The Top Ten Pants

I had a reader request (sort of) earlier in the week for a post about pants. And I am definitely not one to shy away from a challenge or reasonable request, and so here I am, ready to tell you, the world, all about pants. There are many kinds of pants, so I’m going just going to look at the top ten. There’s a good chance your favorite kind of pants won’t make it on this list. That was definitely a deliberate decision, made to make you frustrated and angry. Because it’s my goal in life to make people as mad as possible about trivial things.

Like Grape Nuts.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you, my top ten pants of all time.

Purposeful Omission 1: Capris. Fish or cut bait, capris. Are you really long shorts, or really short pants? If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a pair of indecisive pants. No soup for you!

Purposeful Omission 2: Kilts. No. Just no. I’m only putting this on here, because I know somebody’s going to try and pipe up about kilts, and I’m nipping that in the bud. Kilts can go on a list of skirts. Pants need two holes. Count ’em: two. One per leg. End of story.

Purposeful Omission 3: Bell Bottoms. These are pants that started as pants, but halfway down the leg they took a look at skirts and started to think they’d really rather switch sides. Also, they’re the chameleon of pants. You can make bell bottoms out of just about anything. They’re more of a cut than a real type of pants. Let’s just leave them out of the equation.

Honorable Mention: Shorts. While shorts are pants, I suppose, they’re really a beast of their own, and probably deserve their own blog post. You’ve got short shorts, daisy dukes, jean shorts, and more. In other words, if we let shorts into the room, then there’s not enough room for the full blown pants, and we wouldn’t want that to happen. Would we?

10: Camouflage: There is a time and a place for everything. If you’re in the jungle, trying to stay away from an invisible alien that stalks humans for fun, then camouflage is most definitely your go to choice for pants. Trying to do it in anything else just wouldn’t make sense. Also, if you’re in battle in general, then you need to keep people from seeing you. I get that. I respect it. But if you’re walking around downtown or Walmart? I’m confused. Maybe that’s the point of the pants in public. The fact is, they get onto the list because of their specific use, but they get knocked to the bottom for their mis-use.

9. Fancy Pants/Suit Pants: These are tricky. On the one hand, if you’re wearing fancy pants, you’re probably either at a high paying job, or a swanky party. Ooh la la! On the other, you’re not comfortable. I mean, maybe you’re trying to pretend you’re comfortable, but my guess is you’d really rather be wearing any other pair of pants on this list. Or even no pants at all. Plus, people use this term to make fun of other people at times. Any pair of pants that endorses bullying in any form can’t get any higher on this list than #9. Fact.

8. Overalls: Quite versatile in use, overalls can be applied in many different situations. They also complete avoid the whole “do I need a belt” debate many pants come with. I respect that. At the same time, however, they really push the envelope when it comes to the question of “Are they pants?” I mean, once overalls are in the mix, shouldn’t leisure suits be in too? Or jump suits? We can’t have that. But overalls are the go to pants when directors want to make someone look like a hick. How can you not include them on any serious top ten list, just for that alone?

7. Leggings/Yoga Pants: I debated a long time about these. On the one hand, they’re kind of like pantyhose, which are a whole different beast. But they’re used as pants by many, and so in the end, I decided they needed to go on the list. Still, they’re tricky to rank. On the one hand, they can look really good, no question. But they also sometimes flaunt the very concept of pants. Like, aren’t pants there to make us less naked? Some of the yoga pants I’ve seen didn’t get that memo, or else they just skimmed it.

6. Sweat pants: I’m not a huge sweat pant sort of a person, but I can respect the tremendous role these pants play in so many lives. Whether it’s people using them to work out, or people who just want to be comfy, these pants can do a lot. And yet, tragically, they’re also abused. Worn in places and circumstances that just don’t call for them. That’s a flaw in the pants. A truly great pair of pants is easy to understand and hard to mess up. Sorry, sweat pants. Let’s be honest, though: you didn’t really care about how high up you ended on the list, anyway.

5. Snow Pants: No, they’re not really comfortable. But you know what? The world would be a worse place without these. Bravely defending us against the harsh winter snows. They take one for the team, allowing us to go frolic and play while they slowly freeze themselves into a stiff plank that will later have to be thawed out in front of a fire, only to undergo the same abuse the next day. They work so hard, they need a whole half year or more to recover. Let’s all have a moment of silence out of respect for the noble snow pants.

4. Khakis: Sometimes you have to go some place dressy, but you really don’t want to have to dress up. For this reason, khakis were invented. They’re as close as you can get to jeans as possible, while still being able to say you’re not just being casual. Like jeans, they go with pretty much anything. If you buy the right ones, they can be comfortable, as well. That’s a lot of good to say about a pair of pants, and no one’s pant wardrobe is complete without at least a pair of these.

3. Big Boy Pants: Yes, they’re sometimes used as a borderline pejorative, but these pants are very, very necessary. For one thing, wearing them means you’re out of diapers, and I think we can all agree that we’re extremely proud of that fact. (Or at least, we should be. It doesn’t last forever, folks.) But more than that, big boy pants are required for many of the hardest challenges of life. You’ve got to have a pair handy whenever it comes time to really bear down and get to work. Perhaps most impressively, often they’re simply metaphorical. Are you seeing this, camouflage pants? Big boy pants are literally invisible. Take some notes.

2. Pajama pants: Any day when you can keep these on the entire day, and you’re not sick, is probably a good day. Whether it’s for lounging around or simply because you’re too lazy to change pants when you have to go to class, wearing these are a statement. “World, I don’t care about what you’re doing. I’m gonna just sit back and not worry.” Pajama pants abide, plain and simple. Yes, sometimes they come across as tacky, but you know what? They don’t care. That’s bold. Confidence in action. And for that, they get the #2 spot on the list.

1. Jeans: How could any other pair of pants be at the top? They excel at just about anything they’re asked to do. Comfy? Check. Durable? Double check. Worn by the young and old alike? Check. A long history of excellence? Check. I wear jeans just about every day. There can be only one #1, and there is no question that jeans are king of the mountain.


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