Trousers

Trousers are very interesting. I’m wearing a pair even as I type this.

They are very useful for covering the lower parts of the body for those occasions when it is unsuitable to be seen walking around town in just a string vest.

You can have long trousers which come down to just above the shoe (more of which in a later blog) or you can wear a variety of lengths dependent on the weather or simply your preference. Trousers which have been cut to above the knee are known as ‘shorts’. Shorts vary in length from just below the knee right up to crotch level (essential for those who have incredible legs and the required amount of exhibitionism).

I have about twenty pairs of trousers, including those which accompany suit jackets (more of which in another later blog). Some are more casual than others with the ubiquitous denim jean variety seeing the light of day more often than the others. Some of my trousers have lots of pockets all the way down the side of each leg. These are called ‘Cargo Pants’ and are very difficult to walk in when you actually stow your ‘cargo’ away in them. In reality, you’d be best advised to carry little more than a mobile phone, set of keys and a wallet, otherwise you’ll find it hard to run for a bus without your cargo pants ending up round your ankles. And, of course, you can carry this bare minimum in an ordinary pair of trousers anyway which rather negates the reason for the existence of cargo pants. I suppose they appeal to those who want to appear adventurous and outdoorsy giving the impression that they’ve just descended from the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro and trekked for 14 days across the Sahara (which is quite a long walk, I can tell you – actually I can’t, but I’m wearing cargo pants at the moment and they are influencing me).

Why are trousers a plural word? Do monopeds wear a ‘trouser’? This deeply philosophical question reminds me of the time when Vivian Stanshall and Roger Ruskin Spear of The Bonzo Dog Band went to a Savile Row tailors and asked to see a pair of trousers. They tested one pair for strength by pulling it, one leg each, between them. Eventually, to the horror of the perplexed assistant, the trousers ripped into two separate legs. Right on cue, as organised in advance by these two ace pranksters, a one legged man hopped into the shop and shouted “They’re just the ticket! I’ll buy both!”

According to Wikipedia, Nomadic Eurasian horsemen/women such as the Iranian Scythians, along with Achaemenid Persians were among the first to wear trousers. and that they were introduced to Western Europe by a clown. A CLOWN! It really makes sense: Trousers were introduced into Western European culture at several points in history, but gained their current predominance only in the 16th century, from a Commedia dell’Arte character named Pantalone (Italian word for Trousers)

Trousers. Where would we be without them?

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