Swantsy: A Lesson in Finding Your Voice


Summary: Like a chick coming out of an egg, you must often fight to get yourself other there.

It all started in Amsterdam… (Pretty cool start to a story, I’d say)

Anyway, a couple years back, I had the chance to fly to Europe with my wife to meet family who was living in Germany at the time.

Thanks to effective public transportation, we were able to travel to several of the surrounding countries in Europe while we were there (France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.) They were real fly-by tours, but I was glad to be able to see what we did.

One of those places were able to travel was Amsterdam. Fun place. Really eclectic culture. It was there that we came to be familiar with Swants: a clothing style designed by dancer and knitter, Stephen West. Basically, you take old sweaters, put them on your legs, and tailor them to fit. The result is a rather unique and colorful fashion statement, which is quite comfy and warm.

For the longest time, I forgot about their existence, until a friend of mine recently posted an article about crocheted shorts designed by a gentleman called Lord von Schmitt. I shared this post with my wife and brother-in-law. This inspired them to run to the nearest thrift store and make Swants.  (I’ve got to hand it to them, they knocked out the pants in an hour or so.)

I was so impressed that I couldn’t help but snap a picture and share it on Facebook. It generated a rather interesting response. Some really liked them, some really didn’t. This is all well and good, but the critics of them were very vocal about it, so much so that I took the post down just to silence all the hubbub. My brother-in-law chatted later about it. We both came to the same conclusion. It’s like Taylor Swift said, “hater’s gonna hate… but you just gotta shake it off.”

Now, of course, we’re talking about pants here. Not politics. The level of discourse only goes up from here. If you try to say anything of any solid opinion at all, you’re very likely gonna get at least a little mud in your eye; but that’s life! You work hard. You love yourself. You refine your voice. Then, you speak out, shouting from the roof tops… with tact and in love.

If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that self-expression is a delicate art; but, still, we are all artists in our own way. So, paint away, whatever your canvass may be!

Blessings to you in Christ,



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