Obnoxiously Bright Pants & Glass Houses

You may have seen some chatter on my twitter feed about an interesting incident I had yesterday afternoon with a duo of ladies. The incident was both ridiculous and shocking and really got me thinking. The result is a much longer outfit post than normal, so feel free to duck out after the outfit photos/details if you’re short on time or attention span! Blouse: Talbot’s (via Goodwill), Necklace: Straw Market in Naussa, “Obnoxiously Bright” Skinnies: PacSun, Bar Ring: Downtown Threads, Heels: Michael Antonio (via Endless)Yesterday two ladies in their early 30s picked the wrong place and time to talk smack about me/my outfit. It was the wrong time in the fact that I’d had a frustrating morning at work so I was already ready to snap on edge. I was running errands in downtown Burlington and had my earbuds in but my Pandora wasn’t loading so no music was playing… aka I could hear everything.

My ears perked up when I heard a female voice directly behind me say, “like those pants are just obnoxiously bright.” I immediately got that sinking feeling in my stomach, were they talking about me? After a quick scan I realized that I was indeed the subject of their chatter; which continued along the lines of, “… if you want attention that’s fine but nobody wants the kind of attention she’s attracting wearing those pants…”

99.2% of the time I would have just kept walking too embarrassed to say anything but I was already pissed hot under the collar so instead of being self-conscious I was furious. I whipped my headphone out and spun around to face these middle age mean girls head on. I was in platforms so I was literally looking down at them. I tipped my sunglasses down and gave them my best “who the hell do you think you are” look and their faces instantly changed. They knew they’d been caught and were as shocked as I was with what came out of my mouth next.

“Ladies if I were in your tennis shoes, I would be more concerned with finding jeans that fit over my muffin top* than worrying about what young girls are wearing.”

I flashed them my best “eat it” smile, popped my headphones back in, and continued on my way (with a spring in my step) before they even had time to process what had just happened. I’m not going to lie, it felt amazing to put these ladies in their place, and the fact that I managed to pull it off so smoothly made it even sweeter.

However when I recounted the story to D, I realized that while it felt amazing to put those mean girls in their place I was essentially no better than they were. Yes, I gave them a dose of their own medicine but like their comments about my pants my verbal assault on them was nothing more than a personal attack that didn’t address their bad behavior as much as it did their physical flaws.

I think 50 Cent put it best when he said, “…You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house , And if you got a glass jaw, you should watch your mouth…”

If this altercation taught me anything it’s that until we turn our critical eye inward and come to terms with our own flaws and faults we’ll always be looking over our shoulder wondering if the mean girls huddled in the corner are talking about us. So take it from me, unless you’re free of flaws stop and think before you point out the flaws in others. You never know who may be listening and ready to snap back.

Have you ever dealt with mean girls? How would you have handled this situation?

*I didn’t actually use the term muffin top when confronting these ladies. In the heat of the moment, and I’m not very proud of this, I used much cruder verbage (that may or may not rhyme with supa) and I apologize to anyone who was within earshot of my originally worded comment.

41 responses to “Obnoxiously Bright Pants & Glass Houses

  1. Have you ever seen You’ve Got Mail, where they talk about being able to say the exact thing you want to say in the moment, but later feeling really bad about it? That’s how I always feel. If and when I finally say what I want to say, then I usually feel really terrible afterwards. Sometimes I just want to say what I think without the guilt…but then I suppose I’d be mean all the time. : )

    P.S. I think the pants are great!

    • I hate to admit it Stephanie but I love “You’ve got Mail” and definitely can relate to this scene in particular. After the initial feeling of victory wore off I immediately felt bad for what I said and wished I could go back in time and really address what was going on instead of name call.

  2. OH MY GOD. Caitlin I love this post. I know you shouldn’t throw stones and all that, but sometimes, like you said, especially at your wits end, it feels AMAZING. (minus the guilt afterwards) I love that this post incorporated a 50 Cent quote, the (indirect) term of fupa, and an amazing outfit. Well done!!

    • Thank you Andrea, it did feel good to stand up for myself. The ladies in question were old enough to know better (and I’m with you, 50 cent quotes make any post instantly better!)

  3. From Andrea! 🙂

  4. Oh. My. God.
    You know me. If I had been there with you or it had happened to me, you know there would be a scene. A BIG scene. I probably would have said something WAY worse then would have regretted it. The best thing I can think of would be pointing out the blatant lack of class and respect these women had. I also would have pointed out our age differences and that as being me “elders”, they should be better role models for younger women like myself.
    Unfortunately for me, I get this sort of sentiment from people all the time because not only am I bold and take risks, I’m a size 18/20/22. I may be beautiful, but in this society, size usually trumps beauty. That being said, I’m not one to let it slide in the unforgiving world we live in.

    • I wish you had been there to witness it Aimee! I love your line about “elders”, classic! Wish I had thought of that. They weren’t old but they were definitely old enough to know that their behavior was deplorable. Thank you so much for all three of you beautiful comments. You’re a rare beauty yourself my dear, you have a presence that just lights up and commands every room you walk into.

  5. I just noticed the grammatical & spelling errors in my last comment. Sorry, I was just that mad!

  6. And Caitlin, you don’t need to wear the “obnoxiously” red pants to get attention. You’re a stunner and a rare beauty. You’re not a run-of-the-mill, looks like everyone else kind of girl. There you have it, haters.

  7. Yep. been there. I’ve been accused before of having a sliver-tipped tongue, and I’ve definitely used it in the wrong places at times. The sad thing about interactions like that one is that you were so in the right! They were being snarky and unkind and were building themselves up by tearing you down. I always wish in the aftermath of such a moment that I’d had my wits about me enough to calmly say, “I’m sorry that you’ve been so colonized by patriarchal, misogynistic, bullshit narratives about women’s bodies and female subjectivity that you’re attempting to raise yourself up by bringing me down, but just because I’m sorry for you doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still like it if you didn’t speak about me in that way.” But that? That’s just damn unlikely…

    • Martinalynne, you are a new hero. I wish I’d had you on speed dial when this incident occurred. You’re so right about the “misogynistic, bullshit narratives about women’s bodies and female subjectivity” that we’re constantly being fed. I hate to say it but a lot of the time I feel like women are holding each other back. If we spent more time celebrating each other instead of judging and tearing each other down for superficial BS reasons no man could hold us back.

      • I’m sure that, had I been there with you, the sitch would have been worse, because I would have made some “oh, hell no!” faces that would have helped no one :). But you’re right: as women, we need to make concerted efforts to not play into the misogynistic narratives that were built to keep us in our subordinated places. We can’t be agents of our own oppression!

  8. Love it! Sometimes you have to put people in their place. I totally condone it! Although, you said 30’s and middle age. That hurts my 31 year old feelings. 🙂

    • Haha Jess, you’re definitely way too young to be considered middle age (damn girl, you look good. I thought you were 26 max!)

  9. haha..you’re brilliant!
    Sometimes people need to be put in their place…and while they thought they were clever enough talking behind your back, at least you had the guts to say it to their face…so even if your words might not have been the best choice in hindsight, at least you owned them!! haha
    I kinda think that if people want to say rude things about people behind their back they should expect to get it back, to their face….hopefully that’ll be a lesson learned for them (not for you..haha..apparently I’m gaining too much pleasure from this story).
    Anyways those ladies are crazy…there’s nothing obnoxious about your pants, in a few months they’re going to be wishing they had the body to pull off bright pants!

    • You are too wonderful Natasha! Like I said in my post if those ladies had pulled that BS on any other day I most likely would have walked away embarrassed and probably too self-conscious to wear those pants ever again. I’m glad I was in such a feisty mood because your right if people are going to talk about you behind your back there should be some sort of expectation of face to face retribution.

  10. Out. STANDING. Whether you were put at their level or not, that is freaking FABULOUS and I would have done the same thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have days where we just need to talk smack back. *virtual high five girl* Aaaaaaaaand, clearly they thought you weren’t able to hear them and I wonder if they would have been so bold if your headphones were not in. Take some!

    I do not think your pants are obnoxious. I think they are fabulous. And so are you.

    • I love how feisty you are Frannie! *virtual high five back at ya*! I wondered the same thing about my headphones and have decided to try wearing them with no music playing when I’m walking downtown as a social experiment of sorts. I’ll let you know what I find!

  11. I am impressed with you for saying something to them. We all have those days, and hopefully they will think twice before being rude the next time.

    • Any other day I would have walked away embarrassed Becky, but luckily I was fired up and in a no BS kinda mood. I am sorry for personally attacking their outfits just like they attacked mine but hopefully this incident will cause them and me to think twice before saying rude things behind others backs.

  12. I don’t blame you for turning around and putting those women in their place…I probably would have done the same thing in the heat of the moment. I personally think those pants are awesome!

  13. Well, when you would have been the only one in the whole town wearing bright jeans… maybe, maybe not they might have a point with the attention thing… but seriously from all the crazy jeans colors outside there, this coral is nice on the eyes.
    As being above 30 by myself, I still shell-shock a bit, when I see people with jeans in neon yellow… not sure why this kind of yellow is too much for me (it somewhat seems to be the color version of a scratchy fingernail on a blackboard situation), but hey, I can just look somewhere else, that is possible ^_^ – Dorothea

  14. rocquelleislovely

    Good for you!! Though you probably could have handled it a bit differently, I think it great that you stood up to the mean girls. I don’t think your pants are that bright, you look great, and I’m of the belief that people should say nothing if they have nothing nice to say!

  15. I appreciate your feeling bad about the incident afterwards, but I think you’ve done what we’ve all wanted to at one time or another. I know an eye for an eye is no way to live, but damnit if sometimes you don’t want to take a bitches eye for talkin’ shit.

    Also, they’re clearly idiots as well as mean girls, because you look amazing.

    • Haha Gracey your comment made my weekend! Thank you so much for understanding my desire to verbally unload on these ladies!

  16. I love your honesty. It’s one of the reasons I love your blog so much. I never have the balls (literal or figurative, as it were) to respond in situations like that, so I’m just proud of you for being braver than I am. Those girls probably felt worse about getting caught than about what you said, so I wouldn’t fret over it too much if I were you!

    • Thank you for your constant support Catherine. Wore Out wouldn’t be the same without you! Like it mentioned in my post, 99% of the time I would have just kept walking but since I was already worked up into a tizzy I just sort of snapped. I know I took a lot away from the whole incident so hopefully those ladies did as well.

  17. I think your pants are fabulously loud and obnoxious and I love them! And sometimes you just gotta say what’s in your head…I’m certain they probably thought twice the next time they wanted to comment on what they percieved to be someone elses fashion flaws…
    great post!

    • Thank you for your comments J. I hope my outburst caused them to think twice before saying rude things behind others backs, it’s definitely impacted how I look at others.

  18. Wow, I’m actually kind of proud of you. Good for you for standing up for yourself.

  19. Those pants are freaking fabulous, so screw them! You look amazing, and I loooove your hair like that.


  20. This is hilarious. Can’t believe I haven’t been reading your blog for so many months. Will have to add it back in to my daily list of things to read. Miss you CP!

    • I’m so glad you’re catching up with everything Kerry. We’ll have to catch up soon if you ever get yourself back to Burlington!

  21. Yeah everyone! Let’s put those middle aged frumpy fatties in their place for commenting on… the color of your… pants? Their comments are easy to shrug off because you can change your pants… but they cannot so easily change the way they look, if they even care about such petty things. -You- fed into the misogynistic pattern of belittling two women’s bodies.

    I think it’s important for someone to step away from this strange exercise in group think and say I am disappointed in you, Caitlin, and the support you’ve received for making such a demeaning comment. I agree with your right to address uninvited remarks, but the shallow words you are apparently proud of uttering (despite saying you feel bad) have led me to unsubscribe.

    • Someone has a bad case of taking themselves WAY too seriously! Obviously the subject of the color of Caitlin’s pants have so bothered you, just like the women she decided to stick up to. Maybe it’s a good thing you unsubscribed as you clearly don’t respect people who are true to themselves. Caitlin is a big girl and can handle her own, but that’s my girl. She, myself, and every other person in support of her, agree to the same tune… we don’t agree with conforming to any thinking as to what one should look like, nor do we agree on thinking or acting as people (like yourself) think we should think or act. As much as I respect your opinion, get the hell over yourself.

      • Aimee you’re a good women to have in my corner. The thing that most concerned me with this reader’s comment is that she came away from reading this post thinking I condone and support the belittling of other women’s bodies which is exactly the opposite of what I was trying to say in my original post. I felt that the uninvited comments those women made about my appearance were belittling and while perhaps I should have just shrugged them off I couldn’t just stand by and let these women who were old enough to know better get away with their bad behavior.

        Thank you so much for your support and keep rocking those fierce styles and stilettos!

      • I couldn’t reply to your comment to me below, so I’m just replying to this one. I agree with you 100%, Cait. In the heat of the moment, we can’t always step back and think, as it’s not in our nature. You’re a classy woman and it’s obvious from your fierce following.
        I have the quote, “don’t raise your voice, improve your argument” on my desk. You improved the original argument as well as this.

    • Kate, thank you for your comment. I am sorry that you were disappointed with the way I handled the situation I wrote about in ‘Obnoxously Bright Pants & Glass Houses’. Looking back on it now I realize I should have directly addressed the uninvited remarks and rude behavior rather than snapping back with a rude comment of my own. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment my temper got the best of me.

      The one thing I do want to make one thing 100% clear, is that my goal for sharing this story wasn’t to “put those middle age frumpy fatties in their place” or to condone “the misogynistic pattern of belittling two women’s bodies” but rather the opposite. Rude uninvited remarks like the ones the women made about me shouldn’t be tolerated and I see no reason why I should have to change the color of my pants or anything about myself for that matter to avoid snarky comments from women obviously old enough to know better.

      As I state in the last paragraph of my post if this altercation taught me anything it’s that until we turn our critical eye inward and come to terms with our own flaws and faults we’ll always be looking over our shoulder wondering if the mean girls huddled in the corner are talking about us.

      Again I am sorry that this post upset you and that you felt the need to unsubscribed to Wore Out as a result.

      – Caitlin

  22. Miss Cait – I can see you coming a mile away no matter what you’re wearing because you shame everyone around you with your amazing style. (Yes, I’ve creeper-stalked you from across Church St when I wasn’t close enough to say hello!) There are so may poorly dressed people in this city, I frequently (read: every day when I got out for lunch) wish I could nominate everyone walking around downtown for TLC’s What Not to Wear. Even though you regret what you said, I hope those women learned a lesson and will zip those lips the next time they want to talk some smack!

    Keep rocking those pants because they are gloriously awesome!

    • Thank you so much Meagan and I am so flattered you creeper stalk me! I think Burlington gets a bad rap for our fashion sense (or lack there of in some cases) when really there is quite a strong fashion culture. Keep rocking your fashionable threads Meg!

  23. Yeesh, you would think they’ve seen colored pants before? If not, I feel bad for them. Love the outfit, there is nothing obnoxious about bright colored pants anyway. Every girl should have some bright colorful pants.

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