After the pants was the afterpants
July 14, 2011 12:11 AM   Subscribe

What is the pants situation at your place?

My SO and I find it acceptable to come home from whatever and just go afterpants. After work, school, shopping, errands, dates, anytime we step in the door. Especially in the summer…even if we're wearing shorts. We've been doing this in some form since we started we're pretty much at 90-95% afterpants when we're at home...including our two toddlers.

We always wear pants when there are "outsiders" over, or when we need to answer the door. But yeah, we just came home from a museum, and everyone took off their pants. Couch looks like a family of pants.

Everyone's wearing shirts and even underwear…just no socks or pants. No nudity, but it isn't like we're comfortable going outside to the store like this.

Is this normal? Is this weird enough to be damaging to toddlers? Anything I should be worried about for the future? What is the pants situation at your place?
posted by hal_c_on to Society & Culture (110 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
I have done this forever. When it is cold I have housepants, and when I lived with roomies, I had a housedress, but yes, afterpants 4eva. I can imagine your kids having some awkward years in their teens though maybe?
posted by dame at 12:16 AM on July 14, 2011

I had to Google this to know what it was.

Not something I would do, but I'd say that as long as you're consistent about where and when being "pants-free" is acceptable, I can't see how your kids will end up having too much trouble. Unless they bring home a date unannounced when they get older, but that's great fuel for the 50th anniversary party....
posted by MShades at 12:18 AM on July 14, 2011

Seems perfectly fine to me. I quite often go out for a morning cigarette and coffee in my front yard wearing just my boxers, but then the neighborhood I live in contains a lot of people who look straight out of the 'diabolique' fashion show in Zoolander.

Just don't start keeping the socks on while shedding the pants. That's just wrong.
posted by mannequito at 12:18 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

wait, what is this afterpants thing?

I got this on UrbanDictionary (hehe):

1. The designated time of the evening in which everyone at the party is no longer wearing pants.

2. A sex bungalo of a DJ on CJMQ 88.9 radio.

posted by mannequito at 12:22 AM on July 14, 2011 [13 favorites]

I wear basketball or boxer shorts at home. Anything less, including briefs, in the company of others at home would be kinda weird.

The other benefit besides comfort is the thought of my "outdoor" pants having been on communal areas like bus seats or benches. I'm not a complete germ freak, but that would always be in the back of my mind. Although it's not as bad as shoes indoors, as previously discussed here.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:22 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is totally normal. No one likes wearing pants at home. If they do, make sure they are not space aliens. (They totally are)

Nudity isn't unusual to kids until we make it weird so... why would it be damaging? There's nothing wrong with the human body.

You do need to tell the delivery man to wait a minute while you put on pants though. That's a skill.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:23 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

I can't think of any way this would be damaging to children in the household, except perhaps awkwardness if they want to have friends over, or whenever they come to realize that it feels weird to see one's parents in underwear.

Personally, I have never heard of this practice before. However, upon coming home, I do like to take off my stiff pants and change into pants that are softer and looser. So I can understand it as something that makes you feel more comfortable and relaxed in the privacy of your home.
posted by datarose at 12:24 AM on July 14, 2011

I assume afterpants is how whenever I am at home, by myself, I am not wearing pants. Or a shirt. Definitely boxers though.

I can sum this up as one of my life mantras: Fuck pants.

(Life rules: Don't wake up on weekends before you want to, don't do things you don't want to, don't wear pants when relaxing by yourself)
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:25 AM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

I think it's weird.

I prefer to stay dressed, after I get dressed, until there is a reason to change.

This will not be the thing that damages your kids.

I'm picturing everyone rushing while undoing their belts as they are walking to the front door of the house.

Do what you want.

The internet has spoken.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:26 AM on July 14, 2011 [10 favorites]

This was often the case when I was growing up (in Hawaii). It's fine! The kids will be all right.

(Must wear pants inside now because it's cold here in the summer, and the winter too, and there is no central heating. Thus, pants.)
posted by rtha at 12:27 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

We have a collection of what we call "house shorts." These are shorts that are basically gym shorts; not pretty enough to wear out, but good enough to cover your business. I will admit to going totally pants-free if it gets hot enough. But otherwise, yes, the shoes come off, the socks come off, and the pants definitely come off.
posted by Gilbert at 12:27 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's totally normal. Or at least it is to me.
posted by mleigh at 12:30 AM on July 14, 2011

We do this...we call it "porky pigging".
posted by pearlybob at 12:35 AM on July 14, 2011 [63 favorites]

I have to vaguely dress up, and I have to wear suits when it's cool enough. We have a cat. She's white. Her fur seeks out my dark-colored suits and adheres to it with the forced of the damned.

I change clothes the second I get home. It's like the second or third thing I do, depending on what the world demands. The pants fall away, and my legs breathe free. It's like its own form of heaven, and I would smite anyone that told me different.

On the other hand, I would never depants in front of company, and would be disturbed if company decided to depants in my home.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:40 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is a bit weird to me. Not "omg damaging ur kids!!!" weird, just "huh, people are interesting and do things I don't" weird. My personal gut reaction is that it's a little bit slobby and gross, but I have no good reason to feel that way.

In our house we don't go around in underwear, largely because it's not that private, but we do have a huge collection of PJ pants and shorts that get worn all times of the day or night when it's just us and we want to be comfortable.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:41 AM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am, myself, a comfypants person, but tolerance and openmindedness require that I be your supportive ally in afterpantsness. Afterpantsphobia has no place in modern society.
posted by gingerest at 12:47 AM on July 14, 2011 [23 favorites]

I almost never wear pants at home. A lot of the time I don't wear a shirt either. However, I live alone. In college I lived in more than one house that was clothing optional.

I wonder how much of this is regional and/or generational? I live in Northern CA, and had a fairly hippie upbringing.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:48 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, that is weird.

Sheesh, bejezus, and furrfu, how can all of you not not know this is weird? Do you not own televisions? Did the Cleavers ever go afterpants? The Cosbys? The, uh, whatever families are on TV in New Zealand? Seriously, if it was normal, everybody on TV would be doing it.

It's the 21st Century. You need to know what normal is, turn on the TV and see what the never-wants-to-offend-anybody mass media is mirroring.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 12:49 AM on July 14, 2011 [11 favorites]

It's your home and family (who will all be fine, and nice and relaxed about clothes and bodies and stuff, which is good). It's normal. Do what you want.

However, story: when I was 10-ish and my parents were having their final interview to become foster parents, when my brother arrived for a weekend visit. He came in the back door not knowing the social services interviewer was there, took off everything but his boxer shorts (as he always did at home or at our home) in the kitchen, and strolled in. Mum had just been explaining what a grown-up professional he was. Interview got a bit chilly. So perhaps teach them to check for visitors first!
posted by dowcrag at 12:52 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I call it "pooh-bear"ing. Ever notice that you never see Pooh in pants? Just a shirt and some hunny.

Pooh has been a role model for decades, without ever donning a pair of pants. I think you are fine on this one.
posted by milqman at 1:07 AM on July 14, 2011 [10 favorites]

I did NOT know this was a thing. Maybe that's not an answer of great help except for WHA?? from an internet stranger. Who knows if it'll hurt your kids, but I'm thinking not. Unless you're only wearing never-nude denim shorts and we know where that leads.
posted by honey-barbara at 1:12 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't think it's a big deal at all. Sure, I love wearing pants - but in most situations, I feel much more comfortable and happy in the nude. I often strip off at home on hot days. That's fine in some situations, although it can be a bit of a shock to unwary housemates... but if you're wearing underwear, I can't imagine any decent objection.

Enjoy your pantsfree lifestyle, and don't let anybody tell you it's wrong!
posted by Ted Maul at 1:17 AM on July 14, 2011

A whole herd of my friends discovered that we basically had the same habit of coming home and going immediately to comfy pants in the evening, although for some people it's no pants. Including people with kids. The kids seem to be fine. If worried, however, pajama pants/capris/shorts are a generally good alternative that is more workable with occasional visitors and going outside to grab mail and whatnot.
posted by gracedissolved at 1:20 AM on July 14, 2011

Pants! No pants!

Mostly I come home and straight-away change into my pajama bottoms. But sometimes I get worried that being a good grown-up requires wearing pants ALL DAY LONG, and so I spend a week wearing my work clothes while I lie on the couch and read and inevitably dribble tea on something.

By the end of the week, when I've generally had to scrub one or two important pieces of clothing, I give up on the whole pants thing for a while--that is, until I get freaked out again that I am not being the proper sort of grown-up. As if adulthood couldn't be lived in pajama bottoms just as well as pants sometimes.
posted by colfax at 1:22 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

how can all of you not not know this is weird? Do you not own televisions?

The Middle (TV Series): Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck, athletic teenage son of Frankie and Mike, who can't be bothered to put on more than boxer shorts most of the time at home.

Nope, nothing wrong with pottering around the house in your stubbies. The kids won't be harmed until they get some fashion sense.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 1:23 AM on July 14, 2011

faster than a speeding bulette writes "Sheesh, bejezus, and furrfu, how can all of you not not know this is weird? Do you not own televisions? Did the Cleavers ever go afterpants? The Cosbys? The, uh, whatever families are on TV in New Zealand? Seriously, if it was normal, everybody on TV would be doing it."

TV is not a standard for normalcy. If it was we all wouldn't be here as you never see a baby being conceived on (broadcast) TV. You also never see people commenting on Metafilter for that matter.

To answer the question: Totally normal. Our house has a underwear must be worn minimum when it is just us and even that is kind of lax 10-15 minutes before or after a shower/bath. Historically we get a month of 30+ weather every year and at least a week of 35+ daily highs and we don't use our A/C (I'm not even sure the thing works). Wearing anything more than the minimum at those temperatures feels foolish.
posted by Mitheral at 1:30 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Perfectly completely normal.
posted by nightchrome at 1:39 AM on July 14, 2011

Spring/Summer/Fall: jersey shorts. Winter: Sweat pants.

Just, you know, for all season fire drill readiness.
posted by paulsc at 1:58 AM on July 14, 2011

Response by poster: Sheesh, bejezus, and furrfu, how can all of you not not know this is weird?

Yeah, this did not come from my wife's family, or even my family; both are pants-in-the-house type wearing families, so we know this is unusual.

But so what?

I just don't want to warp my kids' minds about something I haven't thought all the way through. And no, we don't walk around like this when ANYONE else is in our home.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:29 AM on July 14, 2011

Well, it's winter here, and it's cold - hence, pants.

But in summer (Australian summer = almost unbearably hot), I used to take off all my work clothes, down to my bra and my undies/knickers, the second that I shut the front door behind me, and then throw on a comfy t-shirt and lounge about in t-shirt and undies/knickers trying not to melt. But I lived alone.

If I had had flatmates who I wasn't romantically involved with, tshirt + shorts seems like the bare minimum to not make them feel uncomfortable.

These soft bamboo pants are very comfy
- "We believe that you can look stylish and put together, and still feel like you’re wearing your favourite pyjamas."
posted by Year of meteors at 2:49 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I once lived in an all-guy sharehouse where we set aside a day of the week during which it was a house rule that pants were not to be worn. I think we thought we were being mildly transgressive. That said a large part of the reason was to get to see the undies of the neighbourhood girls who'd occasionally drop around (not that that ever worked).
posted by chmmr at 2:54 AM on July 14, 2011

Just so I'm clear, afterpants = no pants?

I do indoor pants -- cheap pajama bottoms or sweat pants. Also indoor bra (soft, no underwire, doesn't work as well as outdoor bra.) I'm basically in an episode of Roseanne. I would wear grown up clothes to the store.

Mr. Llama, WASP as he is, keeps his pants/shorts on until it is time to go to bed. He only puts indoor pants on if he's sick or something, otherwise, he's always ready to open the door or go to the store.

So your entire family takes pants off and puts nothing else on? Okay. I don't think that's damaging to toddlers or yourselves or anyone else. It's your house, your time, and you want to be comfortable. The worst your kids are going to do is tell a therapist some day that everybody went pants-free in your house. And the therapist will go, 'That's it?' because if that's your scarred-for-life story you're doing pretty good overall.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:00 AM on July 14, 2011

Normal, we do this. When I was growing up, my parents both had "at-home clothes" which they would change into immediately when they got home - old faded t-shirts, gym shorts. Now my SO and I are strictly no-pants at home, to the point where when he's bringing a friend over after work the text I get isn't "Dave is coming over" it's "Pants! Hurryyy!"

Once we have kids who are old enough to be a little more discerning, we may do at-home shorts because underwear, well, can get a little... threadbare. Growing up, I never minded seeing underwear. I minded getting glimpses of hairs and, er, certain folds of skin. You aren't going to warp your kids minds because of underwear habits but because underwear is an unreliable and shifting boundary on the body - it scrunches, it gapes, it sags, etc. At some point no matter what you raise them to be comfortable with, they might develop squeamishness boundaries of their own, and at that point you should respect them.

I suspect some of the people here who are horrified at this idea also wear their outside shoes in their houses all the time and think that is "civilized and normal." Barbaric. Also, I am pretty certain Mr Rogers didn't just put on at-home-jacket and at-home-shoes when he got home, he probably at-home-pantsed too when not on PBS being a televised neighbor.
posted by sestaaak at 3:01 AM on July 14, 2011 [11 favorites]

It occurs to me that I couldn't go pants-free even if I wanted to, because in the winter it's very cold and in summer there's an overwhelming amount of pet hair to get matted to sweaty legs. So no thanks on that.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:02 AM on July 14, 2011

It's not weird if this is something that you just do at home. However, your kids should also grow up knowing that this is may be weird for other people.

I don't do this. I don't care if you do this at home. However, when I was dating my now husband, he was living with a guy (who is actually a dear friend of ours) who had no issue with sitting around in his boxers, sometimes shirtless. As a visitor of his house, I have to admit it made me uncomfortable. Especially when the boxers would inadvertently ride up rather high...
posted by like_neon at 3:11 AM on July 14, 2011

I was pretty traumatized by my family's inappropriate clothing when I was a teenager. I was also very, very vocal about it. "OMG, you're not wearing that, the fashion police are going to arrest us all!" I think they'll let you know if they grow into being unhappy about it. (And it only matters a little what you're teaching them, sorry, pressure of their peers and all...)

These days I'm pretty much half/half comfypants and afterclothing when I get home, but I know the angle of my windows would require a ladder to get a peek. I get jumpy and nervous if I'm in a state I wouldn't want people to see for some reason in the rest of the house (even with no one else home), we get a surprising number of visitors... Postal delivery, neighbor popping by for a garden consult, even random strangers who want to pave our drive....... And my comfypants are comfy enough that I'm not driven to take them off once I've bothered to put them on.
posted by anaelith at 3:35 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

So what is this "Afterpants"? You mean as soon as entering the house you remove your trousers, jeans, slacks etc and wander about in only a T-Shirt and Underwear?

I think there is some confusion as in the UK "Pants" = "Underwear". ie Jeans are not "Pants".

I think in the summer its ok, but well even this morning I got up out of bed and was so cold that I specifically put on some "chinos" as my legs were freezing. How can you just wear underwear around the house in winter? its too cold! brrr.

Some freinds of mine used to actually have 'naked day' once a week so I dont' think wearing only underwear is that big a deal. (it was a couple and they would get dressed if someone came over.)
posted by mary8nne at 3:53 AM on July 14, 2011

I like to get comfortable when I come in, but this might mean changing into sweatpants or some other kind of lounging pants.

However, thank you for clarifying to me that all those catalog pictures of women lounging in the gazebo in their underwear are based in reality after all.
posted by tel3path at 4:21 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

All the time. In fact, it's gotten now that my 3yo is suspicious if I'm still wearing clothes after dinner. "Mama are you leaving me tonight?" (she's in a very clingy phase).
posted by gaspode at 4:35 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Hmmm. I feel uncomfortable if I'm not fully dressed until at least 8 or 9 PM.

But after reading this post, I'm starting to wonder if I'm the freak.

(The cat hair argument makes a lot of sense. I will change into jeans if I'm wearing a skirt or pants that attracts cat hair before I sit on the sofa. But I still have to be fully dressed.)
posted by tully_monster at 4:47 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's been above 90 degrees the last fifty days or so where I live. Ya'll are lucky I wear pants at all.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:53 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Disclaimer: I'm not a parent. I do think, however, that there are quite a few things that people don't really have to do, but it's easier in the long run to teach children when they're young and then relax the rules when they're older, so they can be like "fuck yeah it's great to be a grownup!" You know, stuff like making your bed and eating nutritious breakfasts and not swearing. And pants.

Personally, I go the house shorts/comfy pants route. I don't really feel right if I'm sitting around the house and not decent enough to answer the door. I associate being dressed with being awake and ready to do things.

I'd never witnessed this growing up, but it could be that everyone put on pants for their guests, and the ones who went pantsless when home alone just didn't feel the need to talk about it. Also, we had central air.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:54 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Boxers in the summer, sweatpants in the winter.

If I am wearing pants, my wife will ask, "Going somewhere?"

It's ccomfort and convenience as an environmentally friendly strategy! By not wearing pants indoors, I can nudge the thermostat up and remain comfortable, thus saving energy; I am limiting the amount of dirty clothes generated, thus saving water and energy, and I am disinclined to indulge in spur-of-the-moment errands (because then I would have to put on pants), thus saving gasoline and money. Win-win-win.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:05 AM on July 14, 2011 [9 favorites]

I too drop my pants the instant I get in the house, if it is hot out. It's a "whew, work day is done", shedding of the worldly burdens kind of thing.

If I had kids, I would probably modify it slightly. Come home, say hi to everyone, go into the bedroom and change into a pair of shorts and a t shirt. There is a difference between laying around the house all casual, and walking around in underpants. (Perhaps informed by staying with my grandfather as a youth, and noting his habit of wandering around in the whitey-tightys...)

One tip: install a tie-rack behind the door of the bedrooms, and this is where pants (and robes and jackets, etc) get hung when not in use.
posted by gjc at 5:09 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not weird per se, but more heading down an unkempt, disheveled road I would not wish to travel. One must have some standards.

That said, my wife and I have had naked Saturdays. We do not have children.
posted by fatfrank at 5:10 AM on July 14, 2011

I had a roommate who, as soon as he came home, would change out of whatever he was wearing into gym shorts and a t-shirt. At first it was like, oh haha, look, here comes [roommate] with his same pair of basketball shorts again! And then we (the other roommates) realized, hey wait a second. It's hot outside and my pants are wicked uncomfortable.

Now, as soon as I come home, I change out of whatever I'm wearing into gym shorts and a t-shirt.
posted by penduluum at 5:14 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I fall on the side of comfypants because, well, I don't like to go pantsless. One thing you might want to consider at some point is that your toddlers will get older and will start having friends come over. Unannounced and unexpected. As long as you and SO-hal_c_on don some sort of underwear covering (may I suggest comfypants?) when that starts happening, I don't think you'll be scarring the children with your pants procedure.
posted by cooker girl at 5:26 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would really, really, not want to look at my parents in their underwear [shudder]. I suppose your kids might feel differently about it since you're raising them with the idea that it's a done thing.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 AM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

We never wore pants in the house when I was a kid, except when it was cold. To this day, one of the first things I do when I get home is take my pants off.
posted by crankylex at 5:59 AM on July 14, 2011

We do this (change into sweatpants/gym shorts or just lounge in underwear). I feel it is necessary to change out of my work pants as soon as I get home to avoid collecting mountains of pet hair on them. Our kitchen window faces directly into the kitchen window of another apartment, so I can tell you our neighbors, who have a toddler, do it as well. Particularly the Dad, who enjoys briefs.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:00 AM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you are walking around half undressed in the middle of winter, then you can be pretty sure that your house has the heat up too high. Pull on a pair of pajama pants, turn up your thermostat, and save some energy!

Otherwise, do whatever the heck you want until your kids starting expressing that its weird or embarrassing.
posted by Kololo at 6:02 AM on July 14, 2011

Wait, If you don't wear pants at home, where do you guys keep all your pockets???
posted by HFSH at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2011

I'm not a kids' psychologist, but I would wear shorts or lounge pants if it's not just you and the SO.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:29 AM on July 14, 2011

Read a few answers: this is not weird at all. In fact, I think it's weird that you leave the shirts on/don't change shirts.

I change into non street-clothes as soon as I get home. Not necessarily for being comfortable (I usually dress pretty comfortably, except for the bra* which gets cast off the second I'm through the door), but because street clothes are dirty! You pick up dirt and stuff with the cuffs of your pants, sit where a thousand people's asses have sat (especially if you take public transit), lean up against dirty walls, get polluted on by cars, sweat in them, etc, etc, etc. I don't want that all over my furniture and bed sheets! And yes, I do take my shoes off upon entering the house.

I have always done this. I'd prefer to walk around pantsless (unless it's cold, in which case PAJAMAPANTS), but I live with a roommate, so I either wear a loose sundress type thing or house shorts. Parents did the same thing. I'm lucky enough to have an SO who also does this (and who grew up like this), so there's no "you're weird!" quibbling that goes on.

You will not screw up your kids. This is fine.

*And to anyone who reads this and says, "oh, you're just not wearing the right size bra, that's why it's uncomfortable," no. My bra is the right size, thankyouverymuch. These puppies just gotta be free.
posted by phunniemee at 6:36 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

My partner and I do this. No kids. And not when we have guests over. I grew up in a house of women, and we did this regularly, mostly in the summer (south + no AC= Sitting in the basement in panties and t-shirts).
posted by kimdog at 6:40 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not a done thing in my family and social circle, but we're WASPish uptight Canadians.

I will change into more casual clothes when I get home from work, but into other clothes. It's mostly to prevent cat hair from getting all over my work shirts. One also has the option to get into pjs, particularly after 9pm, but certainly not until after dinner and chores.

Like I say, we're pretty uptight and it's often chilly here.
posted by bonehead at 6:42 AM on July 14, 2011 there's no "you're weird!" quibbling that goes on.

I should add that there's plenty of regular quibbling that goes on trying to decide who has to take out the trash. No one cares about the trash, but rather the fact that you have to put pants on to take it out. No one wants to have to put on pants.
posted by phunniemee at 6:45 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Read a few answers: this is not weird at all. In fact, I think it's weird that you leave the shirts on/don't change shirts.

Seconding this. I mean, it makes total sense in summer especially -- pants are hot. (Hell, I take off even more than that if the roommate's not home.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on July 14, 2011

I wonder if this is a hot climate vs. cold climate thing? A general survey of my friends shows that many of them will lounge around in just their boxers if they don't have to deal with a roommate.

Now that we have a dog and have to take it for a walk after dinner, I'll change into gym shorts instead of just shedding my pants after work, but it is a very sad situation.
posted by muddgirl at 7:00 AM on July 14, 2011

Interesting. I had no idea this was A Thing (with a name and everything), but I'm not too weirded out by it.

Personally when I'm relaxing, I tend to change out of the Outside Trousers and into sweatpants/pajama pants unless it's super-hot. But the SO & I also live with another housemate, so no-pants is out of the question if we plan on going to the kitchen or toilet. The situation may change if we get a place of our own.
posted by Gordafarin at 7:02 AM on July 14, 2011

One of my friends was sent off to college by her mom with the advice "Never sign up for coed dorms, in the girls' dorm we never wore pants." The main reason this was shocking to her was that her mom never did afterpants, so it was incredibly out of context.

Personally I do gym shorts - I'm not comfortable wearing my little bitty underwears around, in part because we're fairly urban and I'm super lazy about closing my curtains.
posted by aimedwander at 7:06 AM on July 14, 2011

It's normal in my house. We (well, he) call it "no pants o'clock." I do it less often because we have a sliding glass door in the kitchen and you can see in from the street. He doesn't care about this, but I do. In the summer I am more likely to switch to a skimpy sundress or nightgown.
posted by cabingirl at 7:23 AM on July 14, 2011

I am a huge fan of no pants.
As soon as I get home I generally take them off.
Didn't know there were so many among us with similar feelings.
posted by handbanana at 7:34 AM on July 14, 2011

With family members, I think you'd probably want to go by the swimsuit rule: whatever underwear you have on should probably be at least as concealing as whatever type of swimsuit you'd feel comfortable wearing outside. (This, of course, can vary immensely.) I usually schlep around the house in a T-shirt and boxer briefs unless I've got the shades open.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:36 AM on July 14, 2011

Weird. Never knew this was a thing. I can't even imagine any of my relatives or inlaws doing this. Maybe it comes from living in the north. We change out of our work clothes when we get home, which means into shorts in the summer on really hot days, but it's pants of some sort until bedtime. But if we did do no pants, I don't think it would scar our sprogs -- it seems to be difficult to keep clothes on them at the best of times, so we've had to compromise and the rule for them is that there is no nudity in the front yard, and they have to at least wear underwear at meals.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2011

I have a 'house dress' (NOT a mu-mu!) that is a comfy soft cotton summer dress I put on as soon as I get home, as dones my 6 year old. They are 'nice' enough to answer the door or walk the dog but I would not go OUT out in it. Been doing it for years

I see nothing wrong-and the kids will be fine (and comfy)
posted by Frosted Cactus at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2011

My boyfriend is an afterpantser, he usually throws down his keys in the hall and keeps talking about whatever we were talking about in the car while he walks straight to the bedroom for shorts. I don't do this; I'm comfy enough in jeans. Even if I come home in a suit, I'll change but still into jeans.

I don't think your kids will be scarred, unless Grandma comes over to afterpants or something.
posted by motsque at 7:51 AM on July 14, 2011

we know this is unusual.

Then why was your entire AskMe a question, in part, about whether this was "normal," as if you had no idea whether everyone else did this at home or not? And especially because you were using a slang term, "afterpants", as if everyone knew what that was.

I feel cold easily, so I'm more comfortable fully dressed at most all times. I presume that all those people at work who turn the airconditioning way up in their offices feel differently.

Your children will not realize anything's unusual until they become self aware to whine, "da-ad, put on some pants! my friends are coming over!" You will generally want to assert control over your own space rather than take orders from your children about how you dress in your own home and instead redouble your pantless efforts.
posted by deanc at 7:53 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

My Dad is an underwear at home guy. And in the winter, he wears his long johns at home. So it can be done in colder climates. But my mom does not do this, thank god. That would be weird. Unless I had grown up with it, in which case it probably wouldn't be weird. But me, I'm all about the pajamas.
posted by Brodiggitty at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2011

Just a warning, your toddlers at some point will tell someone about this in a way that makes you look like insane nudie people. My husband takes naps in his boxers after work. One day when told Daddy was going to take a nap my two year old sighed sadly and said, "He's going to get all naked."
posted by artychoke at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2011 [7 favorites]

When your kids get older, they can tell their friends about how mom and dad never wear pants at home, and they'll all get to have a good laugh at your expense. Don't deprive them of this opportunity.
posted by BurntHombre at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

The first thing I do when I get home from work is change into a soft t-shirt and boxers, or if the mood strikes me, shorts but no shirt. I never go around my house in just boxers and no shirt, though. I'm not a barbarian. I almost never wear socks if at home by myself or with my SO. Except when it's cold out.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:43 AM on July 14, 2011

I think that it is fine. Often, on a hot day, I'll take off my pants and shorts and just wear boxers and a shirt, in the evening. My wife often gets a pair of my boxers and lounges around in them also.

I am not shy about going out out in the yard like this, either even though it could be viewed by neighbors.

Daughter was raised like this, and when she left home, it was with a couple pairs of my boxers.
posted by Danf at 8:50 AM on July 14, 2011

Completely normal. I walk in the door, and shoes come off. Fast forward a couple minutes, and I emerge from my bedroom wearing men's boxers over my own underwear (I'm a chick.) My kids, however, don't seem to want to. They're happy with pants on or off. Everybody's different. You are normal, though.

Aside from that, I don't know about other girls/women here, but when I've taken off my pants there's another piece of clothing that is removed, because I feel like I'll never be able to breathe again. That's just my preference, though.

Anyway, I say revel in your lack of pants.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 9:02 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

When I come home to my toddlers wearing just a diaper (or lately nothing at all) I refer to it as "living the dream."
posted by togdon at 9:04 AM on July 14, 2011 [7 favorites]

I have two kids, aged 4 years and 8 months old. You aren't going to screw them up by going pantsless at home, but I would urge you to invest in quality underthings that keep everything behind closed doors, so to speak. And discard them before they start to get ratty.

One thing to consider, though, is whether you live in a neighborhood with a lot of other kids their age. Because if you do, then the time will come when your child just goes out to play for hours at a time, which is super-great, until you suddenly hear her scream because she's gotten hurt and then you have to rush around to find pants before you run out to get her. Or the Little Rascals ring your doorbell to ask "Can MiniMe play?" and you have to put on pants before you can answer. Obviously, these are rare circumstances and you shouldn't let them dictate your sartorial choices in your own home, but that's what came to mind when I read your question.
posted by KathrynT at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2011

One more vote for afterpants (no kids, yes room mates). I have found a bathrobe is perfect for me when I have the blinds open, want to check the mail, when it is colder, etc.

Hell, I sometimes entertain in my bathrobe. If it is good enough for The Dude and Hugh Hefner, it is good enough for me.
posted by cjemmott at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2011

What women go out wearing pants in the summer? That's weird. I don't change out of my pants because if it is summer, I am already wearing a skirt. Sometimes I put on yoga pants instead, though.

I had friends whose parents did this, and, um, it is inappropriate to continue doing it once your children are nearing adolescence especially if they have friends over without planning in advance (which seems to usually happen). We didn't think parents walking around in the half-nude was funny, we thought it was creepy and gross.

This might be okay if you're all wearing long boxers, which can be sort of imagined to be shorts.
posted by jeather at 9:21 AM on July 14, 2011

Pants are so dumb!

Seriously though, I don't think you are damaging your kids at all. It seems like you are wearing the appropriate clothing outside your house, so who cares? I take my pants off at some point in the evening most nights. In the winter I put on PJ pants (because I live in Philadelphia where it is cold), and in the summer it's usually underwear or light PJ shorts. I don't think this is something either my family or my husband's family did. It's just what we do. I guess we are the pants-less generation.

GO US! (ahem... not U.S.)
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2011

Count me in the camp that immediately puts on comfy clothes when I get home.


Here's how this is going to play out some day soon:

Mini hal_c_on is on a playdate at his friend's house

Mini H: Why are your parents wearing pants?
Friend: Huh?
Mini H: My parents never wear pants!
Mr. and Mrs. Friend: :-O

So... I'm in the camp that advocates for house pants/ratty gym shorts.
posted by telegraph at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

jeather writes "What women go out wearing pants in the summer? That's weird."

People who labour for a living often wear pants even in the middle of summer.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on July 14, 2011

Are you kidding? Afterpants is the second best thing about getting home (The first best thing obviously being AFTERBRA.).
posted by granted at 10:29 AM on July 14, 2011 [12 favorites]

The only hard-and-fast rule in my house is "no naked butts on the furniture". Because sometimes kids aren't the best at making sure their butts are perfectly clean. My 4-year-old would be bare-ass in a t-shirt all the time if we let him.

My husband will stay dressed until bedtime. Me, it's comfypants - pj bottoms or yoga pants - and a t-shirt if I'm not leaving the house. The baby is still very spitty, so it's guaranteed that whatever I'm wearing will get baby hork on it, so having house clothes and outside clothes helps minimize the sour milk stank when I'm out in public.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 10:46 AM on July 14, 2011

As a Brit, I can say we associate this behaviour with low-class people, but from many of the other replies here I suspect this may be a rather major cultural difference.

I live alone, but the only time I'm not wearing pants is when I'm sleeping, bathing, getting ready to do those things or just finishing doing those things.

You know, underwear gets kinda gross after a day being dragged around the leaky excretey ass-crackey parts all day, yes? Do you really find it okay to put that stuff all over your furniture? Eww.
posted by Decani at 11:10 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow, I've never, ever heard of this. But it totally explains the behavior of my 4 year old, who has been strictly afterpants ever since she was capable of taking them off by herself. Knowing now that its "a thing," I think I'll stop giving her a hard time about it and just let it be. Thanks.
posted by Knowyournuts at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2011

You know, underwear gets kinda gross after a day being dragged around the leaky excretey ass-crackey parts all day, yes? Do you really find it okay to put that stuff all over your furniture? Eww.

May I submit that you, sir, are doing it wrong? If they're that gross, do you really want to put "that stuff" all over your nether regions? Change your goddamned underpants.

Underpants get washed every time I wear them. Outside pants do not.
posted by phunniemee at 11:22 AM on July 14, 2011 [7 favorites]

I'm a comfypantser because I actually find yoga pants with no underwear to be a lot more comfortable than underwear alone. Also for the fact that if someone rings the doorbell I want to be able to open it rather than having to sprint upstairs while shouting "hang on, gotta re-pants!"
posted by MsMolly at 11:24 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I wear Thai fisherman pants around the house. They are like yoga pants or martial arts pants. Very roomy and comfortable and you can also get them at 3/4 length. They feel like you aren't wearing any pants at all!
posted by cazoo at 11:26 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I occasionally do afterpants, depending on the pants and the day in question. My husband does it everyday.

I am also going to have a baby in a few weeks, and I find that concern here for kids' well-being kind of amusing. Like, really, this kid is about to come out of my vagina soon and then suck on my boobs for a year and I'm supposed to be concerned about him seeing me in a t-shirt and underwear? Poor kid.
posted by that's how you get ants at 11:30 AM on July 14, 2011 [11 favorites]

My dad used to lie around watching sports in his tightie-whities and matching t-shirt... tucked in, no less!... on Saturdays afternoons. I don't believe we were traumatized by seeing this, although my brother and I still laugh about the furtive ball-scratches we inadvertantly witnessed.

Hubby always wears jeans at home. A couple hours before bedtime I will change into t-shirt and no pants and sit around the living room, and for another couple of hours in the morning when I get up. It never occurred to me not to do it in front of my daughter but I would run to put pants on if she had friends drop by. She'd probably claim that seeing me thus could take the sight out of a good eye, but she tends to be dramatic.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:41 AM on July 14, 2011

My father is an afterpantser -- I have almost no memories of him wearing pants, and I have a lot of memories of him sitting me down for serious talks while leaning forward on his nude haunches. He just never wore pants on principle. His default position was a kind of explicit lounge, with one leg up and the other leg extended, like the worst kind of Jazzercise stretch you could possibly imagine. It was always weird to me, but it got really weird in high school, because whenever my friends came over they were treated to the apparition of my nearly-nude father spread out on the couch, one leg up, Terminator 2 playing on the television at top volume. "HI DAD! MY FRIENDS ARE HERE! JUST ... STAY IN THE TV ROOM, OKAY?" I would shriek, but he was also kind of deaf and forgetful, so at some point he would inevitably wander into the kitchen wearing only a tiny pair of threadbare tighty-whiteys and scream "OH HELL NAWW! HELL NAWWW!" when he saw us. So maybe just ... don't do that ... and you will be fine.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2011 [8 favorites]

"Afterpants"? Really?

This thread strikes me as strange on so many levels.

I wear jeans, chinos, or slacks; my clothes fit, and are not uncomfortable during the summer. I take them off when I sleep. Otherwise, I keep them on around the house.
posted by ellF at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wear jeans, trousers, or skirts. My clothes fit, and are not uncomfortable during the summer. I take them off at home, because what is the point of wearing clothes inside, if it is warm enough not to?
posted by muddgirl at 12:18 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

The minute I walk in the door, the clothes come off. I walk to and from work regardless of the weather, and apparently I walk scarily fast, so I tend to come home sweaty and gross. Outside clothes go into the hamper, and comfy slobby inside clothes go onto me.

It is so natural and ingrained a response to entering my house that when friends come home with me after work there is always that one odd moment where I am halfway out of my pants before being like O HAI FRIENDLY COWORKER HERE I AM IN MY PANTIES SRY.
posted by elizardbits at 12:22 PM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

Some do pants--I put on my pjs as soon as I get home.

I would say that whatever you're comfortable with in your house you do. There isn't anything weird. Although if it's tighty-whitey time--meh. I would suggest boxers.
posted by stormpooper at 12:51 PM on July 14, 2011

Am I going to have to use my AskMe for the week in order to get a definition of WTF "afterpants" are? I'm telling you, not even Google seems to know.

Are we talking free-ballin' (naked) or boxers shorts/underwear/panties???

Naked would be weird and, even more, your house will smell like ass).

If we're talking boxer shorts, perfectly normal (in my house, in my yard, the drive-thru at McDonald's, etc.)
posted by Carbolic at 12:58 PM on July 14, 2011

No pants forever!

For me, when I come home, it's out of work clothes/outside clothes, and out of undies/bra and into boxers and a cami. My boyfriend usually goes comfyshorts/no shirt. We've never discussed this, it seems perfectly natural to me to get comfortable and pants less as soon as you get home.
I also agree with the keep covered what would be covered by a swimsuit rule when kids or roomies are around.
posted by catatethebird at 1:33 PM on July 14, 2011

I do afterpants, but my husband typically doesn't. My sister-in-law recently revealed that my brother is also an afterpantser, in a "Can you believe he just takes off his pants when he walks in the door?!" sort of way, and was amazed that I do the exact same thing, despite having always worn "play clothes" in the evenings growing up.

I realized quite abruptly recently that becoming a foster parent (which I'm in the process of doing) will likely mean both wearing pants in the evenings and wearing more than just underpants to bed, which made me very sad.
posted by SeedStitch at 1:57 PM on July 14, 2011

I have numerous housedresses. When I get home from work, I rip off everything and throw one over me. In winter, I wear the housedress, a fleecy something over it, and super worn-in leggings under.

I can tell you that if you have daughters, at around age 8 or so, they'll probably start "eewww"ing if you're bopping around in boxers, even though they mightn't have noticed or cared when little.

Finally, I kind of think, "be prepared" -- I'd hate to have to dig up my pants if there were a fire or something. You can be super comfy but ready for anything, I say!
posted by thinkpiece at 1:58 PM on July 14, 2011

My wife goes around buck naked anytime she's home. I am usually fully clothed. Works for us!
posted by xammerboy at 2:33 PM on July 14, 2011

It's non-standard, but no big deal. The kids are learning that bodies are okay. When they start having friends over, it's probably going to matter, but I suspect you know that. Years ago there was a report that families that embraced casual nudity were strongly correlated with mental health. I've looked, and not found documentation of this, so maybe I imagined it.
posted by theora55 at 3:19 PM on July 14, 2011

I think it's absolutely fine! Be comfortable in your own home.

Now, by the time your kids are ready to go through puberty you'll probably want to go the comfy clothes route instead, and I bet they switch to pajama bottoms and shorts themselves because they're hopelessly self-conscious during those awkward years.

I used to walk around the house naked and vacuum in the nude (yes, I am one of those people. I shower every day, shut up), but I have two boys, so I go for shorts, sundresses or pajamas around the house, to spare them their sensibilities. Husband and I will still go nude if they aren't around, but we figure no one really wants to see their parents au naturel.
posted by misha at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2011

Oh god. If only this was the weirdest thing my family did while I was growing up......

In any event, I turned out just fine!

and, damnit. why am I still wearing pants?
posted by schmod at 8:18 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't go totally pants-less, but mainly because I live with either my parents or a roommate at any given time and that would be awkward. However, I always change into pajamas (like cotton shorts and a t-shirt) when I get home from anywhere. It's like "okay, home, must get out of publicly acceptable clothing and be a comfy slob."
posted by cp311 at 8:32 PM on July 14, 2011

The pants situation at my place is that we are wearing them. It's going on 10:00pm, and we will be wearing them until, say, 11:30 or there 'bouts, when we will go upstairs, remove pants, and go to bed. (Much as we're fans of pantswearing, we do not sleep in pants.) Obviously there's a huge afterpants contingent in this thread, but it's baffling to me. I mean, I get that it's comfortable, but my pants are not uncomfortable. Also, I aim for minimum AC/furnace use in my drafty old house, so it's never quite the ideal temperature, seeing as I don't live in Hawai'i. And I like to be able to step outside at a moment's notice, or answer the door without scrambling for my clothes. Also, it just seems déclassé.

This feels like one of those very special threads where we discover deep common traits that we never suspected we all had in common. Except that I secretly suspect it's an elaborate prank. Really, afterpants is a thing?

Don't worry about your kids, though.
posted by mumkin at 9:58 PM on July 14, 2011

Depending on the weather, I either do comfy pants or after pants when I get home, and it varies for my husband as well, again depending on whether it is winter or summer. We have no kids but if we did we would still be doing this.

Growing up, my parents were really casual about this, and my sister and I turned out fine. They were careful not to be too casual around our friends, and we knew enough to know that our family was somewhat unusual for doing this in the 1960's so did not advertise it, but we kids really did not think it was a big deal. Your kids will be fine. (My husband's family was a lot more formal when he was growing up, but he has picked up the casual stuff from me and my family.)
posted by gudrun at 10:22 PM on July 14, 2011

I think that the afterpants movement is one growing in acceptability--I know a lot of people who are afterpantsers, but the number goes up dramatically once you hit the 25-40 age bracket. (Including, in my experience, the 25-40 child-having demographic.) My father is an afterpantser--after a certain point of the evening, he's just done. Apparently my mother-in-law is, as well.

My partner and I are both boxer-brief-wearing people, and we pretty much strip down to that as soon as we get home. Our daughter is a self-made nudist for whom we had to make the rule that if she's not in her bedroom or the bathroom, she *has* to wear underwear. She's eight, by the way, and none of this has been a problem--she'll occasionally do it at her grandparents' houses, but never anywhere inappropriate. If she hits a point at which she's uncomfortable with people walking around in underwear, we'll stop. As anecdata, neither my partner nor I ever hit that point with our parents, despite them doing it even when we had friends over as teenagers. It just never bothered us.

I feel pretty comfortable saying that afterpants won't mess your kid up--I don't think that seeing someone's legs (or any other body part that's inadvertently displayed, for that matter,) is psychologically scarring. What *might* mess your kid up is if you're afterpants-friendly at home, but then present them with conflicting messages about body image (as in "That fat person is wearing shorts, how disgusting,") and/or appropriate clothing (as in "Well, of course she got raped, going out dressed like that.") Not that I think that you'd do that, obviously, but that in my experience, that's where people tend to get messed up about this sort of thing.
posted by MeghanC at 11:41 PM on July 14, 2011

I think that as long as individuals, or families, have good boundaries between "what we wear just in front of us and what we wear in front of other people," what you wear at home is your own damn business. If you're more comfortable lounging around the house in a racoon coat or a bee costume, and you know that no one is going to be dropping by and you can make a quick change if the meter reader comes by, then go for it. Within families is a bit of a more delicate negotiation depending on how comfortable your kids may be with stuff. (I've known people who said that nudity was no big thing in their house, but I'd at least do boxer shorts or something.)

Incidentally, this thread lead me to invest in a ten-buck cotton dress from Target as an "afterpants" option because I realized my bathrobes probably weren't cutting it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Probably "WASPish uptight Canadian" here. This's very weird, sure. This isn't taking off your suiting because of pet hair; this is... I mean, what the hell is wrong with your trousers? I am surprisingly rattled by trying to picture my own family doing this.

And yet I am starkers in front of my 3yo all the time, and that will be the status quo until I get "Mum! Gross! Get a robe!" But that is after a bath, and then I dress.

But I still wonder...what's wrong with your family's pants? It seems odd that you can't find anything suitable for museum-visiting yet still comfortable enough to futz around the house in. Some sort of broken-in khakis, blow a few bucks at the corner dry cleaner if you need to take them in a bit so they don't slide down? I mean, there should be a technical solution to this.

In re. "As a Brit, I can say we associate this behaviour with low-class people" -- I share this sentiment. I am having a really hard time imagining anybody I know doing this regularly and would have lulz if I heard about it. And yet there's this thread of pantsless people who seem otherwise normal. I don't know. Your parents went around without pants? I just can't see it.
posted by kmennie at 7:13 PM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

I have been trying to digest this thread for months now, and...well...I feel different now about going to the houses of people who afterpants. Because the purpose of underwear is hygiene. I mean, I do my family's laundry. I go through some Shout. My seven year old isn't reliable and I won't disparage mrgood, but...but...

In the old days, underwear's purpose was to keep outerwear clean (er). That's why Pa Ingalls was always sweating in those weird pink longjohns - to keep his personal fluids confined and to keep his shirts and trousers clean for a week! Only one thin possibly saggy layer of cotton between someone's skid mark and the sofa...eeeesh.

And outerwear keeps stuff off the underwear! So no, I don't want gross stuff from outside on the sofa either, and for the times that it's been sat on regardless, underwear isn't enough of a barrier in that case either.

So, since a Silkwood shower and haz mat suits at the door for everyone isn't an option, I'm going with Team Comfypants as being the only sane people in the world.
posted by peagood at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2011

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