Yeah, I'm wearing khakis. Come at me, bro.

March 28, 2012|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

“Let me ask you a question. Are you a teacher?”

It was a Sunday night at a Clark Street bar. One of those a friend-of-a-friend-knows-the-owner situations. I turned my head to the baseball-capped fashion police.

“Because if you want me to be honest, you’re wearing mom pants.”

I glanced down at my khakis. Baggy. Rolled up to my ankles.

Well, crap.

I’d thrown on the beat-up, oversized pants with a T-shirt that morning thinking, “It’s Sunday.” Not “Man, I’ve gotta be sure I’m looking right for a Wrigleyville bar later tonight.”

Because no one should ever think that.

I got a similarly judgmental look when I ended up at Bonny’s in Logan Square the night of my 25th birthday wearing a sequined dress that screamed “That isn’t vintage!” If only I’d been wearing my mom pants then. Wouldn’t have gotten a second glance.

But that’s not the point. I didn’t get dressed for the guy at the bar in Wrigleyville. I wasn’t wearing the sequined dress or the khakis to impress anyone, or to stand out and rebel. I was wearing them because I felt comfortable and (unless you’re reading this from some kind of sand-infested bar while on spring break) you have to be wearing some sort of clothing to be allowed into a drinking establishment.

Maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe I go out so many nights that dressing up for every single one would be exhausting. But I just can’t get behind the idea that drinking always means going all out with the hair, makeup and outfit.

There’s a time (Saturday night) and a place (where drinks are $12-plus) to do something special. But that time will never be Sunday night on Clark Street. Or Thursday night at any sports bar anywhere. Or day-drinking in general.

Ladies and bros, do yourselves a favor and just take it down a notch. It’s a hard life out there with a lot of people to impress. We all need a break, and sometimes, zero thought should be given to what you’re wearing out.

That means leaving your heels, vests, blowouts, fake eyelashes, cardigans and vintage clutches at home when you head to the sports bar on a Sunday night. Or, at the very least, not passing drunken judgment on those who do. Relax. Have a beer. It’s just a bar.

Emily Van Zandt is a RedEye reporter. She would like to thank the guy who was offended by her pants for the round of drinks he was shamed into purchasing for her table. @redeyedrinks

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