I am a good clothes shopper most of the time; careful, considered, conservative and I’m never swayed by the attentions of fawning sales-staff trying to sell me something I can’t really wear or don’t need.
I never ask for help…preferring to take my time… trying on this and that…then maybe going back to an earlier choice… trying a size up, a size down…a different colour…a different brand…before buying a garment.
If I’m suitably electrified by an item, I’ll buy two or even three of them, in case I wear one out and can’t find a replacement in five years time; this explains the collection of ‘Levi 501s’ I have at home, amassed over a twenty-year period, with waist sizes ranging from 28” (1990) to 33” (2004) which I intend to be able to get back into some day…
Anyway, recently my favourite pair of ‘Nike’ tracksuit pants finally disintegrated in the washing machine after a four-year lifespan spent mostly on the sofa watching TV with me. They were the last of the three pairs I bought in Seoul in 1997 during the Asian currency crisis; $30 each…and possibly the finest couch-potato-wear ever made.
I was gutted at their passing.
However I knew this day would finally come…
So yesterday I dragged myself up to ‘Rebel’, a large sports apparel barn in the local mall, where I hoped to find a new pair of tracksuit pants…or three…to see me safely into the twilight of my TV-watching career.
Spying the tracksuits almost immediately and being a creature of intense habit, I went straight to the ‘Nike’ section and ignoring colour for the moment grabbed a dazzling white size ‘M’ (hopeful much), an ‘L’ (more realistic) and an ‘XL’ (just in case) before poodling off to the fitting rooms.
Unsurprisingly the ‘M’ was a little tight around the waist, not to mention very unforgiving around the crotch. The ‘L’ was a perfect fit around the waist but still a little tight in the crotch. The ‘XL’ was a bit large around the waist, needed the drawstring pulled into the maximum…was still a bit grabby round the crotch…and the legs finished about 20cms beyond my feet.
Unhappy with any of the ‘Nike’ range, I handed them to the slack-jawed, nose-pierced, gum-chewing Westie chick manning (or womanning) the fitting-rooms and went back to the racks to reload. This time I tried the ‘Adidas’ collection; three sizes…in light grey…with the same disappointing results.
I handed the attendant the rejected clothing and went back to the rack again.
I tried ‘Converse’…in beige…
Then ‘Lonsdale’…in red…
Four trips to the fitting room, nearly an hour gone by and I had yet to find a pair of tracksuit pants that felt comfortable enough to lie around in. Nothing would fit; the new cut of tracksuit pants was stylish to be sure and fleecy as fuck…but the obsession with low-rise, hipster-type gym wear had definitely taken its toll on the lounge-factor.
Not to mention the fact they seemed a bit gay for my fiercely straight taste.
Still, undaunted by my failure I decided to check out some lesser-known brands…’Asics’, ‘Everlast’…with the same results. Every tracksuit manufacturer had apparently capitulated and followed the herd-leader into this awful new design; my frustration was starting to show as I literally hurled the three pairs of light-green ‘Diadora’ pants at the pointless stoner still leaned against the fitting-room door.
‘You’re not having much luck there are you, Sir ?’
‘No…I’m having some trouble finding a cut that feels comfortable…in the crotch…the new styles seem to favour a slimmer wearer…and the hip-huggy thing is not really me.’
‘Did you particularly want to get a pair of women’s tracksuit pants ?’
‘Well, are you particularly set on the women’s’ range or would you like to try on some men’s tracksuit pants ?’
‘Please don’t tell me I’ve been trying on chick’s pants for a fucking hour and this is the first you’ve said anything. Please tell me you haven’t just stood there and folded ninety-nine pairs of women’s tracksuits and watched me go off to get more. Why the fuck would I want women’s tracksuit pants…you fucking spoon ?’
‘I wasn’t sure.’
‘Right…so where are the men’s trackies ?’
‘Over there (gesturing to the other side of the store).’
It’s funny because once the silly cunt pointed it out to me; the colours did seem a bit unmanly come to think of it…and there was a rack of leggings right nearby now that I remember…along with one-piece swimsuits if the truth be told…and some very small running shoes…fucketty fuck fuck fuck…