James Griffin: I'm so happy in my trackies

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Time for the trackpant years to start. Photo / Thinkstock
Time for the trackpant years to start. Photo / Thinkstock

I went out to a bit of a do the other week; one of those dos where the underlying assumption is that you'll put a bit of effort into your appearance. A dress-up do. And, as I was dressing for this do, I became aware that I kinda resented having to dig out the good gear, see if it still fits and find the combination of clothing that would be deemed acceptable for the do. I was, in all honesty, quite a grumpy unit, going into the do.

Then, after the do (which was a perfectly fine do, full of nice people to chat to and marred only by one or two social gaffes on my behalf, which is not a bad return for me) I became aware that I was unduly happy as I returned home, threw aside the gladrags and threw on the trackpants.

And then I realised the undeniable truth of the situation: that, oh my Lord, I have entered my Trackpant Years.

Normally the advent of the Trackpant Years is akin to the soul (and, especially, the body attached to the soul) waving the white flag. It is an acknowledgment that fleeting youth has long since fled and that comfort has not only overtaken style as the fashion statement du jour, but it has lapped it and is coming round the track to lap it again.

To which I say: hallelujah, about bloody time!

I love trackpants. Or sweatpants or leisure pants, because like the fashion anti-Christ they are, they go by many names. But I don't care what you call them, the pants I am talking about are the pants you pull on and you sigh contentedly because they just make your world feel so much more relaxed, more comfortable, and just better in every possible way.

Well, in every possible way except the one where the world judges you harshly if you publicise your love of comfort clothing. If you believe the bad press that comes with the territory at the more slovenly end of the sartorial spectrum, then it is only a matter of time before I go from wearing trackies round the house to living in a trailer park until I am old enough to retire to Florida. Or the other option is, apparently, my trackpants will get louder and louder until they are vivid aquamarine with a matching top and I will be invited to join a stereotypical Mafia family where I can drink coffee in my fluoro-leisure suit and reminisce about old whackings.

What is much more likely, of course, is that as I grow older I will simply spend more and more time in my trackpants, as the need for comfort increasingly becomes my reason for living. At first this will mean I leave my house less and less, because the domestic environs are the natural habitat of the trackpant and where my pants are happy, so am I.

But eventually I will cease to care what I am wearing out of the house. I will start attending meetings and social functions in my trackies because, quite frankly, what is the point of changing? Other people and workmates will start to notice my markedly more casual approach to life. There will be whispered asides and hushed comments about how I've "lost it". There will probably, at some stage, be a memo about "appropriate business attire".

But I will not care, because I will know that, secretly, all this negativity is born of jealousy. After all, who in the world doesn't crave cosiness? Who, in their right mind, would rather wear a suit over a pair of pants that cradle your hindquarters like a comfy sofa? Yes, people will mock me and judge me, but only because they wish they had the guts to so publicly give up on caring what they look like and to embrace the plush side.

And who knows, where I lead maybe style will follow. I have nothing against a good suit, and I totally respect the suits the nice people at Strangely Normal and Crane Brothers have made for me over the years. But I know I will never rock an Armani two-button the way George Clooney does, so all their good work has, I fear, been in vain.

Except, of course, if they could design me a suit that is essentially really flash trackpants with a jacket. Yeah, if they can create something like that, something I can wear to a flash do without looking like a tragic old white guy version of Snoop Dogg, then I really think we could be on to a winner.

But until that day, when comfort and fashion meet, you'll just have to find me on my couch, in my trackies, where all is good with the world.

- NZ Herald

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