Tuesday, 25 July 2017

We Love You, Harry High-Pants!

Can You Tell a Man's Age by the Height of his Trousers?

My elderly neighbour Ivy, recently shared with me this gorgeous black-and-white of her hubby Robert wearing a costume his mother made for him when he was just a young lad.

While not sure of the exact year, Ivy believes it to be sometime during the 1940's "when The War was on and we had to make do with what we had".

Couldn't you just die?

Old Men start young with Pants High

Hey, Superman...


Adorable as it most definitely is, it’s hard not to miss the extremely elevated pair of buckled-up underpants that Superman aka Bobby aged five, is sporting in the photo.

(Gee, the poor kid had no chance!)

It explains too, why the now 82 year old Bob clearly has no qualms with wearing his trousers as high as an elephant’s eye to this very day.  Undoubtedly, it's what he grew up with, feels comfy in and it's how he (and Superman) were raised.

Which is fair enough when you consider the fashions of the time.  Their time.  Back in the day with big screen stars like Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck & co - all swanning about, gushing masculinity (well, most of the time) and looking suave as all heck in their tall tweeds.  When the trend for the dapper man about town, was to do likewise and don a stylish pair of pleated high-waisted pants just like their hunky Hollywood idols.

And always with a belt.

To be fair, I'm not sure if Bob's always worn his trou so alarmingly aloft or whether it's been more out of necessity due to the changes in his body-shape since morphing into Retiree status.

Regardless, I can't help but smile when I catch sight of him over the back fence, digging away obliviously in the vege patch with his oversized corduroys yanked up nice and snug.  There's just something endearing... a special 'grandfather' appeal, that brings on warm family memories and makes you almost feeeel the love.

You know?

Old people wearing high trousers

Who wouldn't wanna look as dishy as this? 

Indeed, the ageing process (and the heartless science that goes with it) has a lot to answer for.

We tick merrily along minding our own business and before you know it, TING....you've arrived unwittingly at the mature, sensible-shoed stage of life.  Then, before you can say "pass the lamingtons please"... our once lithe and limber waistlines have become noticeably thickened.

Or in some cases, they've disappeared completely eeek!

Because fat is harder to budge like it was in the slinky, middle-aged career-building years when there was a lot of rushing about to be had.  Subsequently, with slowed-down metabolism from too much sitting about making shopping lists and tutt-tutting about the youth of today, an elder's torso can evolve into what's considered 'portly' or become barrel-like instead.

Some older blokes (much like our Bob), take on this new physical development fairly positively, thank goodness.  They're just relieved to be able to mold their newly created fatty layer into a nice protruding paunch.  Then, if they're any good, they'll find it enables them to wrench trousers up over this new formation like a natural built-in hitching post.

Alternatively, you'll find other elderly gents may opt to ignore this 'battle of the bulge' by tightly clasping their belts in from underneath,  allowing one's belly to flop leisurely out over the top of the belt-line yet still in the vicinity of where they think their waist should, by golly, still be.

Either way, win-win?

Furthermore, while we are busy increasing in age and much worldly wisdom, our bodies start to progressively dwindle in muscle mass as well.  Crikey, can it get any worse?

Meaning the once sexy and toned definition we all once aspired to (and strived like ninnies for), begins to diminish. Add to that a lessening bone density, then watch in awe as we then begin shrinking in height, thanks to our bodies basically collapsing into themselves.

Yes, you heard.... COLLAPSING.

Throw in the nicely rounded butt that’s served a chap all his years, literally upping and disappearing on him almost overnight.  For goodness sake, it's basically just a complete anatomical reversal of the changes that happened during puberty that turned us into adults in the first place!

But wait... THERE'S MORE!

Eventually, after a lifetime of all this standing about looking fabulous and ‘being a man’ (and when he’s finally admitted defeat and accepted this appalling thing called Retirement) a bloke's spine now starts to buckle and bend until his body is baggy and saggy and then lo and behold, before he knows it...his bloody pant bottoms are now dragging on the ground.


All that being said, and maybe because it happens so gradually, the changes in an older man's stature can often go unrecognised.  Which means most of my male clients are happy as Larry continuing blithely on wearing the same trousers they've had, like, for-EVER.

Amusing though, are some of the excuses I hear from these denying Larries:

“Well I’ve worn these slacks since that Armstrong lad walked on the moon and never had any bother with them”

“Top quality pants these, not like the cheap foreign rubbish you get in the shops now”

“These trousers have lasted me 36 years as a copper on the beat, so why would I go changing them now?”

Besides, the focus now as it is for many adults of advanced years, is less on how they look in their clothes, than on more pertinent issues such as the managing of increasingly frequent health issues, the price of bread or more essentially… what the weather is doing tomorrow.

Old Men Wearing their Pants HIgh
Can you can really judge a man's age

by how far up his britches sit?

No.  Of course you can't determine a man's precise age based solely on how up-lifted he prefers to position his trousers. But it's certainly easy to spot the more senior old boys when they do yank 'em up so excessively.  Out and about in the community, bustling along with great purpose and leaving no room for doubt that the higher the pant - the more important their mission.

Be it a morning stroll to buy the newspaper, or heading off with wheeled trolley in tow for a lap of the shops or maybe another load of library books.  It doesn't matter the quest, just as long as his dungarees are tugged up securely and with as much altitude as practicable.

So if you're one of these elderly dudes with The Incredible Shrinking Body who's looking to correct the state of his seemingly enlarged trousers in a fashionable, yet dignified manner - it seems you have limited options:

  • Revive an old trend and use suspenders to hold up your pants (because tightly clenched belts produce such an awful puckered affect)
  • Admit defeat and consider wearing a sarong-type garment to emphasise your cultural side. Or maybe fly free n easy in a Scottish kilt for that 'European-and-I-canny-care' look.
  • Give the modern day trackpant a whirl (built in elastic totally eliminates the belt dilemma)
  • Face facts and get your pants altered by a tailor (or a wife if you still have one)
  • Stop being a tight bastard and splash out on some new slacks that fit you properly!

Or if none of these appeal and you couldn't care less about where your waistline might have run off to... then hoist those sails high, my good fellow, and continue blissfully wearing your trustworthy gabardines of yesteryear.

Who gives a toot what these young whipper-snappers say, as they swagger about with bum-cracks hanging out of their low-slung designer denims.  You go right ahead and jack your nipple-cinching pantaloons up to your armpits if you fancy... right where they so magnificently belong.

All I know is, when I arrive at a client’s home and I’m greeted at the door by yet another darling pensioner with his shirt tucked firmly into his slacks (or sometimes a pair of no-nonsense walk-shorts on warmer days) hoisted above and beyond, almost to chest height... for some reason it just makes me want to be even nicer.


Modern day Superman with low pants

-  Modern-day Superman 

(riding a lot lower, thankfully)


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