Everlane Wide Leg Chino & Attending to Breath

 Details: T-shirt -  Universal Standard ; Pants - Lightweight Button-Fly Wide Leg Chino c/o  Everlane ; Shoes -  Everlane  (no longer available -  other colors ); Earring - Repeller
Details: T-shirt – Universal Standard ; Pants – Lightweight Button-Fly Wide Leg Chino c/o Everlane ; Shoes – Everlane (no longer available – other colors ); Earring – Repeller

When Everlane sent me their August press kit, I jumped at the chance to try these pants. Though cropped wide legs have been popular for awhile now, these full length pants reminded me of the various iterations of sailor pants I had in high school and college. I always felt amazing in them.

So I was surprised, at first, to feel unsure about these. For one, the size I originally requested, size 6, was too small, which forced me to face the fact that I am dealing with weight gain that isn’t just seasonal. Even though I’ve tried hard to exercise and pay attention to what I’m eating, it’s clear that my metabolism is not what it used to be.

I requested the next size up – the ones I’m wearing here – but the damage was already done. I associated these pants with weakness – with my inability to go back to the way things were – before a stressful move and drastic life change showed itself in my body.

But I tried them on anyway, and then I accessorized them. And then I photographed them. And you know what? I like the way I look in them. They’re a little outside of Everlane’s usual vibe and feel more office than cool-girl-about-town, but I think that’s what makes them feel special to me.

I don’t need to be a cool girl about town, at least not all the time. I am preparing for life in a professional environment, and working in one part-time right now.

What I need is to stop trying to prove myself to myself.

I had my first voice lesson on Saturday and my teacher told me that I have an issue where I overwork my jaw trying to get the right sound, when what I should be doing is staying attentive to my breath. I should let the breath do the work, letting it support the sound as it moves through my vocal cords.

I’m not surprised he noticed this, but I am surprised by how well it applies to the way I carry myself more generally. I am trying so hard to mold myself in the image of an unattainable ideal when what I need to do is pay attention, and let what’s inside of me pour out. This doesn’t mean acting without intention. To the contrary, it is intention done well.

My energy – my lung capacity as it were – is limited, and that means that what I have been doing performatively to prove that I am worthy is distracting me from the inner work. But it’s the measured, inner work that turns tiny voices into operatic ones, the ones that fill up auditoriums with beautiful, miraculous sound. It’s the inner work that keeps us alive.

These pants aren’t going to rise to the level of celebrity in my wardrobe, but, you know, they’re going to get the job done. And, with considered breath, I will, too.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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