I am informed that a number of things I do are no longer considered fashionable. I still use the same AOL email address I began using in the late 80s. I am barren of tattoos and piercings. My briefcase is beginning to show its age. Even my favorite pen is broken.
When I found a hole worn through the left front pocket of my gray trousers, I admitted to myself that it was time to get a new pair. They had served me honorably for more than a decade, but the trail of loose change left behind as I walked purposefully down Lafayette Street forced my hand.
After inspecting the various shades of gray, and three season weights, that the trouser store offered, I selected a pair that was identical to my last one. As the fitter knelt to measure the length, I casually said that I would like cuffs. He looked at me sadly, realizing that he was kneeling before someone who had clearly lost touch with reality. His eyes told me that I was pathetically out of touch.
With a thick accent, I was told in no uncertain terms that cuffs were no longer in style.
Most of my choices to stay with the familiar, the comfortable, the things that have served me well over the years, have a basis in reason. Sure, they reflect my personal sensibilities as well, but at least I can offer an explanation for why I refuse to change. Cuffs present a problem.
There really isn’t a good reason for a gentleman to have cuffs on his trousers. While they do catch the occasional small item inadvertently dropped, that isn’t their purpose. They originally came about as a way to add weight to the pants leg, to help maintain the appropriate drape. This has never presented a problem for me, my drape being quite adequate regardless of weight. I tend to prefer the feel of heavier material, which naturally maintains its proper drape. The cuffs were superfluous, from a functional perspective.
The fitter conceded that he would be happy to cuff the hem of my trouser if I insisted. I realized that he was merely trying to please me, despite my refusal to be fashion forward and heed his advice. I thanked him, and told him that I was prepared to be stared at in the mall, jeered at when I attended a Rave, ignored as I stood at the velvet rope and helped across the street by a cub scout seeking a badge. I like cuffs. There is no good reason for it, and it may be nothing more than vanity, but I like cuffs.
If you happen to see a fellow wearing trousers with cuffs in the courthouse hallway, that would be me. Please feel free to say hello. But don’t stare. I already know that I’m a “fashion” disaster, but I’m good with it.