This edition of National Pants Radio is dedicated to those who seriously love pants: a playlist of classic pants songs to fit all body types.
- All You Need Is Pants – The Beatles
However, shirts and shoes are also required for service in most establishments.
- Pants Me Two Times – The Doors
Pants me once, shame on you. Pants me twice, shame on me.
- Pants Will Keep Us Together – Captain and Tennille
Especially if they are stitched well.
- Pants Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
At the seams.
- Can’t Buy Me Pants – Beatles
I’m not buying that. Money can buy many things. Even pants.
- Making Pants Out of Nothing at All – Air Supply
Would these be invisible pants?
- Do You Believe In Pants? – Huey Lewis & the News
Yup. Except maybe the invisible ones.
- You Give Pants a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
That style is really unflattering.
- You’ve Got to Hide Your Pants Away – The Beatles
Just toss them in the hamper.
- Tainted Pants – Soft Cell
I don’t even want to know what those stains are.
- Where Did Our Pants Go – The Supremes
Did you check the dryer?
- A Man Without Pants – Engelbert Humperdinck
Is he, by any chance, wearing a trenchcoat?
- Need Your Pants So Bad – Fleetwood Mac
Um, I’m using them right now. Can’t you get your own?
- They’ll Never Take Her Pants From Me – Elvis Costello
That’s just creepy.
- Addicted To Pants – Robert Palmer
You and me both, Robert. Better than heroin, though. Or leggings.
- The Power of Pants – Huey Lewis and The News
Sustainable. Renewable. Fashionable.
- Saving All My Pants For You – Whitney Houston
Um, thanks. I’ll be sure to make space in my closet.
Today marks the 6th anniversary of this blog and a special day for me to reflect on the meaning of pants.
I’m here in Shanghai, and haven’t had much time to write. I’m sitting in the back row of a talk, typing this on my iPad. I can’t access WordPress directly in China, as most social media websites are blocked. (On my laptop, I can use VPN to get through, but don’t have it set up on my iPad, and didn’t bring my laptop today.) But I’m going to try posting by email.
The trip has been full of adventures and activity so far. Lots of running around, lots of things done. I feel like I’ve packed in a week’s worth of activities in 4 days. (I arrived in Shanghai On Friday, as did my cousin who was able to join me on the trip. We took the bullet train to Beijing on Saturday, then saw the Great Wall on Sunday, sprinted through the Forbidden City on Monday morning, and walked around Beijing a lot in the gaps between. We took the train back to Shanghai Monday afternoon. My talk was yesterday, Tuesday, the first day of the conference. It went well. I expect the tiredness to kick in today, now that I have that done.)
So, yeah, this has been a packed trip. I haven’t had time to sort through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken so far, but here’s one from Beijing I had to share.
“Knowledge likes pants
Invisible but very important.”
Yesterday, as I headed off to a conference wearing my black pants, I presented to you the Black Pants Hypothesis, a nascent theory of lower-body-garment-wearing behavior of women attending professional conferences. My expectation was that black pants would be the most frequently observed category of leg-and-bottom-covering clothing at the conference I attended.
After two days of conducting research on the garments worn by women at the conference I attended, I have been able to make the following observations:
- It is very tricky to try to actually tally rates of black pants wearing while attending and working at a conference, at least without actually making efforts to record such observations and potentially appearing creepy. Methodology was therefore not systematic.
- Informal pants counts supported the expectation of high rates of black pants, however an exact measure was not determined. In spotting clusters of women conference attendees, it was not uncommon to see a rate between 1 in 3 and 2 in 5 black pants wearers. Counterexamples were observed, whereby a group of 3 or 4 women were observed of whom none were wearing black pants. However, all observations of groups of 5 or more women included at least 1 wearer of black pants.
- Rates of black-pants-wearing were particularly high among women giving oral presentations at the conference. In a sample size of 8 talks presented by women attended by the experimenter, at least 5 of the presenters wore black pants.
- Other highly frequently observed bottom-half-covering garments among female conference attendees included jeans and black skirts, with rates of jeans-wearing appearing to be similarly high to rates of black-pants-wearing.
- Gray, brown and tan and other neutral-colored pants were fairly frequently observed, with 2 outliers sighted wearing red pants.
- There were occasional sightings of non-black skirts or dresses.
- There were no observations of shorts, swimwear or nudity.
The current study could neither confirm nor disconfirm the hypothesis that black pants are the most frequent bottom-half-covering garment worn by women at professional conferences. While large numbers of black pants were observed, the methodology was flawed such that it was not possible to determine actual rates. Further, the pants wearing behavior of women at professional conferences may be quite variable by both field and geographic region, such that the population of the currently studied conference may not be a representative sample of professional conference attending women as a whole. Pilot survey data were inconclusive, with some women affirming the essentialness of black pants, and others stating the lack of ownership of any black pants. However, correlations of these responses with professional-conference-attending behavior was not determined. Additional data will need to be collected.
I was glad I was wearing my black pants yesterday when I spilled coffee all over them shortly before getting up on stage to introduce presenters.
I mean that literally, actually.
When I tell you I’m wearing my cranky pants, I don’t have a specific garment in my wardrobe that I wear when I’m being cranky. I can be cranky in any of my pants. I can even be cranky when I’m not wearing pants. (On the other hand, I do find it harder to be cranky in my flannel polar bear pajama pants.)
Today, though, is not a day for polar bear pajamas. Since I’ll be working at the conference, I need to look moderately professional. And while I can get away with wearing my cranky pants, I’m also wearing pants that seem to be my conference uniform. Black pants. (Which, now that I think about it, were also part of my uniform back when I did catering as an undergrad, and when I waited tables.) (Not the same black pants, mind you. This pair is relatively new.)
I submit to you that black pants are the single most common garment worn by women at professional conferences. This weekend, I will be on the lookout to test this hypothesis. I will attempt to take some rough quantitative measures. I predict that the rate of black pants will be greater than that of other categories of leg-and-rear-covering garment among females attending this conference.
What about you? Can you support my hypothesis? If you are a woman, and you attend professional conferences, do you wear (at least with greater frequency than your other categories of garment) black pants?
The Pants Institute proudly presents the Pants Cinema Film Festival: Masterpieces of Pants Drama.
Here are some of the films on the schedule:
The Unbearable Tightness of Pants: A young woman feels increasingly uncomfortable in her pants, while her husband seems unable to keep his own pants on.
What’s Eating Gilbert’s Pants: A young man is disturbed to realize that clothes moths have gradually overtaken his family’s closets.
My Own Private Pants: Two misfit young men in misfitting pants embark on a journey to find pants that fit them more comfortably.
The Last Pants of Disco: A pair of young women struggle to adapt to the changing pants fashions at the start of the 80s, and must bid their bellbottoms goodbye.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Pants: When a man picks up his clothing from the drycleaners, he finds the pants that are returned to him to be hauntingly familiar, yet he can’t remember ever wearing them.
The Remains of the Pants: An aging butler reflects on his life of service, and notices how threadbare his trousers have become.
Pants in Translation: A young American woman visits Tokyo, and is unhappy to find that she can’t find the Japanese word for “pants” in her phrase book.
The Pants Hereafter: A town struggles to cope with the gap left by the closing of a prominent pants retailer.
Pants Labyrinth: A young girl tries on magic pants to escape the dark realities of her family life.
Pants of a Lesser God: Not all pants are made the same. See label for care instructions.
Pretty in Pants: A teenage girl runs into conflict when she announces that she wants to wear tuxedo pants to her high school prom.
Edward Scissorpants: I can’t even go there. Ouch.
I’ve been keeping these pants packed up for ages, and it seems a fine time to air them out.
From my place in the seat of the Pants Institute, I am on occasion privileged to receive interesting pockets of Pants Knowledge from fellow Pants Scholars from the wider Pants World.
PoetTraveler of Reaching for my pen… recently left the following gem of Pants Lore in the comments of my about page, an article which surely deserves your clothes attention.¹
The quest for perfect Pants is a longstanding one. Many have searched for the ideal symbol of this emblematic icon. There has been much coverage on the subject. Some academics argue that perfection is impossible. Others say not so, it’s all down to genes.
Indeed, the great pants-philosopher, Levy of Denim, produced a schematic that took Plato’s theory of Forms further . For Levy, Pants was all about form. His addendum to Plato’s idea was not a re-butt-al, figuratively speaking. He postulated that Form clings to genes and to this day one of most widely used expressions in the field contains both a noun and an adjective incorporated in the effusive expression “I’m panting for more”.
- Excerpt from “Pantalonia – The Path of Bottomless Knowledge” -
After a brief discussion of the Text, he also shared the following:
Some dissidents – notably Diogenes of Sinope were critical of Levy of Denim’s association with Plato’s ideas. He accused Levy of being inelastic in his coverage, of dressing part of the Form concept in such a way so that it became an inelastic pro-position. Levy of Denim was noted for labeling his ideas carefully and when Diogene’s criticisms reached him he was said to have sighed and murmured “That Diogenes is not exactly a barrel of laughs” The ancient greek translation is inaccurate because of ambiguity in this context and another meaning could be “He’s not getting me over a barrel”, but there is no collective agreement on this possible alternative meaning and in any case Denim of Levy was, at that time, apparently happily married to Levytica, a seamstressed lady from Syracuse.
I expect you will agree that briefs of this fashion are a tight fit for the body of Pants Knowledge assembled in the Pants Institute, and should be stored in the venerable drawers of the Pants Bureau Archives.
This message was approved by the Ministry of Pants.
¹This pun was also borrowed from PoetTraveler.²
²Even more Pants material can be sewn, or um, seen here, as well as more of our off the cuff³ exchange.
³…or on the fly, as it were.