t really have anything that equates to that. Sure, we got the joggers that look like chinos in the last few years, but something about the scrunch around the ankle doesn’t do it for me. Plus, if you get the wrong size or fit, you kind of look like you’re wearing medical scrubs.
And so there I was. Wearing sweatpants and a tee shirt in the dive bar down the street, ordering a PBR and a shot of Jim Beam. I was cozy. I shifted my way through the crowds of people effortlessly, never spilling one drop of my drink. Comfort builds confidence, confidence gets you out of your bar stool and leaning over the bar to help Lindsey the bartender clean pint glasses, and that whole act gets the cute girl from across the room checking out your calves.
If there’s anything I learned from MTV’s The Pickup Artist back when I was in 8th grade, it’s that you need to stand out in order to get attention. You can bet your ass that the cute girl from across the bar came over and asked me if I was wearing red sweatpants, and you can bet your ass that my kneejerk reaction was, “Hell yeah, $10 at Target.” You could even bet your ass that she might have entertained the thought of going home with me while she rolled her eyes and walked back to her friends.
I’m not saying this has to be an every weekend activity. Far from it. All I’m saying is that every once in a while, look at yourself in the mirror, say, “Fuck it,” and wear your god damn sweatpants to the bar. You won’t regret it. .