They are from the fabulous overstock page on the Land's End website. Originally $60, these pants were marked down to $14.99 (hmm, wonder why), hemming including and the shipping was free. Plus, the color is called 'Cranberry', so quaintly New England it makes you sigh, even if the pants are made in Hong Kong.
Free shipping can be a funny thing, and you pretty much get what you pay for. I ordered these pants 2 weeks ago. 1 week ago, according to UPS tracking, the pants were left at my back door while I was out. After a good look around the house and the back yard, no pants. So I called UPS, and explained the situation. They said 'we delivered your package'. I said 'But I don't have my package'.They told me fairly bluntly and a little rudely that it wasn't their problem. I said 'so that's it, then?'. They told me I should call the shipper.
So I called Lands End. Let me tell you, they gave me some right proper old fashioned customer service. After asking me for my order number and confirming my address, the operator said, in a charming midwestern accent ' darned UPS' and assured me a new pair would be sent to the hemming department the following Monday. End of the week and the pants arrive. Sure , she referred to me as 'Mrs.' throughout the phone call, but service like that is hard to come by these days. If we could get back to combining that kind of polite service with American manufacturing, in ten years time we'd be laughing at the current economic fiasco. But that's just my wistful opinion.
These pants have a perfectly classic straight cut, and the cloth is a first rate, heavy wide wale corduroy. Being such an avid thrifter, its a treat to buy fresh. As I tried them on, my wife half-jokingly said to our young son 'It's a miracle, Daddy bought something new for himself.' Well, it only happens when the price is right. Being cursed with a combination of permanent mild poverty and inherited old world stinginess, it's something I can't help.
Of course I plan to wear these Cranberry Cords on Christmas, perhaps with a white cable knit sweater. In the meantime, I think they'll make a fine semi-regular addition to my winter wardrobe, with a tweed jacket or blue blazer perhaps. Look for their virgin run sometime later this week.