Black Pants Syndrome

By Rita Richardson

I have an undiagnosed but fairly serious condition. You may have it too, or know someone who does. It’s quite widespread, and there seems to be no stopping it. It’s called the Black Pants Syndrome.

I knew I had come down with it when I realized I had twenty-nine pairs of black pants in my closet. No two are alike. I occasionally succumb to a relapse and add a new pair or two, although I try to stop – I want to cure myself of this affliction.

I didn’t always wear black pants. I once had a pair of jeans, we called them dungarees in those days, and they were worn mostly by farmers or when we were cleaning or doing chores. Now jeans are a fashion statement even though many look as if they’ve been worn on a farm, with tatters and tears and stains aplenty. And they sell for hundreds of dollars. Before the “jeaning” of America, I think I even owned a pair or two of pencil striped bell bottoms, but that was in the sartorially sad decade of the 70s. I heard a while back that bell bottoms were to make a comeback. Eew. I’ll have to hide in my closet among my stash of black until this distasteful trend goes away.

Some days I could swear I hear my khakis whisper, ”Wear us today, please – we need to get out.”

That’ll surely be the day I double-dribble a tomato-y/cheesy/oily glob of eaten on–the-run pizza all over the light colored pants, or I’ll unknowingly sit in a puddle of melted chocolate ice cream. See, if I had on the black ones, stains would disappear at least until I got home.

I once took a walk on the wild side and bought a series of gray slacks. But there are so many variations on the gray color wheel – platinum, slate, charcoal, dove, gun-metal – that I got dizzy one morning trying to match the grays. Back to black – it’s a no-brainer.

Black pants of all stripes attract me like a magnet. I have capris, linen, velvet, cords, long, short, elastic waist, draw-string, fly-front, side zip, spandex (workout leotards), fleece, cotton, wool, lined and unlined – even my PJs are black. They go with everything and forgive a host of figure flaws. I don’t wear them to appear thin – well maybe a little – but let’s face it. There may be miracle bras, but I don’t know of any miracle pants, although I’ll keep looking.

It must be a compulsion or a chronic condition that only a trip to Miami (white pants capital of the world) will cure.

If you find yourself in this situation, you aren’t alone. You’re just another slave to the fashion dictators who have us convinced that black is the new black. I’m okay with that.

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