Clothing styles, terms reflect confusing change

 Some of us grew up when there were three styles of clothes – “dress-up, play” and “work.” Translated that meant ironed shirts and pants, denim jeans and bib overalls. Then casual dress came on the scene and no-iron and knit shirts appeared along with khaki and designer jeans. “Dress-up” basically had come to mean “suit and tie.”
It has become evident that a new world of clothing has arrived. It’s called, “actionwear.” The demand for denim is declining according to one manufacturer who is spinning off its denim division and concentrating on the growing demand for actionwear. Actionwear sales surged 25 percent last year while denim products increased just 3 percent. Denim revenue remained flat. It was noted adding stretch to regular jeans resulted in that 3 percent gain.
It was evident the old market place has changed. Terms like “yoga pants” and “cargo pants” confuse me. There are no more Bermuda shorts and cotton sweat pants and sweatshirts are hard to find. These changes were all brought home to me a few weeks ago when I decided it was time to clean up my act with a new pair of Chino shorts. My shopping trip welcomed me to the new world of fashion and terminology.
The men’s department sales clerk approached and I told him I was looking for some shorts, He asked, “Briefs or boxers?” I said I wanted some tan khaki shorts and then “Cargo, urban, pipeline, classic, or stretch?” was the clerk’s next response.
“Look I want something to dress up a pair of skinny legs and knobby knees,” I told him. That’s when he suggested “cargo shorts.” I discovered later he was just being courteous and didn’t want to hurt my feeling since cargo shorts had longer legs and would at least cover my knobby knees.
Now my new cargo shorts continue to create a few problems. My cargo pants have no less than seven pockets. Among those problems are decisions whether my billfold goes in the pant leg pocket or customary hip pocket. I assume a smaller pocket along the upper leg is designed to hold a cellphone . . . which I don’t have. In the meantime, I’m still trying to decide which pocket I put car keys.
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The Betterhalf will talk this do-it-yourself stuff all week, then insisting on going out for dinner on Sunday.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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