Cold Winds & Hot Pants


It's cold right now in Michigan. Legit cold--like, not just single digits in degrees F, but air temps in the negatives even without windchill. This was making me sad as I thought about my car with its aging diesel engine trying bravely to turn over while the fuel sludges through its veins...but then I remembered that it's finally cold enough to wear my Warmerest Pants, and I got all excited.

"What are your Warmerest Pants?" you might wonder. "And why aren't you working on the paper you're giving at that workshop at Princeton this weekend?"

I'm so glad you asked that first question! And I'm just going to pretend that you didn't ask the second question, because obviously I am working on that paper right now. It's a little known fact that Aquinas's views on sempiternity and temporal experience in the afterlife bear a direct relation to how I feel about pants that keep my buns warm in the winter. Plus, I clearly couldn't finish that paper if my legs were all cold and stuff, could I? These pants are practically writing my paper for me.

Anyway. My Warmerest Pants are that special article of clothing that every Northerner should own at least one of: that piece of your winter wardrobe that has never let you down. No matter the windchild, no matter the precipitation levels, these pants have always kept me warm. Capilene will come and go...layers are as layers do...but these pants are forever. That's why they get the comparative superlative.

Imagine a Snuggie:
snuggie (And can I just say I have yet to see someone wearing their snuggie on a plane as pictured on the side of the box, and that this strikes me as vaguely tragic?)

Now imagine a black bear:
black bear

(This bear is so winterproof that it spends most of the time snoozing it up in its cave.)

Now imagine that the Snuggie has mated with the black bear and had adorable cubs:
bear cubs

These cubs love your legs with a fierce protectiveness and snuggle them with devotion. They consider it their greatest pleasure to support your rear end and to guard it against any errant arctic blasts. They are plush and soft against your skin, and windproof and water resistant against the elements that seek to chill you. They are yours, and you are theirs.

Warmerest Pants are wildly unflattering. They are about an inch thick, and their idea of supporting your rear involves lots of padding it. But hey--that's my body's idea of how best to support my rear, too! And when it comes to warmth/comfort vs. flattery, I have always come down on the side of warmth and comfort. (I mean, ideally you go for a combination of comfy clothes that look good on you...but when push comes to shove, I'd rather be shoving in clothes I can pop in the laundry afterwards.)

So that's it: my reason to look forward to the coldest of the cold days. Ok, Pants--are you done with my paper yet?

Update: The people demand photos of the pants, and a link for these havens of warmth and comfort.

Fuzzy photographic evidence of their plush insides and weathered outsides:

plush

(That hand and those tiny feet belong to Seth, my 1.5 year-old nephew, who really wanted to be part of this photo.)

Super awkward photo of the back of the pants that also captures the pillow and nerf darts that Seth and I have been playing with.

hot pants

(I was tempted for go an ironic 'I'm so hot in these pants' photo that shows off their effect on my rear, but there's always the danger that one or more of you might think that I was being serious, and that's the last thing I need: "Feminist female philosopher posts unflattering booty photo and probably doesn't shave her legs, either!" Also, for the record, I don't.)

Sadly, I can't provide a link to the pants. I bought them several years ago from Title Nine (they were called the "Heat Wave" pants or something), and they don't carry them now--nor does Mountain Hardware appear to make them any more. Alas! This might be related to the fact that you can only wear them when it's under 5 degrees, because they're so warm. But that's their beauty! They are what stands between you and The Cold. (If you don't understand why The Cold needs to be capitalized, I'm guessing you haven't hung around many places when they get 30+ degrees below freezing.)

Take this post, then, as inspiration to go out and find your own Warmerest piece of clothing! Bun warmer skirts, triple-thick socks...it's out there. And it's waiting to love you until the cold breaks.


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Written by Christina Van Dyke
the academic world
philosophy professor at a liberal arts college, writing about medieval views on the afterlife, gendered eating, and the perils of on-line dating.

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