The Social Pop-Around: Emergency Measures for a Casual Environment

You can never be too careful. There is a social practice over here in the UK often referred to as the “pop-around.” In my highland town, it is a widespread and very social practice. Simply put, a pop-around is the act of dropping-by, or “popping-round” someone’s house unannounced. Most often for tea and a chat (or a “blether” as they say up here), but sometimes on the rare special occasion, if you’re really, really lucky, they bring booze.

I quite enjoy a good pop-around… But let me tell you, when I first moved over here, the very thought of it used to strike fear into the very cockles of my heart. I grew up in the midwestern United States. Because of this, it is deeply imbedded in my psyche that you would never dream of “imposing” on someone without a phone call first, and even then, said phone call would have to involve no less than ten minutes of dialogue such as “oh no, really, I don’t want to bother you, are you sure its not an imposition? Oh I see…yes, but are you sure you’re sure?”….to which the person on the other end of the phone would reply “Of course I’m sure, but only if you are, I know how busy you are and I don’t want you to go to any trouble on my account, really.” These exchanges would often default into a stalemate, and no further human contact would be necessary, solving the immediate problem by alleviating the need for appropriate clothing. But I digress. 

The point is, these impromptu social visits present a very real opportunity to quite literally get caught with your pants down.

Doorbell.... Oh. Crap.

 I know I am not the only gal in the universe who likes to pad around the house on a lazy Saturday morning, or in my case, more likely any given afternoon after a 12-hour night shift, in an oversized mens t-shirt and some flip flops, unwashed hair tied back, spectacles on (yeah, baby), basically a sartorial choice that says you are just going to quickly nip downstairs and get a coffee. And though I am by no means suggesting that we all abandon our around the house loungewear for Dior haute couture, I have found that the need to make myself presentable at warp speed has driven my "nobody will see me today" loungewear in a new direction.

For starters, the new direction has pant legs. Calvin Klein pantlegs, to be exact.
 Mens Nautica tee borrowed from hubby, Jack Rogers sandals. 

Now, I know this isn't art. But it's not supposed to be. Remember, these are emergency measures, and I am lucky to live in a place where a casual look is the uniform. The intention here is that this is not something you plan to go out in.  Or really even be seen in at home.  Or on the internet in front of a potential audience of millions (whoops). No, what this is is the lowest common denominator. The clothing that is the very bottom line of what you feel like you might be comfortable in should the need to suddenly put the kettle on and be social arise, but probably what you will just be wearing to do laundry and watch your DVR recordings of The Walking Dead. This is the outfit  that you can picture yourself sitting around your kitchen table having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in. It is dressed-down as far as you can get, but still has an intentional quality to it. Conceptually, I suppose it is not unlike that office to evening thing that you are constantly reading about in magazines month after month…(apparently there must be quite a large portion of the working world that get to go out and drink and dine in fancy clubs with a strict evening dress code every single night… but again, I digress). So think of it not as office to evening, but maybe as mattress to hostess (using the word hostess very loosely here).

Hostess.....if you must.

So there it is. Emergency measures, people. And in a turn of events that can only mean the universe is trying to help me prove my point, that it is ever so important to put safety first,  as I was seated at my dining room table writing this post, Someone showed-up at my door. I'm not kidding. Luckily, my emergency measures were in place, as I had just taken the photo on your right, proving once and for all that you can never be too careful.


  1. You didn't highlight your pedicure - which says it all - a woman who cares for herself, even on a Saturday!

    1. Ha! What the photo doesn't show is that the pedicure is actually a remnant from being in Portugal...two and a half weeks ago. Had that been an actual pop-around (and not a drill), I would have put on "real" shoes, for sure.

  2. That's nice. My folks had some friends who sometimes dropped by in the evenings and I looked forward to their visits.

    More than looking good I'd say it's a reason to always have some cookies/coffee/booze around to offer them.

  3. I live on a farm in Western Australia. Main issue is not getting caught in my pyjamas - sales reps etc tend to start early in the country.

    1. Oy! I would have to stay-up all night just to be a good hostess for the next morning. Morning is not something I take to well. Have you seen the Alexander Wang sweatpants? They are really cute and I think a really good option for that "just in case" early morning visit.


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