Just like that, we’re post-Derby and back with a spring outfit that’s perfect for Casual Fridays at the office. These silk paperboy pants were one of the items I snagged during my J. Crew shopping event last month. Printed pants are so fun for work and this jungle-themed pair is incredible comfortable too. You’ve likely noticed that I haven’t written as many lifestyle and personal posts during the lead up to Derby so we’re jumping right into that as well today.How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants Click To Tweet
This post contains affiliate and/or referral links. I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you complete a purchase through this post. Thank you for your support of What Nicole Wore.
Featured | How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism:
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | Race and My Personal Identity
To be completely honest I’ve gone back and forth on writing this post over the past few days. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you likely know that I identify as multiracial. Growing up I wasn’t “black enough,” but I also wasn’t “white enough” and it led to me frequently feeling confused and lesser than during my more vulnerable pre-teen and teen years. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more comfortable in my own skin and with the fact that my experiences as a black woman are different from women darker than I am.Why I Self-Identify as Multiracial Click To Tweet
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | Understanding My Own Privilege
Bringing up race can be tough. The term “white privilege” often raises hackles and puts white people on the defensive before the conversation truly begins. While I get race can be seen as a personal or even these days, a political issue, it’s an issue that is central to who I am as a human being while also being incredibly personal in the fact that I’m the product of an interracial marriage.Bringing up race issues can be tough...but we're doing it! Click To Tweet
I’ll be the first to admit that race is complicated; I’m often asked what I think of something “as a black woman,” and I’m cognizant of the fact that my opinions are often swayed by the socioeconomic circumstances I was raised in and with some benefit of being lighter skinned. That’s not to say that I don’t ever face racism but it tends to be the quieter, more subtle racism than the loud in your face brand that’s become more prevalent the past few years.
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | What Is Subtle Racism?
Subtle racism is called a couple different things by social scientists: covert racism, everyday racism, and racial microaggressions. San Francisco State University Professor Alvin Alvarez conducted a study in 2010 and defines everyday racism as, “subtle, commonplace forms of discrimination, such as being ignored, ridiculed, or treated differently.” He goes onto say that while “these […] incidents may seem innocent and small, […] they can have a powerful impact on […] mental health.”What is covert racism? Click To Tweet
Without even getting into the mental health aspect today, I can tell you that subtle racism makes me very tired. Sad. Annoyed. I hate to talk about it because of the angry, bitter black woman trope that STILL is so prevalent in society. However, here we are and I’m going to risk someone saying that I’m just an angry, black woman because I think it’s important to talk about.
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | What Does Subtle Racism Look Like?
So here’s the truth. I get followed around when I shop in retail stores. If I’m dressed up and have makeup on, they’re less likely to follow me to see if I’m shoplifting, although sometimes it doesn’t matter. When people that I’ve only talked to on the phone meet me in person, I often get told that they’re surprised by how I look because of how I speak. While we’re talking about how I speak, I get told I’m “surprisingly articulate,” quite frequently. Last week, I was invited to Millionaire’s Row at Churchill Downs. I was excited because I love Derby fashion and being at the track, but the experience was somewhat overshadowed by the everyday racism that I couldn’t help but notice.These are the everyday racism things that black people face everyday. Click To Tweet
First it was that I must be mistaken; I couldn’t possibly have a ticket to Millionaire’s Row. Then it was the stares when I walked in the room. The woman that asked if I’d put my drink down to come over and take her photo across the room like I worked there…despite the fact that I was dressed up and in a fascinator.
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | How Can I Help?
I’m very open about the fact that I’ve worked service jobs; I spent years working in retail while drumming up the courage to launch What Nicole Wore. There’s nothing wrong, lesser than, or embarrassing about working in the service industry. However, if you see a brown person and automatically assume that they are there to serve YOU, well maybe you should be embarrassed. Being a person of color does not make me less worthy of taking up space, attending events, or living my life.Nobody -wants- to be the squeaky wheel, but nothing changes when we're silent. Click To Tweet
Addressing covert racism requires the majority to get uncomfortable and speak up. White privilege isn’t just about understanding the inequalities faced by people of color, but also about using the fact that you don’t face these things and not simply turning away from them because they don’t impact you. I get that nobody wants to be the “squeaky wheel,” all the time, but when we simply chalk these incidents of everyday racism up as not “that” big of deal or something that will die out eventually, we’re making the behavior okay. And it’s not. Have the uncomfortable conversation. Ask someone what they meant by an offhand comment. Actually listen when a person of color brings up a racist incident and understand that society so often dismisses and downplays our experiences.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for listening.
How to Wear Silk Paperbag Pants & Covert Racism | The Outfit
Twas love at first sight with these silk pants. I mean navy, purple, and teal in one print? Consider me sold. While this was the first pair I spotted, I pulled these olive paperbag pants to try on first figuring the solid option would be a bit more versatile. When I realized my size was sold out, I went to try on this printed pair for size and…realized that I really did love these.Have you tried the paperbag pant trend yet? Click To Tweet
RELATED: 6 Adulting Tips You Should Remember
Here, I went casual by pairing them with a casual v-neck tee shirt from Madewell! I’ve been on the hunt for a jean jacket that I liked; I’m really particular about the fit of blazers and jackets. This one is a bit of a splurge, but the price isn’t insane and J. Crew runs some great sales. Already, I’ve been able to wear this denim jacket quite a bit and know it’s a piece I’ll overwear this summer.
Finally, these Steve Madden sandals are the best. Pulled them out Friday night for the Silks Bash After Party and can vouch for them being comfortable enough to dance in all night.