It probably won’t come as a surprise to you considering you’ve heard about my mother, the lady who owns a clothing store in my hometown, that in my life I have always been very aware of “the outfit.”
I mean, this woman was raised in a family of four girls and then went on to raise three herself, so it goes without saying that there have been countless hours spent filling and flinging clothes to and from closets, discussing what to wear for Christmas, for Thanksgiving, for a date, to a concert, to a wedding, to my wedding, to your wedding, to the beach, to the bar, to a baptism and everything in between.
There have been arguments and tantrums over denim skirts and borrowed shoes, a great deal of philosophy spent on the concept of accessories and where to get the right purse and plenty of time wondering why the hell my fashion forward mother let me wear leotards and tights for the majority of my third year here on earth.
So I won’t even mention the hair bows and this mortifying Pirate shirt…
As women we spend a lot of time standing in front of our closets, scratching our heads trying to piece together items in our wardrobe that will serve our purpose for who we need to be on that particular day.
Because in our daily lives, just as like our outfits, we rarely are asked to serve one purpose.
And while I can assume we can all appreciate fashion phases, I think even more than that women can appreciate clothes that actually work for them, not against them.
Maybe that’s why I liked leotards so much…the stretch…
Anyway, these self-imposed trends exist to remind us of the process we’ve gone through to grow on up into ourselves and find a way to present that self to the world.
These are the types of conversations I’ve had with my mother anyway.
The conversations with my dad? Well, they have always gone something like this:
“It’s cold out, you better wear layers, because when we get out there you can take things off, but you can’t put more on.”
And by out there, he meant, of course, wherever it was we were chasing cows or fixing fence or breaking down that day.
As a girl, and now a woman, out on the ranch, function trumps fashion, no questions asked. Even my mother appreciates this, although she’s been known to stand in shoes blistering her feet all night in the name of looking damn cute. And I can’t judge, because I’ve been there…but I can blame her for the blisters…
Anyway on the ranch if your feet ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy. Same goes with ears and hands. These are lessons learned through a few wrong choices made before an all day roundup in the chill of the fall air where there is nothing you can do about it but shut up and ride and take note that next time and every time you get your ass back out there you will wear:
1) Good gloves
2) Proper boots
3) A decent, weather appropriate hat
4) And the right pants…
Ugh, the infinite struggle of the pants.
I can’t tell you how many all-day wedgies I’ve endured throughout my life, convinced that they just don’t make pants for girls like me. Pants long enough to cover my boots, high enough in the waist to save everyone from the site of my crack, but not so high as to impose on my boobs and durable enough to save me from the embarrassment of blowing through the ass of not one, but TWO pairs of cheap jeans on a ride with world renowned horse trainer Craig Cameron.
Yes. This actually happened.
And then you know what happened after that? He offered me his Wranglers.
It was my last resort. There was another entire day to ride. I had to wear them.
And I’m not sure if that’s pretty awesome or pretty pathetic.
That’s been almost 10 years ago now and I still cringe…the same way I cringe at this unfortunate, but functional, look:
ANYWAY, a few years ago I met a woman who resides out in rural Montana who was annoyed with the idea that for years women had to fit their cute, curvaceous butts into men’s pants to get any work done. So she decided that if you can’t find what you need, maybe she should figure out a way to make them herself. So that’s what she did. She designed Red Ants Pants, durable work pants for women that celebrate our butts, hips and curves and the fact that not all of us are created equal in those departments.
As a girl who spent her childhood in boy Wranglers until I grew some curves of my own, I thought, well she’s on to something isn’t she?
And indeed she was. Founded in 2006, Red Ants Pants was the first company dedicated to making work clothes for women. It’s sort of hard to believe considering women have been working their asses off right alongside the men since the beginning of time, but that’s where we are here.
Thank the Good Lord for Sarah.
So to celebrate her dedication to keeping me and you wedgie-free while we get things done, I’m giving away a pair of Red Ants Pants to you, my hard working, sexy readers.
All you have to do to be in the running is leave a comment for me here, on my Facebook or Twitter pages. You know I love to hear your stories, so share them here about your favorite chore, the dirty work you’ve done in your life, or, if you want to make me feel better, a time when you ripped the butt out of your pants in front of a national celebrity.
I’ll give you some time to share. The winner will be announced next week Thursday, October 30th.
I can’t wait to hear your stories and get you in these pants!
Peace, Love and Work Girl!
You crack me up, Jessie! I wore my dad’s old jeans for years (the ones that were too small for him) because they worked and were long enough! While I’m not tall, most jeans are too short in the legs to cover boots (and look ridiculous) and I can’t take yanking up the back all the time to cover all that’s behind. It’s annoying! I’ve heard of Red Ants Pants but have never tried them. I will need to order a pair! I don’t think I’ve ever blown my pants out in front of a celebrity, so I can’t share a story like that with you. Other embarrassing moments, sure, but never involving a pair of pants! 🙂
I have issues with the new ultra-low cut pants. My husband tells me that one day when we were meeting with the principal, he got a glimpse of my (I thought) well hidden tattoo and underwear. Those pants went to a new home post haste. Good pants are a must.
Often when I listen to your lyrics or visit with you about ‘home’ I think we are soul sisters! Verified after this post ;). I did not know however, that you have literally ridden in CC’s pants! NICE! I want a pair of these sooo bad. The death of most of my work pants (which then get repurposed by my little sis into quilts) come from ‘the places the chaps don’t cover’. Usually by a barb on wire, a bull berry thorn snags, and then of course the obvious others you already talked about! If I fail to win a pair of these, I may have to consult with you and Beth on fit and style and order a pair online as I am still in search of that ‘perfect’ ranchin pant! Great blog! Thanks, your SS!
Well I grew up in eastern North Dakota, not too many cowboys or cowgirls out there. So my senior year in the mid-60s I moved to western North Dakota and experienced cowboy boots, cowboy hats and chaps. It was like “seriously are all these people from Texas or what?” So this cowboy asked me for a date and he wanted to go riding horse all day…..Trying to be impressive of course I said yes, even though I was scared to death of horses as I had only been on a horse for a few seconds and had gotten bucked off before my hindend was even totally in the saddle. I thought I can do this, I can ride a horse, I can impress this cowboy, God forbid it can’t be that difficult. JEANS, never owned a pair or even thought about wanting any so I decided to put on my pretty polyester turquoise “stirrup” pants with my pretty turquoise angora sweater. After all I had to be impressive on this date. So bright and early in the morning I am riding off into the sun on this big “cowboy date” with my polyester stirrup pants, angora sweater and my tennis shoes. I was pretty proud of myself faking this cowgirl image all day, after all I didn’t even fall off or eat dirt. I even yelled giddy-up and whoa-Nellie a few times with sort of a half-way smile on my face. If I remember right I think the horse’s name was Lightening or something like that but Nellie sounded better, made me feel safer up there in that saddle. We rode and we rode and I bounced and I bounced and then we rode and we rode some more and I bounced and I bounced some more the whole darn day. I was lagging behind a lot and I kind of noticed that I seemed to be bouncing more than him as I could not see daylight under him at all, but I was still in the saddle so I was cowgirling up. It was starting to get dark so we headed back to the corral to end my first horseback riding date. I did not dismount that horse I actually fell off that horse onto my knees and could not get up, nothing worked it was all numb, including the hindend that bounced all day. My legs would not hold me up and my knees were like rubber and there I Iayed, my beautiful turquoise angora sweater in the dirt. Cute, real cute. I think I laughed, I probably did, I have a habit of laughing in weird embarrassing situations, it is better than crying in weird embarrassing situations. When the numbness wore off some he helped me up like a good cowboy would and I was brushing off my turquoise stirrup pants trying to be nonchalant about it all and realized the backend was about totally missing. Yupper there was not a half a spool of thread left in the backend of those polyester pants from bouncing all the darn day. Ok the laughing stopped wondering how I was going to get home without turning around. Darn I missed those pants. Now I knew why cowgirls wear jeans…….Oh and just a little FYI he did marry me later……………..
Oh my gosh! I was wondering if he ended up as your hubby in the end! I bet you were a hot sexy mess of turqouise laying there in that dirt…bwahahah!
As a girl who, unfortunately, grew up with pants that were never long enough because of her long legs, I learned early in life the difference between “work” jeans and “good” jeans… Usually my good jeans were long enough! I always worked next to my father, not on the ranch, but mechanicing, going on road trips to pick up scrap and hides for our family business, and cutting steel in the steel shed at work. I always was a country girl at heart, but never got a real taste of “Country Living” until I married my husband and we bought a little abandoned farmstead in the middle of nowhere, Keene, North Dakota. One story that really sticks out in my mind was my first fencing experience with my dear Hubby…
It was November… yep, great time to fence… the weekend before Thanksgiving. Hubby’s uncle wanted to turn cows into the pasture that surrounded our new home, that we were not yet living in, but working on to move into in the spring. So there we were… a post pounder, an old 4-wheeler that we could run our wire, and my brother in law’s Bobcat to dig post holes with, a shovel, and a very heavy bar that I would later learn to hate! Everything was going great! I grew up working next to a hardworking man, and enjoyed my moments with my Hubby working next to him. We pulled out all the old fence and posts on that cloudy, chilly, flurry, snowy day. Next, Hubby decided on the exact place we would start the “fencing process” by setting our first corner post. No problem thanks to my dear brother in law’s Bobcat that dug the hole perfectly and so quick! “Easy peasy!” I thought. Hubby threw the large wood post in the hole and handed me this big, heavy bar. He explained he would shovel, and I was to pound, or “tamp,” the dirt solid as he did. My thoughts were “Sounds simple enough, no big deal! Maybe I’ll even get some exercise…” And that I did. I have never had upper body strength… NEVER… and about 3 minutes into pounding and shoveling, I stopped, looked at my Hubby, and proclaimed on the top of my lungs:
“THIS IS THE STUPIDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY WHOLE LIFE!”
About 5 minutes after that I believe I threw the bar on the ground, threw a childlike tantrum, and gladly took the shovel from my Hubby, who proceeded to tamp the pole in while I pushed dirt in for him. I can say not my best moment at all! But we proceeded to finish the fence… I even pounded the steel posts in… I just stayed away from that darn bar!
That night when we met up with family, Jake was laughing and telling about my experience with the tamping bar. My brother in law chimed in asking why he didn’t grab the hydraulic tamper when he picked up the Bobcat… I could have cried! Hubby proclaimed that he thought it would be a good idea for me to learn the “hard way.”
Long story short, and lesson learned on Hubby’s end, don’t leave home without the hydraulic tamper!
OK, I don’t have a great story like all of these ladies above, but I will say that I once tried to get up on my horse in skinny jeans—-and I mean skin tight skinny jeans, but they had stretch material…so I thought I was ok! And as soon as I lifted my leg to swing up, the crotch seam totally disassembled itself. Had to do the walk of shame not only by myself, but with my horse back from the arena into the barn—untack, and later figure out why the hell I had thought that was a good idea. Wonder what my gelding was thinking that day…. Never knew these pants existed! I am plenty sure someone can use them more than I can, but hey! Why not.
We have a dairy farm in Ohio. I often buy cheap used pants from second hand stores because I know they’re just going to get stained. I have a hard time buying “nice pants” for the barn and they aren’t cut right for work. I had a not so lady like moment while helping the vet pull a calf and heard that cringe worthy rip as the butt and crotch of my thin jeans gave way… He found it hilarious, I found it mortifying!
Gah! I would love to try these pants. I have a total lack of thigh gap. I am a very slender woman but I have thighs and without a doubt, I will wear a hole in the crotch first on all my pants. And then I keep wearing them until I blow the butt out in them. And yes, I am totally guilty of buying cheap jeans but I just can’t seem to make a pair of $60 jeans last any longer than a $15 pair. And girl, don’t even get me started on day long wedgies……
Love reading your posts. I have worn about every type of jean. I am 5’2″, a little curvy. I have a hard time finding pants to fit. My favorite used to be my sons hand me downs. Mind you, I would of already spent hours patching and patching yep and patching. They were well worn, turning white in areas, soft. And way too long!! My son being 6’1″. I loved them!! With boots, Spurs, the extra length didn’t seem to be an issue. Till that day, when we were all out fencing. Barely did I touch the barb. And rip, all the way down. Mom fully exposed. White legs, non-shaved and all. Yes, even in our mid 50’s we need these pants!!!!
I don’t have a great story like some of these other ladies, but the struggle is real! I work on antique tractors with my dad and hubby and I’m “showing off” my butt crack or having some other malfunction all the time. I’d never heard of Red Ants Pants and I’m really intrigued!
Reblogged this on tanyafyfe and commented:
Sharing a wonderful story from a wonderful young woman who we got to watch grow up a few years when we all lived in Watford City together. I will attest to her mother’s wonderful sense of style and the girls’ penchant for all-things-horsey. This is her beautiful blog and a great story to tell.
Hey, Jessie… just reblogged this onto my site. Hope that’s okay. Your story is pretty funny and accurate. The fact your mom finally owns a clothing store brings everything around, full circle. I’m a lot like her and a bit like you so I try to combine my sense of style… I have light pink Carharts. Yes, they make them! I don’t know if the ND farmers thought much of me leaping out of the one ton Ram at 3 in the morning wearing those and my red rubber boots with yellow bumblebees on them. Wearing makeup. Or goodness, at least mascara! Trying to reconcile my veterinary profession with my showgirl past makes for one strange-looking closet. At least everything in it is color coordinated…. I enjoy reading your words. Keep it up, Kiddo!
Would love to win. Am 78 years old, still ride my horse. My husband of 58 years, 80 years, can outwork anybody. We live in the country, have a big garden every year, sell our premium hay to racehorse owners. I know I will be old someday, but not today. Love your blog.
Being a tall and curvy girl, pants/jeans are tough to find. As for work pants, forget it. We dairy in WI. I usually end up wearing men’s work pants or these really awful men’s uniform work pants. Bringing sexy down to a new low level! I am going to look into Red Ants for certain!
Hahaha! My horse once ran me into a tree right in front of Craig Cameron! …right after I said something smart about North Dakota being my native land. He never stopped calling me “Native Land Chick.”
Ive blown my pants out while out in a field banding calves. its was 20 below and i couldnt stop in the middle of work so i had to deal. My booty was cold and chapped after that.
You have a wonderful gift for writing! I grew up on a cattle farm, married a farmer/rancher and work full-time in town. I always say I have two lives – my city/work life and my farm life. There are times that I help my husband working cattle, moving cattle, etc. My typical work jeans are jeans that no longer make the cut for wearing them to town. It would be fun to win a pair of “real” work jeans!
I’m the queen of wearing jeans with holes in the inside of the thighs. It happens because it’s so hard for me to find pants that fit well (I’m short with big hips and thighs) and when I do I wear them til the breeze finds its way into my underwear….and then I wear them some more. This is the only instance where the ridiculous “thigh gap” might actually come in handy…because it means I wouldn’t have to spend money on jeans. Course if I hadn’t spent 6 years in college I might actually be able to afford new pants! But on a side note I’ve never managed to go through 2 pairs of pants in front of a famous person. I did recently put on a pair of coveralls in a pig barn and halfway through the day realized I had been showing my ass and other parts off to like 10 guys every time I climbed in and out of pens…oops. Now I obsessively check for holes before I put clothes on haha.
Yes to making pants long enough, and able to corral my expanding middle!
Some really great, entertaining stories here! My only jeans story is a bit embarrassing. Not my finest hour for sure. I grew up the second oldest in a family with four kids. My older sister and I were always very close and only 16 months apart (to the day) in age. We were best friends all of our childhood and shared (almost) everything, including a bedroom. That said, we were completely different sizes, shapes and personalities, which was obvious by our choice of clothing. My sister was a very feminine and petite clothes horse who liked all the latest styles. The more frilly and cute the better. I, on the other hand, was an athletically built Tomboy who never wore dresses (if I could help it) and lived in old hand-me-down sweaters and jeans. Given our difference in size and taste, my sister occasionally “borrowed” a few select garments of mine (mostly to dress down or to do the occasional barn chore), but once we reached our teens I never ever wore anything of hers. When we were in our mid-teens we went away together on a weekend ski trip. We both carefully packed our suitcase (yes, we even shared a suitcase!), choosing our clothes like we were going to meet the Queen or something. (I’m sure there were boys involved, but I don’t recall.) Back then people skied in jeans and wore long johns under them, so you needed at least one pair of jeans for the slopes that could accommodate the extra bulk of layers. Also, since the hems of your ski jeans would get wet, you wouldn’t want to wear your ski jeans after skiing. For that, you needed a second pair of jeans. So my sister and I both packed two pairs of jeans and topped our suitcase off with a plethora of sweaters and other accessories. The first day at the chalet my sister (who required a lengthy amount of mirror time every morning) showed up for breakfast dressed for the slopes in my “spare” pair of jeans! I was horrified. Not only was she stretching my favorite pair of jeans all out of shape by wearing them over her long johns, they were going to end up getting wet, leaving me pantless after skiing! I hissed my displeasure to her under my breath, insisting she return to our room at once and change into her own pair of ski jeans. She smiled demurely and fluffed me off as being overly reactive. I felt humiliated, and seethed at my sister all through breakfast. Finally the meal ended and we went back to our room to get the rest of our gear for the slopes. We were barely two steps into our room when I knocked my sister on her butt and literally ripped my jeans off her prone body. Since I generally go out of my way to avoid confrontation I’m not exactly proud of that moment, but I’d had enough of my sister pilfering my things. When my sister got over the shock and indignity she got up, put on her own jeans and we proceeded to have a great day on the slopes. I guess the moral of the story is: never get between a woman and her favorite pair of jeans!
would love to win these ! I don’t ride horses but I do a LOT of work and have blown out my share of jeans. We own an herb farm and most of the work is hand labor = from seeding to pulling it all out of the field at the end of the season. I’m tired of jeans that either fall down or keep me from breathing while I work. Also tired of patching knees. Thanks for your blog – I love it!
Its inspiring for me to find this blog today, for the last week I have been trying to once again, find Women’s Work pants and Women’s Work boots.. Seems like I hit a wall every time.. No one here in Vermont seems to sell all sizes and styles of “real work clothing,” for women who actually get dirty and work hard outside. They look at me like I’m a rare women to ask for such a simple thing. I look around the store and find shelves of what I’m looking for, but all for men. I run my own garden/landscape business and Honey bz. all by myself and just need tough work cloths… I’m not Wonder Women who seems to be able to kick ass wearing anything, wish I was. Honestly I have looked at Red Ants Pants for a long time, I admire what the business offers working women, I wish the prices were comparable to any good work pant, they just have been to expensive for me which has been a big bummer… Thanks for supporting hard working women with this giveaway..
I just want grown up women jeans. I’m a small framed 44 year old woman with a short waist ad hips. Lower rise pants work for me because they make my torso look longer, but I have the hardest time finding some that don’t have some sort of glittery bedazzled nonsense going on all over them. Or that aren’t TOO low waisted. And then there are the legs. Like you, I want them long enough to cover my boots, but just boot cut – not flare leg.
I used to do lots of dirty work but I would love these pants. I’ve heard so much about them. I would wear them to go hiking here in Northeast Tenn. It’s hard to find a pair of pants that fit my body shape, curvy but without a butt.
Hi, love your column and great pictures. I’ve been through a lot of wranglers. Grew out of most of them. Now I seem to be growing back into them. Please sign me up for the drawing.
Thanks for the laughter and fun!
Love this! I work on a professional trail crew and have recently resorted to wearing inordinately large work pants and suspenders in order to move around the way I need to while I’m felling trees, chopping blowdowns, and doing backcountry construction. I busted through the butt of a couple of pairs of Dickies (which is especially enjoyable when you are working in the backcountry and there are no backup pants until you hike out at the end of the week) last season before I started wearing clown-sized pants. I’ve been eyeing Red Ants Pants for a while now, and love the idea of women’s work pants. While working in the White Mountains, I’ve met some of the most hardworking women around and it’s crazy to think that most companies don’t think there is a market for women’s work pants.
It’s about time that we got to work our butts off in pants that our butts actually fit into!
Hi Jessie – first of all, I loved your story — many of us have been in one of those situations at some time or another. I grew up a city girl, always wishing I was a country girl. I married my best friend, a rancher, so I got my wish!! I to have gone through several pairs of ill-fitting jeans, and even tried to wear my husbands carharts (which never fit). In 2006 when Sarah opened her shop in our little town of White Sulphur Springs, my husband got me a pair for Christmas. I still wear them to this day — the only thing I’ve worn out on them are the bottoms of the pant legs. They get softer the more u wash & wear them, and I will still reach for my old pair over my newer pair all the time. If I could wear them to work (at my retail job) I’d wear them every day!! For those of you who don’t have a pair, all I can say is “Girl, what are you waiting for’??????” Thanks Jessie for believing in Sarah and offering to give away a pair of Red Ants Pants!!! For the rest of you, go online and check them out, or come to WSS and try them on — you’ll never wear your jeans much again.
We raise rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and hair sheep, along with a big garden. Needless to say, I don’t own a pair of shoes (dress shoes included) that don’t have poop on the bottoms somewhere. Pants. For really hard work, I resort to a pair of camo pants purchased at an army surplus store. THAT’s how bad it is. Would LOVE to own a pair of Red Ants Pants.
I don’t want the pants for me! I want to win them for my excellent Crew Leader Marchand. She is hard working, spends dozens of night in the field removing noxious weeds from the incredible Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, and she would be a rad recipient for a pair of Red Ants Pants!
Love your stories! My favorite work pants story happened about 15 years ago after a day of trail work in the White Mountains of NH. A little background..I talk with my hands, well, sometimes my whole body and on this afternoon back at the Trail’s Dept. offices in Pinkham Notch, cover head to toe in mud, I gave the Dickies french seam the ultimate test. Whatever the likely overdramatized tale from the trail it was, it involved me bending down to a crouch and POP went the french seam, the under seam and oops…the whole rear of my pants. There I stood, feeling the cool draft of embarrasment. I walked out backwards and we never spoke of it again. Another pair of work pants bites the dust…one of many.
New to your blog today, Jessie..via Pinke Post,..& love what I’m finding! I’m not a curvy girl– exactly the opposite. It brings its own set of challenges though. Pants either fit in the waist, or the hips,.. not both. And the thighs? I’ve never ripped out the seam in the butt of a pair of pants before,…but the crotch & thighs? Let’s just say, that having no other option than to wear said pair of pants for the rest of the day leads to grain dust from the combine in places it was never meant to be! Would love to try a pair of RAP’s!
I LOVE Red Ants Pants! So glad you do too. Probably one of my most embarrassing moments involving jeans didn’t involve a national celebrity but did involve my FIL. I had a favorite pair of cinches; worn to perfection that fit like a glove. I had a feeling when I got dressed that morning I shouldn’t have put them on but instead of switching pants then I put them on and packed an extra pair in the pickup and away we went to brand that years calves. We got everything pushed in to the corrals from the pasture right off of the corrals and FIL had me leave the pickup I had been driving up against a gate so that it would stay shut. So I hopped on the front of the four-wheeler he was on and we took off for the alleyway to start working everything. I went to jump off but instead of a clean dismount my pants got caught on something in one of their perfect wear spots and I completely ripped the ass out of those jeans. I walked backwards pretty much the whole way from the top of that hill back to the pickup down in the yard to put my other pants on. And yes, dad was still on said four-wheeler during my graceful dismount. The day didn’t end there though. We use a table to cut and brand and many of the calves were small enough one person had to come around and hold the back legs so dad could more easily get where he needed. I took one too many sudden release shots on the crotch of my pants and when we walked into FIL & MIL’s house that night for supper those pants came off at the door and I wore mom’s sweats home.
Oh man…I have lots of ‘blown out pants’ stories but probably my most embarrassing one was back in my high school days. Our FFA chapter put on a rodeo for the whole high school to participate in and of course us ranch kids were all trying to show off our skillzzzz. 😉
Well long story short…during the barrel crawl race, I blew out my pants stepping down off my horse and my ass (and thankfully cute under britches) were hanging out as I crawled through the barrel and climbed back on my horse. The whole crowd was roaring with laughter and I was 80 shades of red! I didn’t win the race and I probably scarred many lives that day…including my own 😉
I’ve heard so many good things about Red Ants Pants but haven’t tried them yet! I hear such amazing things about what they do for the community too! Would love to put a pair of pants to the test on my farm and ranch here in the MT Bakken!
PS…Love all of your posts, Jessie!
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