Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Brotherhood of the Travelling Pants

Oh, clothes "tell a story about taste and individuality" all right. Don Parker ought to know. Because the pants he made in 1967 had a few things to say. A few dramatic things.

This is the story of one seemingly ordinary pair of pants:

I don't suppose you want to hear about how they cut the flannel and I was sewed up in some factory. I had a large family. Well, really quite large. There were a lot of legs, a lot of belt loops and pockets and it was all too easy to get lost in the machinery. 

But I didn't mind. I was always - oh, I guess I was something of a dreamer. I thought: someday, some brilliant celebrity will be wearing me on a transatlantic jet, almost but not quite spilling champagne on me and ordering minions about.

But life took a wrong turn for me. It all started going wrong when they put that permanent crease in.  The Immacula Durable Crease, they called it. Sounds like Dracula to me. And I call it a nuisance.

It cheapens my look, you see. No really expensive pair of pants has that cheap permanent dividing line. And that ridiculous super-tight fit which says: don't sit down, or there'll be a wedgie in your future.

Anyway, I ended up at Sal's Haberdashery in Des Moines. Was bought by a used car salesman named Al. Al stands a lot, trying to pester folks into buying clunkers out on the back lot. So the famous crease stays put. But it is - well, boring. And I'm tired and worn down, to be honest. 

Champagne and minions? I'd just settle for a martini and pretzel sticks at the local Holiday Inn.

And I could sure use a sit-down, for a change. A wedgie? Who cares anymore! Not me.

[From Time, May 1967.]

13 comments:

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Honestly, those are some scary-ass pants. I cant quite figure out why... but they are so intense. So oddly pointy. I don't know. If I was like...a 6th grader and my teacher walked into class in those pants? Id be horrified.

Hairball said...

"The Immacula Durable Crease, they called it. Sounds like Dracula to me."

BWAH!

Lidian said...

Tracy - Yes, pointy is the exact word for these.

Hairball - I think Dracula was the designer.

Eric said...

I'll avoid the obvious awkward joke about the ad's 'happy ending' comment. They are already on thin ice by insinuating the executive look is from the belt down.

scottsabode said...

Also troubling is the the way these pants turn their wearer into a eunuch. This model doesn't even have a Ken-Doll-Like bulge up there...

Tori Lennox said...

I think the model q\was actually a woman.

Michael said...

These Dracula pants leave a bit to be desired. First of all, they sound like a barfly, what with the desire to hang about Holiday Inns and drinking Martinis. Second, the fabric looks CHEAP. Third, they are way too tight and (maybe it is just me but...) those are some high-water britches. Don Parker...keep your lousy worsted "Parksbury" flannel!

The Bewildered Brit said...

Oh I was wondering where those trousers got to! :)

...

Why are you all looking at me like that?

Lidian said...

Eric - Happy ending indeed!

scottsabode - Maybe that is the real Ken.

Tori - Or perhaps Barbie.

The Bewildered Brit - A quiet lol from me - not looking like that at you at all!

Paul Baines said...

Lol! Those creases crack me up - I remember seeing my dad wear something ghastly like these when I was very young. Plus of course an oversized belt, an open shirt and obligatory medallion ha ha.

Lidian said...

Paul - Ah, medallions! I will have to look out for an ad featuring those. I remember those!

Bill said...

The mid-century Dracula probably reveled in the adamantly-creased look. Lying about all day in a moldy coffin surely didn't promote a freshly pressed appearance.
It's only faintly alluded that these trousers come from the House of Parksbury, home of the knock-off Parksbury House dinner roll.

Amy said...

oh my! they certainly look very tight!