Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Corde du roi"

It's been a grim, depressing few days here on WWYG?! so I am attempting to move on with myself today by shifting the focus to one of my themes that has lain fallow for a while . . .

The Clothing Project!

Today, I am choosing corduroy pants as my clothing to ruminate on, in part because during the fall and the winter months, I almost entirely live in corduroy pants.

A few of my potential readers might have their own particular associations regarding corduroy but that is mostly a joke for some of the insiders.

You aren't here to figure that out. You are here to learn about what corduroy means to me and what it might say about my personality and my own life journey.

Well, I'm afraid I don't know how to answer that question. I'm just going to sit here and look at my corduroy pants--I've got six pairs of them--and free associate.

Let's begin . . .

As you can see from the photo, I've got quite a few pairs of cords here. I favor the wide wale type of corduroy--meaning that the fabric bunches in thicker "ropes" rather than in a more numerous thin pattern. Back in high school, when I first decided that I liked the soft feel, warmth, and drape of the corduroy pant, I wore a more narrow wale, but once college hit, for whatever reason I don't actually recall, I went exclusively to the wide style.

I only wear them in the cold weather months, of course, but during that part of the year, I wear them almost constantly. I have a brown pair, a tan pair, and a black pair that I rotate through with regularity. As you can see from the above photo, I have some color duplication. That is a result of the expanding and contracting of my waist over the years, not because I need to have more than one of a color.

You can also notice that I have a dark blue pair. They are probably too snug for me to wear right now, but they are distinctive for the fact that they are the only pair of pants that I have ever paid a seamstress to have the length adjusted. I bought them, oh . . . about six or seven years ago now when we were living in Hilliard. Previously, when younger, I had always had my pants hemmed by Mom or been careful to purchase pants that were length-appropriate. I think these were given to me as a gift. I don't think Lynda knows how to hem (but I guess I've never had occasion--except here--to ask . . . and they say people who are married for a long time have nothing new to discover about each other), so I had to find someone. I recall simply looking in the yellow pages under seamstress or some such appropriate key word until I found someone close to where we were living then.

I drove over on a Saturday morning and felt distinctly foolish and apprehensive. I carried the pants with me, thinking it was inappropriate (?) to wear the garment to the appointment. But, as I approached, I wondered if there would be a place for me to change. And then I'd have to stand there while a stranger crouched at my feet and adjusted and pinned. It was just a newly odd experience. This kind of thing used to be quite common, I believe, but I've never had it done to me in a business-like fashion. (And it was before I became a Harry Potter fan, so I couldn't distract myself from the awkwardness by imagining I was shopping in Madam Malkins or Twilfitt and Tattings.)

I used to get good-natured jokes aimed at me in the office for my constant wearing of the corduroy pants. And I just shrug it off. (There are much worse things to be defined by. . .) But this year, my uberboss stopped me at the start of the Fall season and asked me point blank why I wasn't wearing my corduroy pants yet. He pointed out that HE was already wearing his--and he was quite happy about it too. I don't think he made our sartorial solidarity known throughout the office, but I took that as a point won by me.

And ultimately, I don't care what anyone says. Comfortable pants are not to be scoffed at, no matter the fabric or season.


Sven Golly said...

Somehow the phrase 'clothing to ruminate on' brings to mind the dog who chewed up my favorite boots, or the cow that got into the laundry.

But more seriously: Does a corduroy jacket (or suit!) have the same magic as the pants? Which French king started this frenzy? Should we write a Didyouknow in chapter XIV?

Anonymous said...

that seamstress story was a real cliffhanger. so what happened? did you de-trou in public? did you have a place to do it? and isn't "seamstress" sexist, now? good post, though. go pants!

David said...

Sorry to be a sloppy writer. I'll endeavor to improve.

There WAS a place for me to change, so no public depantsing took place.

And yes, seamstress is likely frowned upon. But she was of an earlier generation and might not have taken it badly, had I called her such to her face.

What IS the proper term now--Clothier alterationist?

Anonymous said...

i say "seam-tron."
just kidding, i have frayed cuffs.
i got altered once but that was in college.