Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pants and Counter-pants

Patrick, I decided to respond to your post about pants. See, I'm also afflicted by a pants wardrobe with limited applicability beyond a particular region.

In high school, I never really gave much thought to my pants. They fit. They looked fine. They're pants. How complicated could it be? My beloved home of Cincinnati is a city best classified as part Midwestern, part Southern. From the Midwest, we inherited practicality and a lack of curiosity. From the South, we inherited all of the redneck but none of the charm (thanks a lot, Kentucky). That's how I can best explain my pants wardrobe in high school: practical and complacent, but not particularly charming.

North Carolina, where I attend college, is a land of bow ties, pastels, ribbon belts, seersucker, and boat shoes. I was coming from a land of flat-front khakis, Birkenstocks, and nicely pressed shirts. No longer would pants be such a straightforward matter.

As I outgrew my clothes from high school, my wardrobe gradually changed. Content in my Southern haven, I hardly even noticed. But every so often, I was offered subtle reminders. Whether on a trip home to Cincinnati or a semester abroad in London, I learned that there are many places in this world where a man wearing Nantucket red is not taken seriously. Trust me.

I have pairs of pants--pants that I've grown attached to--that I'm unable to wear every time I leave the South. From white linen to green seersucker, I left a chunk of my wardrobe behind this summer when I moved to DC. Patrick, if you think that men in light-colored pants are funny, then my closet would be a Mitch Hedberg stand-up act.

Someday, I might take a job in a city that chews up and spits out men who dare to wear pants with a little bit of color. When I'm old and wise and thirty, it might not seem like such a big deal. But right now, it's a notion that I'm having a hard time accepting.


Patrick Jarenwattananon said...

Winters, the Dark Side of pants looks upon you with the scornful pity reserved for barbarians and Untouchables. Should I ever envisage thee in thy transplanted habitat, bedecked in gaudy green seersucker or the lamentably-misnamed Nantucket reds, I might just weep for all of humanity. O Holy Robert Siegel, what hath the Dirty Dirty done with this pastel-adorned youth, little more than a boy, now reduced to less than a man?

Sarah said...
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Sarah said...

Mike! You must have read my mind. Many of us have left the daring and adventurous parts of our wardrobes behind in our midst to not be openly pointed and laughed at. However, I know that deep down you can't wait to wear your mint seersucker again, and one day, you'll make the world (or at least Patrick) jealous of your serious affinity towards color.