FIGHT THE PANTRIARCHY
Yep, my first entry is going to be about pants. You might not realize that this is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our time. Buckle up because I’m about to fucking solve it.
You see, uniforms are not made with women in mind. Remember those school uniforms where your options were a jumper or a weirdly pleated skirt? No damn way any iteration of a female had anything to do with that.
EMS shirts are cotton collared and offered in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL. They don’t even specify that it’s mens sizing. Y’all, I’m a small apple shape. Good luck finding a shirt that fits boobs and doesn’t swallow you whole or could double as maternity wear. For my clinical shirt, I ordered a size MEDIUM because that is the size I ALWAYS order. The sleeves go to my elbow and the shirt halfway down my thighs. Had to learn theoretical physics to figure out how to tuck it in.
Shirts aren’t the problem here, as you aren’t exactly spoiled for choice and have to make do. Nah, it’s the pants. It’s up to you to find pants, but here’s the deal - they have to fit very certain criteria.
- “Uniform” or “work” style in black or navy (What does this mean? At my last job this meant pantsuits from Ann Taylor)
- As many pockets as possible, preferably cargo (Even expensive women’s pants have fake pockets and it’s a worldwide damn issue)
- Around the kind of price point where you won’t be devastated if they get covered in any number of bodily fluids and just need to be burned OR expensive enough to repel said fluids and last forever (I spent years determining my favorite place to buy jeans and they ain’t cheap. This is gonna be impossible)
- Must have belt loops (Same issue as pockets)
- No one specified if they have to go over or if they can be tucked into the massive tactical boots (I’m not asking in case I don’t like the answer)
- As a young woman entering a field that is still run entirely by men, not risking the chance that I do something slightly out of the ordinary and piss someone off enough to criticize the pants that I’ll probably spend ONE HUNDRED YEARS finding. (This I’ve already done, just not about pants. My chances are not good.)
Their suggestion? Dickies.
Look, this isn’t about style, it’s about pants that won’t immediately fall right off of me if I bend over. Dickies has “women’s” pants, but I’m just not sure of which cylindrically-shaped woman they were thinking.
So I did what any good Gen Y/Millennial knows to do and I got to Googling. Turns out nobody else knows either - on forums, on companies that cater to EMS (you guessed it - they make women’s pants that are just men’s pants in confusing sizes), and searching “women’s cargo pant” basically gets you JNCOs or military fatigues. I wished someone had put together a list...
HOWEVER, MY GOOD COMPATRIOTS, I have found an answer. I am going to do something no one else on the internet has ever done. It’s true. I have found you…PANTS. Women’s pants, comfy pants, pants of different price ranges, and all MORE THAN ONE EXAMPLE OF EACH. I shall share some of the credit with the internets, my one true lord and savior. Links and pictures to follow, because I am benevolent and I love you.
The first and foremost life-saving company (and where I just bought my pants) is called Jaanuu. The pants are relatively affordable (this is the mid-price option) and made with medical professionals in mind - anti-microbial, acceptable work material, lots of pockets, etc. The company is targeted towards hospital employees and tbh I didn't look at anything but the pants, but they have several styles of many-pocketed leg sleeves as well as a dedicated collection of plus sizes. The three that checked the most boxes to follow:
The Straight Leg Cargo Pants (listed first because at the time of writing these are on sale!)
If you want to go to the highest rated group of pants, 5.11 gotchu. I did shell out for a pair of their boots and I LOVE them. They're well known for premier products directly tailored for the EMS world. These are not cheap. Most of the reviews say that they last for quite a long time - 6mos to a year. I can't speak to that because I am currently the opposite of moneybags so holler at me if you know. These three seemed the best options (I mean, one is NAMED the EMS Pant):
Thirdly, for the most affordable option, Amazon saves the day. I’ll let you in on a secret that sounds real dumb. After a full day of trying different search phrases to try to get somewhere close, I found “women cargo jegging.” Yup. Jeggings don’t come with cargo pockets but somehow that search phrase gets you to some cheapo pocketed stretchy cargo pants.
Behold, choice numero uno: 6 1/2 pockets (the 1/2 is that lil change pocket inside one of the front pockets), snap cargo pockets, stretchy. *These are absolutely my go-to pants.* This picture is a tiny bit misleading as these pants seem to fit the model extremely tightly. They're stretchy, but they're not insane.
Numero dos: These were not nearly as flattering on me as the ones above, but people come in all shapes. Not as stretchy, wider legs, 4 pockets (all zippers are fake).
The lovely thing about Amazon is that you can go to any of the above links, scroll down, and find similar products if none of these are for you. As I said, all hail Amazon.
AS A BONUS here is a watch I found as well! It’s perfect and comes in approximately a million colors.
All right, no one should ever write this much about pants, so I’m out. Happy hunting.