29 December 2010

Snow Pants

With all this snow on the ground and the temperatures running cold, there's nothing like a good pair of flannel lined khakis to keep a fellow warm, dry and stylish.
The toughest thing with khakis is often finding a good shade. This pair is on the darker side, close to what is sometimes referred to as "British Tan" or "Antique Khaki". As much as I may be turne off by that kind of pseudo-historical marketing, this is my favorite shade of khaki nonetheless.

Better still, this pair is lined a gun club check flannel so nice, I almost want to wear them inside out. The pants are 100% cotton, and the flannel is 80% cotton/ 20% wool. Very warm, yet very soft, lightweight and comfortable.

Even better, they're made by Viyella, that classic Scottish manufacturer of perfect cotton/wool flannel, usually in some kind of plaid. Before finding this pair ($4.99), I thought of Viyella mainly as a maker of shirts, occasionally a necktie. Viyella lined pants are a bonus. But it's not all a bed of roses...
Made in Mauritius? Kind of takes the wind out of the sails a pinch. I want my Viyella to be Scottish all the way, or at least made in USA of Sottish Viyella fabric. But what can you do? Sometimes, you gotta look the other way. For one thing, the nine year old in Mauritius who made these pants for 1 1/2 cents did a damn good job. For another, I bought these in a thrift store, removed from the globalized ugliness of their provenance,  where my money was going to charity rather than in a department store for 350% markup, or whatever they get. And furthermore, they are now officially recycled, saved from the trash. You gotta take the good with the bad, I guess.

Anyway, the next time you have to move three feet of snow by hand from in front of your house, do it in flannel lined khakis. Technical clothes belong on little kids and ski slopes, and even that's questionable.

p.s. Shop Update:
I know you all probably got a sweater for Christmas, but there are plenty more just now available in the knitwear section in the shop. With the holidays safely in the rear view, it's time to spoil yourself. As always, my prices are low enough that you don't even have to feel guilty. Check it out.


Chuck Hatt said...

Taking the good with the bad, finding a way to add some value in an ethical response to the world. Good food for the soul as always, Guiseppe. Thanks.

David V said...

"Technical clothes belong on little kids and ski slopes, and even that's questionable."

So true.
What happened to stylish ski wear?

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

My friend always calls technical wear "tactical wear" with hilarious sarcastic contempt. Keep in mind that oil-skins and waxed cloth were once considered technical. A day ago, my son asked why his jacket was "loud and slidey" instead of Papa's "soft quiet" one. I told him that LL Bean keeps young boys warmer if they wear slidey [Gore-Tex] jackets. He wasn't having any of it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm afraid that most of my clothes were probably made in less than ideal circumstances by people who are kinda-sorta being taken advantage of.

But I help justify it to myself by buying them all used, and then taking them to the tailor down the street. Then, at least, they're partially made in the USA, and recycled to boot. A little dopey, I know, but it's something.

Great looking pants, by the way.

Young Fogey said...

As an actual real-live skier, let me tell you: technical clothes, of one sort or another, are the only practical choice for the slopes.

I've worn woolen pants for skiing. First, snow sticks to them, making them heavy. Then some of the snow melts, making them wet--and then the process repeats! "Best" of all, they aren't windproof, so they don't keep you all that warm on windy days. Same applies to woolen sweaters, mittens, & coats.

Out in the snow, the two most important things are keeping warm and dry, with the latter being a prerequisite for the former. Nothing beats proper technical clothing for that, and I don't care how dorky I may look in it (but I think my color combinations, and especially my hats, rescue me from the worst of it).

Now, I know that people look a zillion times better in old-fashioned ski clothes than in modern technical wear. Check out this guy! (From this post--check out the socks.) He looks great--but I simply cannot imagine skiing in a suit, with a tie around my neck.

Practicality trumps style on the slopes--but that doesn't apply to apr├Ęs ski. That's the perfect opportunity for "sporty casual" in the winter mode: patterned sweaters, colorful wide-wale cords, and Nordic-style accessories are the cat's meow once you're off the slopes.

Anonymous said...

"Viyella, that classic Scottish manufacturer of perfect cotton/wool flannel"... I thought Viyella was a classic English company?

Sophie said...

What's all this Scottish Viyella business? It's one of the most English companies I know, and was founded in a valley less than 20 miles from where I live!

Giuseppe said...

Perhaps I stand corrected on the
matter of Viyella's country of origin, though I do have items from them that were woven in Scotland.

Still, duly noted and thank you.

Giuseppe said...

In any case, Mauritius is still a long way from the British Isles.

Anonymous said...

Coats, a Scottish company, merged with the English Viyella company in 1967. Having plants a long way from the British Isles was nothing new for them. Coats' first overseas plant was in Germany in 1832 and by 1903 they also had plants in Argentina and Canada. The Coats plant in Mauritius opened in 1988 and they have plants in over 65 countries now.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

Mauritius. Still very English and a history of Crown involvement ... read your Patrick O 'Brien (not that I'm some Royalist).

Young Fogey said...

Anonymous 11:47,

"my clothes were probably made... by people who are kinda-sorta being taken advantage of."

I have a certain skill set, and people take advantage of it, in exchange for which I get money. The same is true of the guy who makes our clothes. It's a basic of capitalism, which we all know is the worst economic system--except for all the others.

On the one hand, I wish that most American manufacturing jobs had never gone overseas. We are large enough that, except for some natural resources, we can be economically self-sufficient. However, we are not living in my ideal world, and ever since China entered the WTO, America has shuttered over 500,000 factories. This means that much of what used to be made here is now made elsewhere, and if you're lucky enough to find something that's still made in America, it might be too expensive.

On the other hand, I take some consolation in knowing that by buying a pair of socks made in Shitholestan, made by some impoverished waif, I am providing him a living that he might not otherwise have.

ADG said...

Viyella...brilliant fabric. I wore a cashmere and cotton blend shirt yesterday...under and old beat up cashmere sweater. Perfect. And your ...pseudo-historical marketing...is spot on G-Man. I just did a story last night in honor of all the latest "reinterprative-artisnal" bullshit going down in the world.

HOM said...

I got 2 new Viyella shirts for myself this year, combing a bunch of coupons and sales on http://www.sierratradingpost.com/ they came out to around 35 each.
Both are made in China.
I have a few of my Da's old shirts, made in British Hong Kong, Canada and England by the tags.

Anonymous said...

"Technical clothes belong on little kids and ski slopes, and even that's questionable."

Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

Eat shit.