I was paid a compliment the other day. This in itself was not uncommon. I often get simple compliments: nice shoes, cool tie, love the braces, etc. These are often made in passing to which my response is a courteous thank you.
Most compliments, precisely because they are made in passing, can be deflected easily. You don’t need to respond to them in any depth apart from being courteous and gracious. Given that men often struggle to compliment other men, being gracious when complimented is the least you can do.
However, this compliment was not like these. First, it was not made in passing. And second almost word for word a similar compliment was made to me a little while before by someone else. It was ‘How is it that your cargo trousers look great on you when every other cargo trousers I’ve seen looks a bit silly?Well what do you say to that? The implication was that there was something about the way I was wearing them or something about me that made these cargo trousers look great. The reality, of course, is that these cargos look great not because of something I’m doing but because they are a truly awesome pair of trousers. In my humble opinion.
The awesome cargo trousers in question are green corduroy. I’m conscious that for many, any single one of these three characteristics, green, corduroy or cargo, would have ruled these trousers out. However, for some reason they come together really well in these trousers.
Interestingly, it’s not like they are some wonderfully tailored, high quality items. They cost the princely sum of £9, discounted from £18 from George @ ASDA. However, they really do fit well. And when I say well, what I mean is that they fit me almost exactly the way I like my trousers to fit. They are snug at the waist, loose in the leg, and flared at the hems which mean that they sit equally well over boots or brogues.They are about an inch too long. On other trousers that would mean that they break awkwardly around the ankles. However, because these trousers are wide at the hem they sit very happily over the shoes and extend nearly to the floor. Even better these trousers sit not on the hips but at the waist (and are still long enough to be just about an inch too long).
These trousers were too large at the waist when I bought them. They were supposed to be a 36-inch waist but were in fact closer to 38 inches. However I paid £9.50 to have the waist professionally adjusted (yes, more than the trousers cost). Once adjusted to size 34 waist they fit perfectly.
If you’ve ever seen a woman in a long summer dress which sweeps to the floor, it is usually an elegant look. These trousers achieve a similar look, a nice clean line sweeping from waist to floor. That they are cords means that they are warm and comfortable as well as elegant.
So why do these cargo trousers look great? Because they are a great pair of trousers which have been adjusted to fit me in more or less exactly the way I like trousers to fit.
However, if people are inclined to think that there is something about the way I am wearing them that makes them look great, I can live with that misperception. I’ll take it as a compliment.