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An Open Letter to Knee Pants

Christine Anspach | Monday, April 8, 2013


Dear Knee Pants,

I know you get annoyed when I call you capris, because you don’t quite reach my ankles. But I appreciate the fact that you are not quite shorts and not quite pants. You are somewhere in the middle, perfect for the bipolar “spring” weather of South Bend, Ind. I can wear you while working out, with a tank top and flip-flops for warmer weather or with sneakers and a sweatshirt for colder days. You have the glorious stretch of yoga pants without the annoying flare at the bottom that always drags in the puddles that line the sidewalks of South Quad.

I know other people make fun of you because you look kind of awkward. People aren’t quite sure what to make of you. You cut off strangely at the knee, and people often refer to you as “half-pants,” as if you do not quite match up to the standard of full-length pants. I hate being compared to other people, so I can identify with your frustration of being compared to full-length pants. I mean, shorts aren’t called “quarter-pants,” right? I completely respect your decision to be called knee pants. 

Just because you are made fun of doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. I mean, Miley Cyrus gets made fun of, and so does Lindsay Lohan, but they’re both able to lead moderately successful, happy lives. Miley is (was?) engaged to Liam Hemsworth, and Lindsay still gets movie roles (even if they are just Lifetime movies, and even if she has more mug shots than pairs of shoes).

The only frustration I have with you is you make me look shorter than I actually am. You were always criticized on that TLC show, “What Not to Wear.” The hosts of the show would always throw you in trash cans, blaming you for being unflattering or for making the fashion offenders on the show look shorter and wider. But it’s not your fault I’m short. I choose to wear you for my own comfort and convenience.

Don’t get the wrong idea, though. I don’t like you like that. I like you for your easy and comfortable pull-on style that makes you perfect for working out, but I would never wear you out to a party. No offense, but you just aren’t compatible with my heels and chiffon tops. I know you want a fair chance to prove you are versatile and adaptable. I know I just said you are well-suited to either sweatshirts or tank tops. But there is a time and place for everything, you know? For example, I would never put ketchup on chocolate cake, but I would put it on almost any other food. Likewise, I can wear you all day, to class and to working out and to club meetings, but I can’t wear you when I’m going out.

But just because I can’t always wear you doesn’t mean that I will never wear you. I’ll wear you as often as I can, because I mean it when I say you are the most comfortable thing in my closet, even if you are a little awkward. But that’s okay, nobody’s perfect. Even Kim Kardashian makes an ugly face when she cries. But it must make you feel a little better to know celebs like Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. Posh Spice), Mila Kunis and Ellen Pompeo sport you on a regular basis when they work out. No, they aren’t going to wear you on the red carpet. But you do get to be seen in celebrity gossip magazines, thanks to the paparazzi. That must make you feel a little special, right? I mean, both LuluLemon and Nike make versions of you, so that must make you feel pretty legitimate.

If nothing else, Knee Pants, know you are appreciated. I will always own at least one pair of you. 



Christine Anspach

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Christine Anspach at canspach@nd.edu