Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trouser Terror

This is why I have been afraid to talk about my pants:

But too many American older women wear high waisted jeans in an UN-fashionable manner, and they’re always those ugly light colored acid wash style, with big sweatshirts and such, which is ridiculous. Quoted from this site

Sadly, that's me. Or it was. I no longer have sweatshirts, but I did. And, even more disturbing, I liked the look. (When I was skinny. Not so much now that I'm not).

But still.

As with anything in life, you know you know something. But, you know you could learn more about it. So, you start learning--and you realise how much there is to know and how much about which you have no clue, no clue at all, that you want to stay under the bedcovers all day and never arise.

Certainly you don't want to look at the sorry state of your trousers with a discerning eye--and then tell everyone what you found.

But, at heart, I'm a masochist. (Why else did I stay in academe for 9 years? Well, nobody cared about ripped jeans (which I patched from the inside with vintage pink cabbage rose curtain fabric). Maybe that's why.) (the numbers: what I piled/what stays).

1. Pile. (10/4)

Torture Devices: (2/0)
--A sort of black velvet trouser, with a real waistband. I don't think I've ever worn them. They need to be hemmed, for one thing. But when I tried them on again today, they sort of puckered a bit at the cr*tch. They're "Penman's" and their pants just don't fit me in that area. (I had to purchase some in an emergency once because we went camping and when I went to change out of my shorts into pants, realised I'd forgotten to pack any (along with all my underwear.) So, I had to buy what I could find for less than $20). I was going to "consider" them until I noticed that they attracted 1/2 of the room's dust--just getting them on and off. So, no.

--Navy blue poly blend passing nicely for wool crepe. Lined. They would be wonderful "dressy" trousers if it weren't for the ruddy stove pipe leg. Honest-to-goodness, I've never seen my thighs so wide.

Velveteen Rabbits: (4/0)
--Stirrup pants. I loved these. I probably "grew" out of them about three years ago. They are leaving.
(For the rest see Stalwart Staples)

Stalwart Staples: (5/3)
--Black elastic waist knit. I wore these trousers non-stop last year. I only realised today that they have wide (or straight) legs and make me look dumpy and short. They are extremely comfy, though, sort of warm, and the waistband was a teeny bit loose which made me feel not-quite-so-fat. Condition: Velveteen rabbit (losing their stretch) with a small white paint spot.

--Navy "jogging" pants--2 pairs. Elastic waist with drawstrings. Cotton knit with 5% spandex. Slimming vertical stripes in pale yellow and white on outside seams. 2 drawbacks to these: 1) No pockets and 2) the drawstrings. Condition: Beginning to fade.

--Navy knit. Elastic waist. Slightly tapered leg which is essential to reduce bulk in a knit. FAVOURITE PANTS EVER. Also wore them to death about two years ago. Condition: Extreme VR: seat shiny and hole in derriere seam.

--Jeans. Light blue denim. Natural waist. 5% spandex. Says made in "Maroc." Brand: Brax. Slightly tapered to straight leg. This year's pants I am wearing everyday. Condition: Great.

Superstars: None. Doing outfits at this juncture would be too overwhelming to me.

Same Time, Next Year: (3/1)
Shorts and summer tops are packed away, but I do have a few summer weight trousers in the closet. (I like to hang my pants up. Better use of my drawers this way).
--Light purple draw string cotton almost "pyjama" style pant. Hideous colour. Hate the drawstring. Leaving.
--Mediterranean blue drawstring straight leg cotton trousers. They don't fit properly anymore. :( The leg doesn't bother me for some reason. I think because they are a lighter weight cotton than the purple ones, so they fall better. I don't know. I put them back in the closet to reevaluate next Spring.
--Beige "cargo" type pant but with front pockets. (see post below). Straight leg--essential in a stiffer cottony type fabric. A tapered leg just makes the thighs look larger than tolerable. Condition: VR: piling on seat.

Sentimental Favourites: (1/0)
--The stirrup pants.

Mysteries of the Lost Shopping Trip. (2/0)
--all the torture devices.

2. Analysis
Waist: All trousers must be at my natural waist. This could explain why I haven't gone shopping for pants in years. I prefer elastic waists, but not drawstrings.

Pockets: I have no idea how to even talk about these, I just know that if they aren't cut properly, they look terrible with anything in them. Nonetheless, they are essential to me in summer when I need a place to stash my keys quickly and in winter for tissues and lip balm.

Leg Cut: Straight for all fabrics without drape. For those with any sort of drape or softness, I need a slight taper.

Length: This has been an amazing education: apparently there's all kinds available. I've never had a capri or a pedal pusher--and given that stove pipe taper isn't a good look, I doubt these would be. I like my pants to rest a little on my shoe in front. That's all I know. Perhaps if I wore something other than my super supportive runners (cross trainers to the rest of the world) I'd be a bit more experimental in this department. But, then again, probably not.

3. Gaps.

I am now left with precisely 4 pairs of pants, two of which are the identical drawstring "jogging" pants, the beige elastic waisted pants (which I won't wear in winter) and the jeans. I feel like I need:

1) Good grief, something to wear to Church (again).
2) Another pair of jeans--cut exactly like the ones I'm wearing now.
3) Another pair (or two) of casual pants.
4) I would dearly love to buy another pair of the knit navy pants I have. They are so warm and have the exact mix of casual/dressy that I want. When I bought them, the husband told me to buy two pairs. I should have listened.
5) I'll need some well-fitting summer weight trousers come May or so.

4. Priorities.
My "budget" won't, can't, go this far. Neither can I take this much shopping. So, perhaps I can narrow it down to: a) a warm pair of knit trousers and a dressier pair for Church. Maybe. Until I can get out of these runners, the dressier pair is a lower priority.
So then, one warm pair of casual/dressy pants to replace my beloved navy knit. That, perhaps, I can cope with.


smallcitybeth said...

Could a tailor take in the legs of the navy blue ones that you like, so that you'd feel they looked better? (I say that after deciding that it would cost too much to have all the necessary tailoring done to my navy blue pants, but yours sound nicer to start with...)

Pants are a pain. Especially on a budget. Two winters ago, I got by with a few pairs of really cheap elastic-waist polyester posing as polyester from Sears, which suited my budget, but sure wouldn't have passed muster in Wardrobe Therapy. {I was just thinking about them today, and rejoicing that I hadn't had to drag them out and talk about them on my blog... so I'm talking about them on yours! ;) ]

How dressy do pants have to be to go to Church? Can one pair of warm not-too-casual pants do for Church and regular life, for now, to appease the budget? (There's my dreaded phrase "do for now", but really, when a person is on a limited budget, you have to decide what the priority is, and wait for other stuff. I know this all too well...)

Anyway, good luck if you decide to go pants shopping.

Alana in Canada said...

Yes, the warm "not too casual" pants I'd be looking for would have to "dressy" enough for Church.
It's not a fancy Church--I go in Jeans and I'm OK with it. Another woman, in summer, trots in during her morning jog (no joke).

But there are others in nice dresses {though Jack Nicholson's character (in that Movie with Helen Hunt (He was OCD and she was his waitress with the sick son) would call them "house dresses."}

Older women of the Church dress to the nines, however, and I admire that. It's just that I'd like to dress up a little--and Church is really the only place we ever "go." (Sad but true.)
I'm not sure about the navy blues and tailoring. I'll think about it.
And thanks for the "polyester posing as polyester"--made me laugh.

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