While in a fast food restaurant a few days ago, I spotted a young man obviously in a fix. He had only two hands, and needed more. He was nattily attired for our times…wearing a pair of baggy pants that could have clothed two boys of his size quite handily.
He was in a fix, because he had several hands full of food, and was in dire need of an extra to hold up his pants. Frankly, I was quite impressed with his dexterity, yet I wanted to yell: “Pull up your pants!”
His britches struck him somewhere below the waterline, in fact, I thought I saw daylight occasionally between the top of his pants, and the lowermost part of his torso. I was extremely thankful he was wearing underwear, which I suppose were also a fashion statement.
The scene brought to mind another young man about his age, a half century or so ago.
I wasn’t immune to faddish dress, and as I wanted to be accepted by my peers, I guess I made a few concessions to good sense, and wore what “everybody else” was wearing….. the 16 year old fashion plates.
First, I want you to know that having ones pants defy the laws of gravity is not just a phenomena of today, for I too, wore my jeans lower than what would qualify as a waistline. However, we wore ours on the crown of our hips…not resting on our thighs. We rolled up the legs of our jeans; to show off our argyle socks, we knew that would be difficult, if ones cuffs were mostly being dragged through the dirt. And, we wore narrow suede leather belts to hold our jeans up.
Our shoes weren’t left out of the trend either. Florsheim shoes were the requisite, if we could afford them….I couldn’t. Blue suede, was the finish of choice. The boys who could, took those high dollar shoes to a shoe shop, and had the soles “wedged”….eliminating the heels by adding layers of leather to the rear of the sole, until a comfortable height was achieved. Next, heavy horseshoe taps were added, making the walking wearer sound like the entire Buckingham Palace guardsmen on parade.
If we wore short sleeved shirts, the sleeves were rolled, forming a cuff…way cool. For effect, a shiny watch chain was added, (the longer the better) hooked onto your belt, and disappearing, into a pocket. It could even have been attached to a watch…but seldom was.
Our hair also deserved special attention, and a well greased, “D.A.” was the ultimate. The trick was to comb the sides of your hair back, coming together at the rear….similar to the way a duck’s wings meet, forming a “Duck’s Aft”. (I think we used another word.)
So, as the young fellow waddled towards his table, I thought that things really haven’t changed that much since I was a teen. I remember stumbling out the front door to head for school, and my mom yelling: “Pull up your pants!”.
Nope, things haven’t changed.