We could all use a little extra joy in our lives these days. With that aim in mind, I’m thrilled to present you with the most deliciously geeky math clothes imaginable: Pi dresses and shirts! What follows is a ridiculous photo shoot (replete with poses featuring a Pi-shaped stick) starring my family, plus details on the fascinating story of how these STEM clothes came to be created.
Math Dresses from WHERE?
I may be an English teacher –18 years as a public school educator, as of this year — but that doesn’t mean I haven’t harbored fantasies of sporting Ms. Frizzle style STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) dresses, splashed with math and science symbols!
You can therefore imagine my delight at learning that my Brown University classmate, Rebecca, had started a company called Princess Awesome in 2013 to make girls’ dresses featuring patterns usually reserved for boys: trains, dinosaurs, math, science, and beyond. Twirly skirts plus equations? Yes please.
Dresses with Pockets
The name of the game at Princess Awesome is comfort plus function, so ALL of their clothing — from dresses to shirts — feature pockets. As you can see from the photo above, my daughter was over the moon to discover that not only did her dress have pockets, but the Pi numbers continued INSIDE those pockets! Oh, and Princess Awesome also makes leggings with pockets (which you can click through to see modeled on my back-bending self).
What is Pi?
Before we talk about these Pi dresses and shirts, we must answer: What is this “Pi” I speak of? Well, Pi is the mathematical ratio found by dividing the circumference of a circle (the distance around it) by the diameter (the length of the line directly through it). The number always comes out to 3.14… and goes on forever because it is an irrational number.
Princess Awesome is a woman-owned small business that is co-owned by Rebecca (who is a former teacher), and her friend, Eva. To create these Pi dresses and shirts, Eva HAND-WROTE 13,230 digits of Pi to print onto the clothes! Behold the result, below…
Perfect Pi Day Clothes
If you’re wondering when is the appropriate time to wear Pi clothing, the answer is: “Any time you want” — but ESPECIALLY on Pi Day, March 14. Why is that date considered Pi Day? Because it can be written 3/14 which is like 3.14! In fact, there are many other ways to celebrate Pi Day, too…
Pi Printables for Teachers and Families
Want to really take Pi Day to the next level? In addition to wearing your Pi Day clothes and eating pies with Pi written on them in pastry crust, you could also make these FREE Pi Day printables which I created on my educational cartoon site, DrawingsOf.com! They feature festive Pi cards to color in and pass out to classmates and loved ones. Math class or homeschooling activity win?
A Story Behind the Pi Shirt
Here’s a lovely back-story behind the Pi shirt pictured here. When Princess Awesome sent the shirt out for production, the printers accidentally left out the “1” in 3.14 on the calculator! Not to be deterred by this error, Rebecca and Eva went into problem-solving mode — appropriate for a math shirt — and decided to simply mail out a permanent marker with every shirt shipment, so people can write in the missing digit, themselves! Leave it to a woman-owned company to know how to creatively fix a kerfuffle.
STEM Clothing Love
I hope these Pi clothes brought you some geeky math joy! If you do end up getting some of your own, feel free to tag me and Rebecca at @WorldLillie and @PrincessAwesomeGirls so we can celebrate your beauty — and practical comfort. Happy Pi skirt spinning!
Special thanks to Princess Awesome for gifting the clothes, and to Gerry Manacsa, @gmanacsa, for the epic photography skills!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!