Tuesday, May 4, 2010

pants: not just for fishing

by frédérik sisa

This week, I wanted to draw your attention to Thai fisherman’s pants, which are stylish, yes, but also rather interesting in terms of construction. Designed to be very wide, the pants essentially wrap around the waist, “fasten” courtesy of built-in ties, and are secured by rolling down the fabric at the waist. With wide legs, Thai fisherman’s pants wear loosely and comfortably – good for fishermen rowing boats, yogis, beachgoers, and pregnant men and women everywhere. And, of course, they can be fashionable pieces of apparel on their own merits.




I first discovered these a few years while accompanying my wife on a Hollywood photo tour. While the gang was busy engaging in the photographic arts, I, the stalwart photo equipment caddy, merely enjoyed the company and the view. As we passed by a store whose name I just can’t remember for the life of me, I noticed a mannequin in the storefront display wearing an unusually constructed pair of pants made of a brocaded material. It looked awesome. In talking with a friend, who mentioned having a similar pair, only made of cotton, I became mighty intrigued. And thus, with the power of the web, I came to learn about Thai fisherman’s pants.

Although I never did find those fashion pants from that mystery store, there are plenty of websites selling the traditional style. Of course, I did buy myself a pair of pairs (one full-length black and one ¾ length red) from a website that isn’t nearly as anonymous as it might seem, fisherpants.com.

Unfortunately, I came across a glitch.

Don’t get me wrong: they’re great. Comfortable. Relaxed. And relaxing too. It’s hard to stress out when wearing comfy, unrestricting pants that look good and make you feel like a zennie. But the lack of pockets and a barn door (so to speak) makes these a bit of a challenge for us guys in terms of “street wear.” (I read somewhere that Thai men apparently just roll up the legs, which are wide enough to provide access. Interesting. Of course, some guys seem to completely disassemble their pants for the simplest of tasks, so the lack of a barn door may not be a problem for them. TMI? Sorry.) Ladies, of course, shouldn’t have an issue in either of these departments.

If I don’t post a picture of myself wearing the pants, it’s partly because I don’t tend to like being photographed. (Hence this not being an ensemble-of-the-day kind of blog.) Mostly it’s because of the bigger glitch. I can figure out how to carry my wallet, and the barn door issue isn’t insurmountable. But what the heck do I wear these pants with? I’ve worn them with a t-shirt “well enough,” but I’m really off t-shirts now. T-shirts are lazy apparel that have their place in the wardrobe…just not a dominant place.

So I turn to you, readers. I have a few ideas of what I can pair with the pants, but I want to know what you think? Do you wear fisher pants? What do you wear with them?

Note: image borrowed from fisherpants.com for illustrative purposes only. If you are the copyright holder of the image and would like me to take it down, please let me know and I will do so.)

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