I went out today to buy a new pair of pants. The year-old frayed at the edges pair of L.L. Bean chinos I’ve been wearing of late are fine for Prince Edward Island, but I’m flying up to Ottawa this afternoon and such pants aren’t Ottawa-compatible.
Catherine’s only charge as I headed out the door was “don’t buy pants with pleats.” She didn’t care if I bought yellow pants, red pants, green pants or wire mesh pants, as long as they were pleatless.
Truth be told, although I have passing familiarity with pleats, I couldn’t tell you which, if any, in my current stable of pants are pleated. Catherine can. Apparently when I wear pleated pants I “look like an old man.” This is not a good thing in Catherine’s eyes, so presumably it means more “disheveled louse” than “elder statesman.”
So I headed out to Dow’s, one of two remaining mens clothing stores in downtown Charlottetown, and the only one that sells products styled before 1962 (see here for details).
I walked through the $175 pants section (who buys $175 pants anyway?) to the “relaxed casual” section, and tried to find pleatless pants. In vain.
I went in search of a clerk, and he helped me search. He found two pairs of pleatless pants in their entire stock, one light beige and the other dark blue, both colours I try to avoid at all costs.
On my way out the door, I made a comment about how I’m obviously behind the times, and that the entire world has gone pleated. “No,” said my salesman, “pleats are on their way back in.”
So, apparently, I’m actually ahead of the curve on this one! Thanks be to Catherine for keeping me in the right place on the fashion calendar.
I phoned Catherine. “Are you *sure* about the pleats?”, I asked. “Yes, I’m sure,” she replied, “no pleats!”.
As a last ditch effort, I went up to the Kettle Creek, oops, I mean “K&C” store on the second floor of the Confederation Court Mall. I ended up buying a pair of Columbia-brand pants which are appointed as if I was going to use them to climb mountains, with various subtle grappling hooks and secret pockets. They’re a little to long (I have a 33 inch leg, which is almost impossible to find in a pant outside of Milan). But they have no pleats.
I’m wearing them right now. I’m going to wear them to Ottawa. And I’m equipped to climb any mountains, ford any streams that come up along the way.
Now, I’ve got to go and tuck Morley into bed, feed the dog, and make sure all the lights are off down at the record store…