The Freedom of Comfortable Clothes

We talk a lot about drop-crotch pants here at Brooklyn Herborium. Ok, not only drop-crotch pants, but specifically clothes that are comfortable to exist in, clothes that you can move and dance and be in without having to adjust or tuck in or re-button or think too hard about.

I don’t think I realized how many years I had been wearing clothes I loved but also kind of… hated… until I started prioritizing comfort. In my head there was always a little voice that went something like, “Well, don’t let yourself go now… you can’t wear sweats out in public and still look good.”

But the thing is, I actually feel like I look better without a self-conscious pained look on my face. You know what’s way cooler than super tight jeans I can’t breathe in? Being able to walk six miles along the water, being able to eat pizza without feeling like I’m suffocating my digestive system, being able to throw my arms around someone without wondering if I am exposing anything.

 

And feeling comfortable doesn’t mean only wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts. Here’s how we at Brooklyn Herborium like to do it:

Molly: I like shirts shaped like a rectangle and pants shaped like a triangle. I call it, “the sacred geometry of comfort clothes.”

Emma: Trapeze dresses with pockets, cropped linen pants, and the boots Molly gave me.

Erica: Jeans and a t-shirt. Bam. It’s very simple.

Alison: Elastic waist. Things I don’t have to adjust and won’t fall down,  if it’s a one piece even better (“except for the peeing part,” piped in Emma).

Emily: Whatever is the opposite of tight and loud.

Erin: Jeans and oversized sweaters since 1992!

Sondra: Men’s Uniqlo slim-fit chinos and sleeveless shirts that show my tattoos.

Roxanne: Jeans and a sweatshirt. My favorite t-shirt says “Groovy” on it. Because… I’m groovy.

Anjali: The guiding principle of my life is every Sandra Bullock outfit in While You Were Sleeping

Sarah: Give me a dress and I am happy. They’re nice and breathable. I only have to pick out one thing instead of two, which means there is more space in my brain for other things.

Jen: Minimal shoes, not restrictive. Texture and touch means a lot to me. A neckline that feels good depending on what I’m doing.

Lydia: Less clothes is better, little 90’s dresses are my favorite.

Krista:  A cotton-silk jersey dress with a fitted a-line silhouette cut on the bias worn on a warm day is pretty much perfection for me.

As you can see, there’s lots of ways to do this thing. The etymology of comfort comes from an Old English word, frofor, meaning “a state of enjoyment resulting from satisfaction of bodily wants and freedom from anxiety.” So if six inch heels or sparkly tights or a unicorn costume feels like freedom from anxiety for you, I’m 100% for it.

Why is this important? Because prioritizing your own comfort means taking agency and owning your body. It means asking yourself instead of anyone else: What do I feel good in? What do I want to wear?

Personally, I want to wear something I can break out and dance in in the middle of the day in. I want to wear clothes that are breathable and don’t make me wonder every moment of every meal if my body has changed shape (which obviously it has, because our bodies are supposed to).

So here’s three cheers for drop-crotch pants and all other items of clothes that allow us to dance, grow, play, breathe a little easier, and move through the world 100% in our bodies.

As for my answer?

Two words. Jump. Suit.

Writing by Raisa Imogen

Raisa Imogen was born in Portland, OR, grew up in Chicago, and currently lives in Queens. She is the co-founder of Siren Magazine. Her poetry and other work can be found at www.raisaimogen.net.

Illustration by Krista Dragomer

Krista Dragomer is an Ohio-born mixed media artist living and working in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Her work can be seen at www.kristadragomer.com