They hang there, in dim reproach. Untouched, unloved, unwanted. How long has it been? A year at least, maybe more. Marie Kondo would not approve.
How I used to love those pants. I reach out a hand, lift their empty legs and run my fingers along their length. They were everything I wanted in a partner: a shade of not-quite-black that took me where I needed to go, an easy-care fabric — some miracle of synthetics with a lovely, fluid drop. Their cut was pure magic: tummy-flattening, leg-elongating. How gently they hugged my buttocks, how lovingly they caressed my thighs, celebrating their shape without revealing too much. Always with that tiny, forgiving bit of stretch.
We were good together, those pants and me. They made me feel somehow better than myself. They gave me confidence, got me through long days at work, dinners out and weekends away. They worked as hard as I did, dressing up and dressing down, mixing and matching. How glad I felt in their embrace.
Thank you for your service, I whisper.
We still love you, they whisper back. Try us on, just for old times’ sake.
How can I refuse a former flame? Down come my yoga pants, puddling at my ankles as I remove the trusty trousers from their hanger. A line of dust has gathered along the crease where they hung unloved for so long.
From the bygone days of my life-before wardrobe, I unearth my clothes brush. Dust, be gone! The pants sing and snap into shape as months of neglect vanish in a cloud.
I step first one leg, then the other, into my old friends. I pull them up and place my fingers around their zip. I tug.
Oh, the betrayal! Et tu, pants? How can it be?
Their formerly comfy waistband strains against the bulge of my middle, the zipper pinching as I force it up. The crotch hugs too close, producing the dreaded camel toe.
Dear pants! What has become of your forgiving stretch? Your elegant leg? I fear you have lost your powers.
It’s your own doing, they snarl. Now you see the result of stretch waists and Zoom calls and too many months of inertia. Yoga pants, pfft!
They are understandably bitter. I try to remember the last time we were together. Memory fails. They were replaced in lockdown by leggings, nay, even pyjama bottoms. Their crisp tailoring sacrificed for the freedom of stretch.
Somewhere over a year of virtual presence, my top-dressed, bottom-casual work wear has produced this tragedy of saddlebags. A wardrobe fail of epic proportion.
After denial comes anger, then remorse. The pants are right. It is my fault. They were faithful, always there when I needed them, not fussy about where we went or who we hooked up with. And what did I give them in return? All those years of service only to end up forgotten, in the lower echelons of my wardrobe.
Fear not, good pants, I vow, slipping them back on their hanger. We shall ride again. My resolve grows as I pull up the deceitful yoga pants. Tomorrow they will walk me back to the gym. Pyjama bottoms will be abandoned by my bedside each morning. I will dress for success once again.
A strange sound rips the air as I close the closet door. The pants just split their seams laughing.