The Mom Costume


When the boys were born I bought the mom-mobile. So it should come as no surprise to you I’ve also adopted the mom uniform. (Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain pretending to be a grownup.)

The boys have noticed it too. If I appear in a dress or skirt, they ask if I’m a princess. (Aww, I feel the love…) Then they demand I “go put on home clothes.” (Less warm fuzzies…)

The Mommy costume: disheveled hair, casual shirt (or sweatshirt) and yoga pants.

You know it. I know it. Yet we continue this charade. “Look! I have two rugrats to chase around, but I still have time to be meditative and bendy!” We all know it’s a lie.

The reality? They’re comfortable and make our butts look good. (Yes guys, we know you’re checking us out. But hey – who wouldn’t feel a bit flattered by getting checked out while wearing frumpy “I think these are clean, I can’t tell they attract so much dog hair, but what the hell I’m going to Target” errand-running outfits.

So what are the “it” pants? I’ve tried a bunch. Disclosure: I don’t actually wear these pants for yoga. I don’t actually do yoga; I’m zero flexible, but totally up for practicing shavasana (corpse pose) because sometimes it’s just necessary.

Obviously the most popular are the sanctimonious Lululemon. Apparently it’s something of a cult. As such, their wares are equally pricey. Have you heard the caution, “You get what you pay for”? This is not the case. Lululemon pants are a true lemon.

They may make your butt look good, which I guess is helpful to detract from the muffin top they’ll inevitably cause. But mostly, they’re flimsy. One wash and you’re likely to see a hole appear. And given that these are allegedly “workout wear,” one would assume they should be able to handle a wash.

I brought this to the attention of a poorly paid store clerk. She offered to have the pants shipped to a seamstress, but otherwise “it’s not a manufacturer’s defect.”

(I beg to disagree. Consider yourself warned. But as you may have heard the recent comments by Lululemon CEO Chip Johnson, I may just be too fat for their pants. My size is a crooked number after all.)

I ventured to the opposite end of the pricing spectrum. I went to Target. Not surprisingly, I emerged having spent roughly the same amount as one would expect at the chic boutique – I just had a lot more than a single pair of pants. (Seriously – what about Target does that to you?)

So they didn’t make my tushy look quite as perky. They tried. They weren’t as comfy either. Plus, a lot of grubby hands go pawing through the racks at Tarjay. (I know this; I have two of them.) So into the laundry for cootie-removal went the black “Active Pants.”

Out came a pair of tights colored a slightly sickly gray – see through and all. (Given the recent manufacturing kerfuffle with Lululemon, woulda thought those would be the “I see you’re wearing polka dot undies” pants.) It was like Dr. Suess’ Grinch, the heart of these pants (well all of these pants) were three sizes too small. Huh. Who knew. Apparently Target’s pants are disposable clothing.

There’s always Victoria Secret. They advertise “The Most Loved Yoga Pant.” But I can’t even think about writing that I purchased any pantaloons with PINK emblazed across my rear end – regardless of how perky the (not actually pink) pants make me look – with a straight face. So, no.

I was about ready to give up – those sock-monkey jammie pants will do just fine – when a catalogue landed on my desk. Athleta is the active wear subsidiary of the Gap corporation. And nothing says “Suburban Mom” more than Gap. So I tried out some of their pants.

I love them. Comfy, cozy, baggy enough to be “home clothes,” durable enough to endure muppet messes, and fitted enough to still be sold in the yoga pants category. I modeled them for Jon.

“Oh my god – who’s terrible idea was it to put pockets on the butt of yoga pants?!” he exclaimed.

But it all comes down to laundry. Such a Sisyphean task that is the undoing of us all. And ironically, one of the reasons a mommy costumes herself in such outfits to begin with.

Now, enough with this discussion about my pants – Destroy has decided he doesn’t like the pants he is wearing, so is skittering about the house with track pants around his ankles. And there’s nothing quite like hearing from the preschool that you’re the mom with the kid who won’t wear pants on the playground.

Hope they like the pants I show up in…



Filed under Fashion

2 Responses to The Mom Costume

  1. Pockets on yoga pants, especially they kind with the external flap,are like the camouflage of butts…slightly disguising the contents within.

    Semi-related – yesterday I witnessed a yoga pant fop aux at Safeway. If your yoga pants require more material than a typical America’s Cup Yacht sail you shouldn’t be wearing yoga pants.

    Yoga pants with pockets: +1
    Yoga pants sans pockets: +a lot more than 1

  2. People like you are the reason women have such an issue finding pants with decent pockets. (Besides, who said I didn’t have something to camouflage anyway. It’s like Mom-TDUs.)

    However, I think you may have just hit on a major business opp for Lululemon. They’ve gotten so much criticism about the durability of their pants (blaming the wimpy fabric on the size of our thighs) – repurpose the EZ Up! Everyone wins.

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