Oh no… not these… scroll down one more photo to see The Ugly Pants.
Above is what I wished I could have worn the entire time I was in Scotland. (P.S. Any one else a Hamish MacBeth/Robert Carlyle fan? I’m standing in front of his house in Plockton, a.k.a. Loch Dubh).
Plockton is a cheery little fishing village right off of Loch Carron. Gorgeous. Charming. Again, home to my favorite fictional Scottish man. And most importantly, Plockton has paved streets and shops. This means no need to wear hiking boots, water resistant pants, and unflattering rain jackets.
In Plockton I got to wear my new Madewell jacket and skinny Madewell jeans, a heeled boot, and my much beloved Bottega Veneta.
Hiking the hills of the highlands I had to wear…THIS:
The image on the right is the more accurate expression of my sentiments towards this Ugly Pants outfit. I have on a fleece, a rain jacket, long underwear, woolly socks and water-proof hiking boots.
(Ahhh the sartorial trappings of a hiker).
And it gets worse. Those Ugly pants… zip off… at the thigh. Just above the knee (a.k.a. the region generally known as Sprawling Thigh Land). To improve matters, I suggest pulling up your woolly socks as high as they will go, as my bf did so helpfully for me in the photo below (he thought you should know the full extent of my fall from fashion grace):
Here is my deep dark secret, readers. Although I grimace at these photos now, I didn’t actually give a hoot what I looked like stomping around peat and heather on the rugged Scottish mountains. I mean, a passing sheep might give me a disparaging glance, but that probably had more to do with the fact that I was wearing one of their departed friends as socks (much appreciated, thank you).
Not only did I not care how I looked… I felt good. Great, even. I was warm and dry and could jump in puddles up to my ankles and not get a bit wet. I could scramble up steep sloping hills on my knees and down again on my bum, and didn’t have to worry about ruining a pair of jeans. And that rain jacket (thank you, Amelia!), is miraculous! Wearing it, you don’t get wet if it rains! What an idea.
When I last lived in Scotland, I wore a newsboy cap and a smart trench when it rained (as it tends to do in Scotland). My neck and hair got wet and the trench got heavy. Who knew people made real clothes to prevent just such occurrences?
Don’t get me wrong, I will still enter every REI with trepidation (“I don’t belong here” is usually emblazoned on my face), but I will now understand people who want to. And I will even understand why they choose to wear cargo pants that make a swish-swish-swish noise when they walk (in pants language they’re saying “I’m man-made and water-resistant. So eat it, cotton.”).
For the foreseeable future, my Ugly Pants will be retired to the bottom of my drawer, but the next time I have to pull them out to see the light of day, I will do so gleefully. It will mean that I’m going somewhere so fantastic, I won’t even care that I’m wearing zip-off- swishy trousers.