Leading the Pants Revolution

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…


Dan James's picture
Dan James on November 19, 2003 - 20:21 Permalink

You may remember me from such mountain adventures as “outward bound 21 days in the woods”. While on said adventure my Columbia rain gear was mocked by real mountain people. Apparently Columbia is moutainwear for city folk who think it’s made for the outdoors. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 19, 2003 - 20:27 Permalink

It is, in fact, obvious from the construction of said pants, that they would immediately split in two if faced with a real mountain.

Cyn's picture
Cyn on November 20, 2003 - 03:56 Permalink

I’ve had the same pleat talk with Wayne. He so does look out of touch when he wears them. The dudes at Dows obviously are trying to get rid of there pleated pant stock with a fashion lie like that. Pleats are on their way back in….me arse.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 20, 2003 - 04:31 Permalink

I misspoke in my original post: the Dows man said “pants without pleats are on their way back in”.

Cyn's picture
Cyn on November 20, 2003 - 13:50 Permalink

My faith in Dows has been restored.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 20, 2003 - 14:22 Permalink

The secret untold story of Okeedokee, the company that Dave Moses and I started about 5 years ago in the heart of the dotcom insanity, is that the original kernel that inspired us was the notion that we could somehow sell well-designed, functional clothes to men online. That idea somehow fell by the wayside, and we ended up designed websites for Bed and Breakfasts just like everyone else. But I think there’s still something there.

Alan's picture
Alan on November 20, 2003 - 15:06 Permalink

Isn’t that what LL Bean does well? or did you intend it to be multiple brands?

Ian Williams's picture
Ian Williams on November 21, 2003 - 06:13 Permalink

Oh, blessed be to Catherine for the “no pleats” zone. If I wore pleats into my apartment, Tessa would march me right back around and lock the door until I went and bought REAL pants.

Pleats are kind of horrifying in an ancient dandy New England sort of way. And they make ya look fat.