I spent a sizeable chunk of my wardrobe mindspace in my 20’s and earlier 30’s worrying about my pants, so that’s already sorted. (If you’re self-aware, you make your peace with what works – Lucky Easy Riders, yes, please – and what doesn’t, which we’ll just leave with “pink,” “Juicy Couture,” and “ass.”) Fortunately, I’d left my corporate gig before I got pregnant so I didn’t have to buy a new office wardrobe, and, miraculously, I only put on 18 lbs during the pregnancy, so I made it through the nine months pretty comfortably in yoga pants (thanks very much, Lululemon and Prana) and boots with jersey dresses (Cora Kempermann and Susana Monaco, for the record).
Now, though, I have to concern myself with dressing two people, one of them with zero self-awareness so it’s all on me that she doesn’t look idiotic.
Three quarters of the way through the pregnancy, I read a “minimalist moms” list of must-buy items for your newborn. Little side-button shirts until the umbilical cord heals, then tiny bodysuits, long- and short-sleeved. Fine. But she’s not Donald Duck – what’s she wearing on the bottom? I looked everywhere. I asked other moms. Vagueness all around. “We put him in pajamas a lot,” was as specific as it got. I’m all for hanging around in sleepwear, but at the very least you should have some alternatives handy in case of emergencies. Like an earthquake. Or a date. Or the UPS truck. I’m just saying, I don’t know where your personal pants threshold is, but think ahead and be prepared, right?
In all the stacks of stuff people gave me at the baby shower, I swear to God, not one pair of pants. Pajama union suits. Little sacks to sleep in. Tiny dresses. Shoes (useless but cute). No pants. How can you receive a complete wardrobe and no one gives you any bottoms? That’s the like the worst Price is Right package ever. Are most infants just wandering – well, lying – around pantsless? That’s weird, isn’t it? In my view, wearing pants is an issue of human dignity and I think my kid deserves some.
Finally, right after she was born, Baby Gap came to the rescue. Little teensy black pants for my little teensy New York daughter. And – from the boys’ department – navy striped ones that make her look like she’s a tiny escapee from Pirates of Penzance. I got a lot of, “What adorable pants!” comments too, which leads me to believe that most of the baby-witnessing population is used to seeing unclad baby legs.
It was a lot of effort for some very small rewards, and if I were more well-slept, not parenting an infant and generally more focused right now I’d definitely cash in on that market opportunity. (If you have sleep, focus and no infant, that’s my gift to you: start making baby pants. You’re welcome.)
Not to go on about it, but now that that stage is solved, we’ve got a different pants problem. She has pants but she looks…well, she looks like an 85-year-old golfer from Boca. There’s a lot of squirm in a four month old, so her finally-found pants ride up as high as they can but since the bodysuit she’s wearing underneath them is snapped in place, it lies flat. It’s not a good look. If I skip the bodysuit and go with a shirt, that rides up too, making her look like a tacky, midriff-baring MILF with, let’s face it, kind of a muffin top. The only answer is tunics or sweaters which cover not just her waistline but most of the pants, which seems like a shame. Given how hard they’ve been to find, I think the pants should get top billing. Maybe I’ll wrap a string of battery-powered Christmas lights around the pants to make sure people notice them underneath her smocks. She won’t look strange at all. Or like her mother’s deranged. Shut up.