Sunday, December 6, 2009

Malone Pants

I am taking something of a departure here. The weather in our balmy Northern California climes has taken a turn for the cool. Tomorrow the weatherman is predicting sleet. Sleet! In Northern California!

This is one of the rare times when I wish I still had a pair of Malone Pants. Malone Pants are one of the less-than-basic alternatives that it  behooves a gentleman to own. The fabric is a tremendously thick woolen flannel. And it is not refined flannel. Think lumberjacks, jacking lumber in the forests of the Yukon. These pants are heavy. But, like so many articles of men's clothing that were developed in the nineteenth century, they are also dashing. Traditionally they are in a dark Oxford grey color with a faint red and green windowpane check. Because they are woolen, they will not only keep you warm after fording a river to get to grandmama's house, but they will continue to look dashing once they dry. And, if on the sleigh-ride home with Miss Fanny Bright you happen to get caught in a drifted bank, you will be able to loan the only blanket in the vehicle to her whilst you dig your way out in relative comfort.

In truth, Malone Pants, though we only wear them a few times a year in this region, are invaluable wardrobe additions. Woolrich makes a fine example, and L.L. Bean carries them under their own label too, but they call them Main Guide Wool Pants. With a Pendleton wool shirt, you are ready to go Christmas tree hunting in these babies, and throw on a blue blazer and you are ready for Midnight Mass. In the winter these are truly not replaceable by any other garment that I know of.

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