20 September 2013

Pants: A Primer

On the Nature and Function of Pants

[The following is an excerpt from the best-selling top-of the-charts bestseller What Do Clothes Do? by Ruthie Bilderberger, reprinted here without compensation or apology, no link to her Amazon page, not so much as a by-your-leave.]

Pants are worn on the body.  Specifically, on the legs. 

Pants generally include two tubes, one for enclosing each of the legs.  Garments lacking two tubes long enough to reach from the human waist to closer-to-the-ankle-than-the-knee are not properly referred to as 'pants'.

In addition to the leg-tubes, pants also contain an upper portion that spans the waist and covers – while at the same time allowing convenient access to – the crotch area.  "Pockets" in which items of a personal or utilitarian nature may be stored are usually included into the bargain.  Oddly, this upper portion of the pants has not been formally named, but if the leg tubes are jettisoned what remains is a pair of 'cutoffs', which if made of denim are 'jean shorts'.

Panties, or 'little pants', are generally intended to be worn inside the actual pants, to provide an extra layer of pant between the skin and the 'outerpants', or 'pants'.

Pantaloons belong to a sub-class of the pant family known as 'trousers' which bear a striking resemblance to pants in many cases but are generally worn more for purposes of ornament than insulation.

'Tight leggings' (not to be confused with modern 'tights' or 'tats') are generally not worn as pants because they fail to adequately obscure the crotch; effectively underpants, they are most effective under overpants or secondary outershorts.

Crotchless pants?  Say what?  Ain’t no such thing as crotchless pants.  At least, not until right this second.  Ladies and gentleman, may I present, for your viewing pleasure, crotchless pants.

Now that we have outlined the basic nature of pants, let's talk about the many roles they quietly, nobly play in our everyday lives.  The functions of pants include: covering the legs to keep them warm and shield them from prying eyes, thorns or burning oil, providing pockets in which to temporarily store personal articles, preventing the rear end from directly contacting the guest furniture, ornamentation, insulation, place to wipe hands, etc.  In addition to these utilitarian aspects, pants may simultaneously serve as a personal statement, by for example matching the shirt or blouse and/or contrasting with the shoes, concealing horrifying scars or accentuating the buttocks or perhaps both at the same time.

Much more could be said about pants: their history, origins and evolution, where they came from and who invented them, who were some of the early pants pioneers and what did their pioneering pants look like; the future of pants (and of legs in general) … pants for different species, up to and including alien pants or the possibility of pants existing in an infinite number of dimensions, wow, can you imagine infinite pants?

But I only had to get to 520 words with this and we passed that a few minutes ago.  So hang on again and continue clicking around the vast expanse of the world wide web for further amusement, after these brief messages.


1 comment:

  1. I think you should have talked more about suspenders. If I wore suspenders, I wouldn’t have to worry about my pants being tight, I could wear them loosely without fear of them falling down because they couldn’t fall down, as long as they are securely clipped they will be suspended in mid-air exactly in the area spanning my waist with the legs of the pants extending downward enclosing my own legs down roughly to the ankle, where socks will take over, amen.


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