When I was a nipper trouser wear was different to what it is today. It wasn’t so much focused on denim, and there were plenty of other options out there. My mum always used to put me and my little brother in corduroy. I liked wearing cords myself, because they were lighter than denim, and cooler in the summer, and you could get them in great different colours. None the less my lasting memory of wearing cords in the 1980’s ended up with me getting a telling off that in proper Beano style, saw me putting my bottom in a sink of ice cold water.
My brother and I were a right pair of little outdoors boys in the 80’s. This meant climbing trees, crawling through gaps in fences, down storm drains, building dens, damming rivers and everything that we probably shouldn’t have been doing. So when I got home from school one nice spring day my mind was solely dedicated to going out and playing. I was still at primary school, so I would have been 9 or ten at the time and I was unimpressed to find a pair of new trousers set out on my bed for me to change in to. Yes, I was that child that had my outfits selected for me on a daily basis. And I’m not ashamed. So being nine, and essentially one of the Goonies (in my own mind at least), I wasn’t going to let a brand new pair of trousers get in the way of having fun.
Wish I had let a brand new pair of trousers get in the way of having fun but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?
My brother and I hadn’t been out more than half an hour, and there wasn’t too much mud on my new trousers when I managed to rip them over a pocket squirming through a hole in a wire mesh fence. I immediately felt the hot rush of panic and we both pegged it back home. Mum did that trick of thinning her lips until they disappeared and told me rather ominously to wait until my father got home. I railed against the injustice of it all, it was surely my mums’ fault for making me wear new trousers on such a fine sunny day. New trousers should be held in reserve for the sort of day wherein one visits elderly relatives, not a day when the world needs exploring and taming.
Right now I own a couple of items of corduroy, because denim isn’t suitable for all occasions is it? I’ve been know to wear a cord jacket and corduroy trousers but not together, that’s a bad a crime as decking yourself head to foot in denim isn’t it?
Chums are one of the online retailers driving the reintroduction of corduroy into the mainstream but for some of us, it never really went away and I see this as a vindication of my denim aversion that’s been going on ever since I was a student.
As you can see, for reasons unknown I don’t feature in the above infographic on the history of corduroy. I should but I’ll let them off this once as I frolic through the park on my way home to change out of my suit into some soft soft cord trousers.