Early spring is a confusing time of year. I emerge from a spasmodic multi-month slumber, irises pale and photosensitive, lids crusted over, hips clicking, toes cracking, hair matted, and she is forced to go outdoors. In my own personal world, I am going outside to allow my dog to have some much needed him-time, which he can only do with my supervision, but sometimes, I’ll go buy a thing of pre-shelled pistachios, a Kit Kat, and half a pound of sliced swiss cheese.
Either way, we’re trapped in the confusing roil of the season. Doi-oi-oi– yeah, I’m wearing shorts inside my house because I was under a duvet for anywhere between three hours and three months, and yeah, it’s too cold outside to wear shorts, and yeah no, it’s not like I’m going to take those shorts off to put on something warmer. This is where a solution of mine comes into play: Big pants by the door.
Keeping a pair of big pants by the door solves all your indoor-outdoor living problems in a continental climate. I grew up in the southern-most reaches of the Upper Midwest and spent two years in Utah — both locales where the temperature can change 30 degrees between day and evening, especially if you’ve been napping under the covers to pass time during the afternoon. We’re only given so many hours on earth, and it’s important to be as still and comfortable as we can. The big pants by the door facilitate a seamless transition from one’s nook to the outside world, enveloped in comfort.
Some tips: Make sure your big pants by the door are large enough to slip on over what you’re already wearing. You’re never going to want to be in a bind where you have to remove the bottoms you’re already wearing to put on your big pants by the door. I think a pair four times larger than what you normally wear will do. They’ve got to be easy-come-easy-go, so they should have a drawstring. I haven’t experimented with tearaway pants and they might work for you, though it seems like too many snaps to fuss with every time you come and go.
I keep my big pants on a peg hanger next to my apartment door, on a horizontal coat-hanging rack. I paid a man named Danny who sometimes comes over to install this coat hanger for me, and he pulled off such a feat of stability that my coat rack can handle way more than just coats. It can handle a pair of big pants. Danny is serious about his work: his Venmo code is on the back of the shirt he always wears, which I thought was a “big pants by the door”-level genius hack for anyone doing gig work. I can give you his number in the form of a photo of the back of his tee shirt, because it’s also listed there, just above the code.
I was surprised by how few of my friends and confidantes were familiar with big pants by the door conceptually. Think of the use case for the big pants by the door like a coat for your legs, or maybe even like a pair of pants for your legs. I understand this makes me vulnerable to the Why wouldn’t you just change into normal pants line of questioning. I won’t entertain it. We both know smaller pants don’t feel as good or as warm as big ones. Plus the big pants? They’re right there, by the door.