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yet more pants

I'm sure you, my dedicated readers, have all had one question burning in your minds these past few months, to wit^, "When is Phil going to write more about his quest for pants?" Fear not, your wait is over!

This Saturday my friend kittenaskat is getting married, and I'm invited to attend the wedding. I own a single suit, having got rid last spring of my first suit (which I'm sure hasn't fit in at least five years) and my second suit (which I never actually wore, and which also didn't fit), along with another sport coat that also didn't fit and was missing buttons. The suit that I do still own, I last wore two years ago for parkbenchzine's wedding, and before that was another two years prior for another friend's wedding. I also own three shirts that I consider to be specifically dress shirts, to be worn mainly on occasions when I'd at least consider wearing a suit, and two pairs of charcoal-grey trousers suitable as "business attire".

I tried on the suit on Sunday, and was unsurprised to discover that the suit pants no longer fit, they are much too tight around the waist. Now, I'm a slim guy, and I spent over a decade as the Earth's Gravitational Constant, but even my waist has expanded a bit, so that (for some styles of pants at least) I now need a 32 waist rather than a 30. My leg length however has not changed, again depending on the pant style it's 29 or 30. The suit coat did seem to still fit okay, however the suit is a very dark grey with light grey pinstripes. I was concerned about being able to match the coat with new pants, so I decided that I should buy all-new clothes. (My other charcoal-grey trousers, it turned out, were also too tight around the waist; my white dress shirt was too tight at the collar but too long in the sleeves, while my light blue and light grey shirts fit fine in the collar and sleeves, but really are too wide and loose around my body.)

I went to Macy's, which conveniently was having a sale, and a couple nice salespeople helped me pick out a good ensemble. I explained that I did not actually want a suit as such, because it's so rare that I wear one, I wanted separates that I could wear on other occasions. We found a nice black sport coat that I can also wear on more casual occasions with blue jeans**, a good medium-blue shirt, and nice charcoal-grey trousers... that were just too long, with a 30 length. Unfortunately, the salesperson determined that that brand simply did not come with a shorter length, and actually he didn't really have anything else in charcoal grey with a 29 length. No matter, now that I knew that's what I wanted for pants, I figured I could find some elsewhere.

I'm sure you all see where this is going, but I'll spell it out anyhow. I went to another, larger, Macy's, thinking (who knows?) they might have a larger selection, and they did have grey pants with a 29 length, but those started with 36 waists and went up. Hrm. I checked The Gap at the same mall, they didn't have any, then I went to Nordstroms. The dress pants at Nordstroms are sold "unfinished", the length is tailored for each pair. Great! And their cheapest pants, which is what the sales clerk had picked out on his own initiative, were $145. YIKES. So much for Nordstroms. Today I went to a different Gap downtown, and determined once again that they really didn't have anything in a 32 waist that was less than 30 length; apparently, all short guys are also rotund.

I ended up buying a pair of 32/30s at the Gap that fit okay, but really the legs are still too long. Tomorrow I'm going to try the Men's Wearhouse to see whether I can find the combination of reasonable price, right color and correct length; judging by the website, it seems they just might come to my rescue.

Meanwhile now that autumn's finally here, I can start wearing black jeans again. I never did get any grey casual trousers for the summer; John P has some Carhardts that I believe are exactly what I've been wanting, but I haven't actually found any in stores yet - clearly I've been looking in the wrong stores.

^ My sister has noted astutely that I had made an error on this idiom, which I have corrected. Originally I had written "to whit," but in fact it ought to be "to wit." I am of course abashed and embarrassed at my grievous error. Fortunately, even though I'm admitting it here publicly, who's going to bother re-reading this long entry and discover the correction?

** Those of you who know me in person are thinking, "yeah right Phil, when do you ever go out on a casual occasion wearing a sport coat?" And that's a fair objection. But I found that I actually do like the idea of wearing the coat sometimes, say if I'm going out to a fancy bar with some friends for drinks; it'd be nice to be a tiny bit stylish, and I like that I can have that as an option. More to the point though, I didn't want a suit because I wanted to be able to wear the pants on occasions when I need to be dressy but don't actually need the suit coat. Again, it's now uncommon enough for me to be dressy that anything I buy ought to be wearable on various occasions and not just weddings or funerals.

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( 4 have written — Write )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 30th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
Redmond Work and Western Wear
...is your one-stop-shop for Carhartts. I was about to ask why you didn't have the pants tailored before I realized there isn't enough time! Did you check out Scott's store?

-John
zannah
Sep. 30th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
This was a great story especially because shortly I have to take the James around on a similar quest, as we have a wedding to attend in October. The last time we tried to find dress clothes for him (several years ago) I remember it being quite a pain... *sigh*
alkelda
Sep. 30th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
I would offer to help you hem your trousers (I have a sewing machine), but I would not be able to guarantee pristine results.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 1st, 2005 12:18 am (UTC)
Pants, pants, pants!
(I just like to say the word "pants." It sounds rude.)

--Brad the Gorilla
( 4 have written — Write )

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