In pursuit of the perfect playa pant

I have a lot of weird hangups regarding clothes. I don’t like wearing skirts, even though I love the way they look, because my legs rub together and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like wearing synthetic fabrics. I can’t stand it when clothes ride up and otherwise don’t stay in place. And I really loathe clothes that aren’t comfortable.

At Burning Man, all of these things are amplified by the sun, the heat, and the dust. While most people are out there wearing the zaniest, prettiest garments they can dream up, I dread the act of clothing myself. I can’t stand sunscreen so skimpy clothes are right out, but heavy clothes are also untenable due to the unrelenting heat. Anything itchy or synthetic is a terrible idea, as are things that are tight and un-stretchy (heat rash!). Garments more delicate than a typical cotton t-shirt are going to get destroyed (or at least relegated to playa-only wear). But of course, wearing typical street clothes is BO-RING. What’s a picky gal like me to do?

I aimed to make some pants that were super comfy and protected me from the sun but still looked reasonably good. I used some fold-top pajama pants that I had on hand as a pattern. The fabric is most divine: a wonderfully drapey organic bamboo jersey that I found at Stone Mountain and Daughter. Stone Mountain, by the way, is an amazing sewing resource in Berkeley. Even thought I live in San Francisco, I still make regular pilgrimages across the bay for my Stone Mountain fix.

The most comfy pants ever

Ultimately, I’m not sure I like the way they turned out. They are absolutely the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn, and are great for wearing in the desert weather… but they are pretty “blah” in terms of the way they look. Turns out when you make a pattern from pajama pants, the result looks like pajama pants! I also don’t feel the final product does the fabric justice.

The most comfy pants ever

Maybe if I add some more interesting details – embroidery? appliques? – and some shaping, and if I finish the bottom hem in a reasonable fashion, they’ll look better. In the meantime they’ve been relegated to wearing on the couch at home while watching movies.

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