Easy Pants for Summer

Now is the winter of our #content made sweltering summer by this sun of New York. The wisest response to this onslaught is retreat to the safety of an air-conditioned sanctuary. But suppose you must go outside, for instance if your stove stops working and you want to cook breakfast on the sidewalk. How can you survive long enough to reach your next cooling station?

Our intrepid reporter S. Charlie Weyman offers some advice on staying cool in this article, which I endorse and now amplify. While fabric is an important decision, so is fit. And when battling summer heat, looser is better. This might seem like a contradiction - why would you want more fabric when it’s hot? But a looser fit offers several advantages.

The first is that the extra space between your body and the fabric allows more air to circulate and heat to escape. Even if the breeze isn’t a cool one, it’s at least better than trapping your body heat against you.

The second is that sweat stains will not vex you quite so much as they would in a tighter garment. You’ll still sweat plenty on a hot day, even if you have dual fans sewn into your waistband. But if your clothing fits looser, there is less body-touching real estate to be conquered by sweat stains.

It’s no accident that the traditional clothing of peoples living in hot climates is generally loose-fitting - think of the flowing robes that Peter O’Toole adopts in Lawrence of Arabia, the dhoti pants worn by Indian men, or the togas of ancient Rome. Meanwhile traditional dress in colder climates such as England featured tighter-fitting pants and coats.

Of course, most men living in New York today don’t want to wear a toga or an Arabian robe. Maybe some day the evolution of sartorial conventions will provide us this bounty, but that day has not yet come. The best substitutes in Western clothing are wide legged pants, such as the Document easy pants pictured above, and generously cut shirts. That is the loose moral of this story.

Quality content, like quality clothing, ages well. This article first appeared on the No Man blog in June 2017. 

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