Ah, the famous Clover pants. I was sceptical. I love the idea of cigarette pants but on me? Really? I had a long wad of fine charcoal wool and dreamed of a pair of my own. In my dreams, they were perfect. In reality, I made a muslin.
Fabric: Black polyester found in the bargain bin at Murphy Sheehy’s for €5. There was enough to make a muslin of the Porfolio pants too.
I studied the pattern measurements, my own measurements and the pattern pieces. In the finish, I traced a size 6 waist, between the size 8 and 10 for the hips and then a size 8 leg. It turned out to be too much for the hips; the curve was too great and my zip stuck out. Tapering it back solved everything. I needed to let out a scant half an inch between the legs – a peculiar adjustment considering I’d needed to take it in in almost the same area – but such are ones’ personal lumps and bumps.
I cannot express to you my wariness of this style of pants. I did not own anything like it or ever see anything I liked in a shop, so why should I sew it? How could I wear it? I did a little experiment and before making a decision on using my precious charcoal wool on a pair, I wore them about the house for the summer. I expected some things, such as satisfaction with the fit and dissatisfaction with using polyester! But others, I was not prepared for at all.
I was not prepared for the fact that wearing pants like these make me want to wear my most favourite shoes. And then spend time debating which pair is my favouritest pair.
I was not prepared for how proper these pants could make a simple knit look like the most elegant thing in the world.
I was especially not prepared for how they would make me want to wear bright lipstick, no matter what the time of day, even if I hadn’t had breakfast yet.
I cannot explain it, this spell, and yet it does make sense. For if clothing is costume, a simple thing we don every day, can’t we use it to alter not who we are, but how we are?