I wear skorts. This is not something I thought I’d ever be doing after I left 8th grade, never mind proudly admitting to (and I am so very proud), but I do. I am not a tennis player, golfer or physical education coach – all people who have a legitimate reason to wear skorts – but I wear them constantly, and I love it. I realize that this shorts/skirt combo is the equivalent of wearing a mullet on my lower half. The skirt is my party on the outside, all business underneath with my shorts, but you know what? I just don’t care. Or I do. Kind of. But before you rush to fashion judgment, let me explain.
We live in a gorgeous, beautiful, breathtaking environment. Like seriously beautiful.
But this little piece of paradise can, at times, be extremely inhospitable. We live on a narrow strip of beach that the jungle and the ocean are constantly fighting over and trying to take back. There is sand, so much sand that gets everywhere. On our floors, on our bodies, in our beds and on our dogs who have no problems spreading it everywhere they go. There is wind that, while a welcome cooling mechanism, can also blow that sand around, a hat right off your head or your skirt right up. There is heavy, humid, salty air and there is also the sun. Oh god that sun that can make it hot. So very, very hot. And I don’t know about you all, but when we get hot we sweat. A lot. And yet if the sun’s not out, that can mean rain. Sometimes we see the storm coming in across the water and know to step inside, but I have also been caught in more than one surprise shower leaving me, and my clothes, a wet, hot mess.
In addition to the challenges of our daily environment, our days here in paradise are often completely unpredictable. I mean we can try to plan for what we want to do on any given day, but the actuality of us accomplishing everything we set out to can often be slim to none. We work online so sitting in front of a computer is obviously not strenuous, although you’d be surprised how easy it is to break a sweat sometimes just typing (did I mention it’s hot here right now?).
But on top of working at our computers our day might entail adding water to the solar batteries or checking on the generator or hauling heavy garrafons of water or sweeping up massive piles of sand and dog hair or hanging our laundry to dry in the flapping wind. Or maybe we just want to take a break from sitting and staring at a computer for a few minutes so Jason will grab his fishing rod and cast for a few minutes or I decide to take a beach walk with the dogs. Constantly changing clothes or spending time trying to decide if the wind is strong enough to flip my skirt up and give the dogs a view of my backside isn’t practical. So instead we have become victims of function over fashion when it comes to our clothing. We look for clothes that provide some kind of relief from the heat, protects us from the elements and must also be very functional. Moisture-wicking, breathable, quick dry fabrics? Bring it.
Which means most days Jason’s choice of attire is a pair of swim trunks – shirt is optional. If affords him the freedom of sitting at the table building a website or working on things around the property, and as soon as he sees a fish he is out the door and in the water.
You know what else he wears every single day? Crocs. He calls them his “Swamp Jordans” but trust me, they’re just ugly old Crocs. I married a man who wears swim trunks and crocs (sorry ladies, he’s taken) every day. I mean it’s not like he was a sartorial genius when we met, but the guy had a unique sense of style that didn’t involve crocs. And now he wears them all the time, not just for when he has a demanding job that requires him to be on his feet all day (because web designers really don’t have that kind of job). Instead he wears them all the time because they make sense here. Between concrete floors that are hard on your feet, sand, surf and everything else that might creep into your shoes, well crocs are the functional, albeit not necessarily fashionable, choice. They are comfortable, breathable and durable – immune to the tropical elements which can destroy everything else. He is such a croc advocate for beach living that he might have even convinced me to pick up a pair of my own. Maybe.
So we’ve moved into this mode of dressing for what is going on around us, or might be going on around us. It’s not cheap to dress this way and a lot of these things aren’t easily found in Mexico so it’s a slow process to convert our wardrobes.
But, and this is a big but, I don’t want it to seem like we have totally given up on trying to be presentable to the public, because we haven’t. This is where I want you to know that I still care. I don’t want to look like a sloth. I still have a desire to look nice. Yes, function comes first these days, but if I can be semi-fashionable on the outside while still taking care of business underneath? Sign me up.
Which leads me to my skorts. Between the gusts of wind, the bending, the sweeping, and everything else that my days can bring, well a skort is the obvious choice. I can go from eating at a restaurant in town (while not feeling like I look like a homeless person) to scrubbing up an unexpected septic water leak. I mean, if we ever meet up in real life you will have no idea if I’m wearing just a skirt or rocking a skort (ahem, no peeking) and that is incredibly awesome and ingenious. It gives me hope that you’ll invite us over for dinner, or at least agree to be seen with me in public.
And apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way about skorts because when I started looking around for them I found out they look nothing like what I remember from 8th grade. There are some cute, fun and fashionable choices out there and since we have no plans to leave this paradise, I’m on a mission to have them all. Well not all of them, because apparently skort making is a lucrative business, those things can be expensive. But maybe add a few more to my collection. So I’m learning that you can have function, with a little bit of fashion and that once you go skort, you never go back. Crocs, however….