“Dad always told me, and his dad told his sisters that ‘if you can’t fit a fist in your jeans, they are too tight.’ I forget what it was about the top. It was something funny. It was a rule of thumb. If they couldn’t put their fists in their pockets then they couldn’t go out.”
The informant thinks the rule is silly, but her personal style has been very impacted by the saying. “Why do you think I wear such baggy clothing?” She remembers her father telling her to go change, and she would put on the polar opposite (baggy sweatpants). The informant doesn’t really seem to have minded the rule, but she is more open now to wearing tighter clothing than she was allowed to before.
Proverbs and little phrases like the one above get more contextualized in people’s personal lives more than they may realize. Though the informant recognized that she wore baggier clothing for her father’s approval at first, she later became more attracted to that type of clothing without thinking about the proverb. Folklore has a large though sometimes invisible influence on all aspects of life.