Almost five years ago now, I bought an excellent pair of trousers.
I chose them for my LEJOG, principally for walking in the more populated areas and for wearing in hotels. I needed the trousers on sartorial grounds because back then my legwear of choice for the hills were Polartec Tights; not a good look when combined with my big leather Scarpa Nepal boots – very Max Wall.
My Patagonia Simple Guide Pants were superb trousers and I reviewed them after my LEJOG’s four months of hard use, here. I continued to use them for another 3 years of TGO Challenges and now they are quite knocked about yet still appear to show remarkably little wear to the casual observer. (Are there people who go about casually observing men’s trousers?) However, they have a problem:
When the Good Lord Above, or whoever it was who gives out body parts to newly born babes, dispensed the various bits of my anatomy, it has to be said he was a bit mean in one or two departments deemed crucial for young chaps. Nevertheless, the Old Boy was generous when he dished out my nice long legs. However, rather like the young Milligan, they do resemble two pieces of knotted string hanging from my underpants.
My old Patagonia trousers looked fine with great big Scarpa Nepal boots – the regular leg length finished just over the top of the boot collar which meant that they never got too muddy. However, for the last two years, I have been wearing these technical plimsolls and the trousers now looked very odd, finishing above the ankle. Not a good look.
I have floundered about trying to get a pair of trousers the right leg length for these shoes that don’t have the look of hundreds of pockets strapped to the legs & arse which seem to be suited to some sort of Action Man Backwoods figure. I thought I was almost there in April when I bought a pair of Montane trousers but having seen a photo of myself wearing them I think they look ghastly; a terrible shapeless cut. And more crucially, the wrong colour. They are….. The Wrong Trousers!
I found myself in London yesterday morning on a mission to nip in to Snow & Rock in Covent Garden to pick up some nice new fluffy merino socks in between dashing between Waterloo & Kings Cross. Oddly, I just could not remember where on earth it was. I knew I was in the right area and I knew it was down a side street off a main drag. I nipped up and down a few and then, quite by accident came upon this place:
After strolling through the portal it struck me how empty the place was. It turned out that the shop was not yet officially open, whatever that means. They did have a really nice pair of socks and then I found myself in the trousery section…
And came away having spent far too much money on another pair of Patagonia Simple Guide Pants, in black. Strangely, this pair has a longer leg, which is jolly wonderful. They have pockets (2 hip, 1 on the bottom and 1 on the leg) but they are discreet, and zipped. At first glance, they look like a very nice casual trouser. Patagonia’s website states that in medium they have a 32” inside leg. The ones I have bought measure 33” and so are perfect. Comparing them to my old trousers they are an extra 2.5 inches longer. The leg is also slightly roomier, which is fine. They are still a slim style. They have also done away with the draw-cord waist and now resemble any normal trouser. They don’t have the natty little cord zip pulls that the old models had, so I just swapped them from the old to the new trousers.
Even now, I am not sure I could tell you exactly where the shop is but it must be fairly close to Snow & Rock (wherever that is!). There are no signs protruding from the wall to catch your eye; blink and you would miss it. I can’t even find its address on the till receipt. Maybe it was all a dream.
But at last, I have the Right Trousers!