I have the privilege to work with Sonnet L’Abbe, whose list of accomplishments is long and growing by the day. She’s a superb poet, critic, professor and activist. (Thanks to her efforts the Women’s March was one of the largest such events Nanaimo has ever had). It must also be said that she’s the wearer of many a righteous ensemble. Sonnet always gets it exactly right, though I don’t always tell her so because one hates to be repetitive. Here she is writing about that item most likely to cause envy in the reader: the perfect pair of comfortable pants. Thank you Sonnet for this and for being such a powerful force for good in this world.
I was travelling when Susan asked me about an “old thing” that I love; I wasn’t sure if I had anything with me that fit the bill and that I could photograph. But there they were, in my suitcase, fulfilling the low-key supporting role they always have, my somewhere-between-pajamas-and-pants pants, my not-quite-scrubs-not-quite-wide-leg-gauchos. They are kind of like the sarong of pants: with the right top and earrings and shoes they are summery and casual, with an old T-shirt they are jammies one can run out to the store in, in a pinch you could use them as a towel. I first got them almost twenty years in South Korea (along with a navy pair lost now to the apparel gods), when I still knew nothing about how to dress but at least knew enough to feel an immediate fondness for such a highly functional, unassuming article of clothing. They don’t wrinkle much, and like so many “cheap” articles of clothes I got in Korea, they have proved to be amazingly durable (if not very possibly flammable). My black drawstring pants haven’t always been top of mind; I can’t say that I have ever sought them out to complete an outfit, but I’ve definitely thought, many a time as I got to the bottom of a drawer and found them, again: oh, I love these pants! I certainly bought them thinking that they were disposable, that I wouldn’t wear them once I got back to Canada. But here they are, still with me, having accompanied me all over the planet, at the bottom of many a suitcase.