A Day in the Life: I hate wearing pants.

I hate wearing pants.

I relate strongly to this image.
I relate strongly to this image.

No, I’m not talking about walking around in my underwear instead. I just hate wearing jeans or nicer pants to school. Why? Because I bike to school and most pants are uncomfortable to bike in.

I bike 5.5 miles to school, and 5.5 miles home. I chose to live further away from school for a number of reasons: my condo has great access to trails, it’s spacious, cheaper than comparable units close to campus, and I actually like having some physical distance between me and school. Helps me keep a good work-life balance. Plus it makes sure I get daily exercise.

My trusty bike. We have a love-hate relationship. I love riding the bike when I am in shorts, yoga pants, or dresses. I hate riding the bike when I have to wear pants.
My trusty bike. We have a love-hate relationship. I love riding the bike when I am in shorts, yoga pants, or dresses. I hate riding the bike when I have to wear pants.

Biking was great in the summer and early fall because I could get away with wearing shorts which gave my legs plenty of freedom and were quite comfy. The best was wearing dresses with bike shorts underneath. Now that it’s getting chillier, I find myself wearing yoga pants pretty much every day. It’s a good thing the geology department is really casual, because I don’t know what I’d do if wearing yoga pants wasn’t an option. I like wearing skinny jeans and other pant options, but I hate biking in them.

Unfortunately, sometimes I need to look professional (like when I give presentations or meet with important people). So I need a solution to my pants hating problem.

I suppose I could bring clothes to change into at school and wear more athletic clothes during my bike ride. But then I’d have to carry that change of clothes to school, and carry it back home at the end of the day. I have a little tiny bag that goes on the back of my bike for carrying basically my laptop and my lunch – there’s not room in it for anything else. I intentionally chose a smaller bag so I wouldn’t haul around a bunch of crap I don’t really need. I could get a bigger bag, but I really don’t want to. I like not having to carry a ton of stuff on my bike. Extra stuff is heavy, and when the commute each way is 5.5 miles, every pound of junk you carry counts.

I could also just establish a separate wardrobe of “school/work” clothes and keep them at my desk. But then I remember I am a grad student and grad students don’t have money. Separate wardrobe isn’t gonna happen.

This is probably what I'm going to wear late October - April. Sweater dresses are stretchy and warm - that's really all I need.
This is probably what I’m going to wear late October – April. Sweater dresses are stretchy and warm – that’s really all I need.

I’m currently considering leggings with tunics or leggings with sweater dresses for potential cold weather commute outfits. I’d look more professional than I do in jeans AND I’d be so comfy.

Really, I’m open to anything but pants. Suggestions welcome.

3 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: I hate wearing pants.

  1. Leggings are always a great option! You could keep a simple black skirt or dress at your desk to put on if you need to in a pinch. Layers are also great. What are you going to do in winter when there is snow? A bigger bag down the road might be necessary. There are some great bike commute bags out there, both for you or your bike.

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    1. Great suggestion about keeping an “emergency” skirt or dress at school! That way if there are times when I need to look professional (which isn’t too often), I can just throw it on for the meeting or presentation, then change out of it afterward without getting it too dirty. I haven’t biked in the snow yet, but for some cold rain we had a couple weeks ago I put rain paints and a rain coat over my yoga pants. It worked pretty well.

      Even though there is a bus stop like two blocks from my place, I’ve started walking a mile or two toward school, then hopping on the bus and riding the rest of the way in bad weather and on days where I need to wear nicer clothes. I still get some exercise, and I don’t have to drive or park my car. So far it’s been a good compromise for those days where biking really just isn’t the practical option.

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