Thursday, August 04, 2011

About Pants

Clothing choice is governed by a certain algorithm. The main factors in the equation are comfort, practicality, and messaging.

(Yes, messaging -- clothing sends signals, whether intended or not. You can't stop people from reading your clothing for clues about you. This is a lesson learned by all teenage nonconformists.)

Some of my favorite clothes to wear -- for reasons of comfort first and practicality second -- have been the sort of loose fabrics one wraps around oneself in Zen centers. Outside of that environment, it's hard to wear that stuff without people giving you a hard time. I could tell you stories, and many readers of this blog have stories of their own, I am sure.

One of my personal issues around clothing is trousers. The trousers I feel prompted to wear are tight around the waist and crotch. I often wear pants designed for meditation or martial arts because they have extra room in the crotch and are plenty loose. Loose-fit jeans, if any. My business suit has suspenders so I don't have to cinch a belt around my belly. I also favor the sarong for reasons of comfort and practicality. The problem with the sarong is, in the U.S. everyone wonders why you're wearing a skirt -- and some males respond with a surprising degree of aggression.

So I'm always looking to that algorithm, looking for pants I enjoy wearing that won't cause me too much social friction.

Which leads me to a product endorsement. Yeah, that's right: I'm endorsing a product.

The Mountains and Rivers Order, a Zen organization founded by the late Daido Loori, is selling Thai "fisherman" pants through their online store. And what the hell, I'm endorsing the pants. The style is nothing new, and the pants have long been available through other outlets. But the ones they are selling here are good: made from good quality cotton (or hemp, but those are twice as expensive). And the price -- again, for the cotton ones -- is low.

This is a terrific style of pants. Unisex. Simple. One-size-fits-all. This is the kind of clothing that conforms to your shape and form, rather than obliging us to "fit into" our clothes. Every pregnant woman deserves a pair of these.

They have the feel of a sarong but are more secure and versatile. I can wear them doing housework, I can sit Zen in them, and I can be seen in public in them without causing a spectacle. Doggone it, there's no reason a businessman shouldn't wear them at the office -- except that the corporate uniform requires uncomfortable suits that send certain messages about power and virility.

(And don't even get me started about shoes.)

That's all. I like these pants. Carry on with your day.


wundermary said...

These pants look handsome and comfy.
How do you feel about kilts?

Rory Raven said...

I myself am strongly in favor of kilts. And suspenders. But not at the same time.

Adam said...

these are nice, thanks for the tip. Kilts are pricey, from $75-$250. If they were more affordable, I'd definitely rock one.

Kelly said...

You sound like my son. He wears "sleep pants" as often as he can get by with it. I don't blame him. I've always believed in dressing comfortably and the pants you have featured here look quite comfy.

quid said...

Next thing you know, you're a pitchman.

These are cool. My personal idea is that hospital scrubs ought to be the clothing that America embraces for work. All work. Everyone. Loose. Comfortable. A size to fit all. Easy to wash and dry. Incredibly inexpensive. All kindsa colors.

So far, I haven't got any traction with that.

Algernon said...

Kilts are very pleasing to my eye and I'm told they win on comfort, too. I've never worn one -- I dread someone coming up to me and saying, "What clan are ye from?" and having to admit I just think kilts are cool. However, I once attended a wedding where the groom was a Scot, and all the men in the wedding party wore kilts, Scottish or no. It's like they had permission. And it was beautiful.

Algernon said...

Dear Lynn, hospital scrubs yes! They look very comfortable and dignified.