Ever since I saw Liza Minnelli perform the Bye Bye Blackbird number in Liza with a Z, I’ve had knickers (or more accurately, plus twos or britches or breeks) on the brain. Now, as it turns out, knickers are re-emerging as a major fashion item on the cycling/bike messenger scene. On bike listservs like the I-bob list, references to knickers (knicker glories, knicker styling, knicker fabric selection/preferences) abound. Folks are sporting italian military issue “alpine trousers” scored at army surplus depots and a fine fellow in Los Angeles is designing a new, all gabardine, “dress” knicker manufactured just for him by an LA garment maker.
I’ve always liked the idea of knickers but shied away from actually wearing a pair due to my short height (fearing that the plus two or plus four look–two or four inches below the knee) might have the optical effect of cutting me into funny tear- away pieces. But now, emboldened by all this internet chatter and fixed gear hipster posturing, I’m breaking out my own carefully archived stockpile of wool and cord breeks (plus purchasing the necessary color neutral knee high socks to wear underneath). Today, I shall honor tin cloth Mondays by sporting a pair of vintage Filson ladies Whipcord climbing breeches (a necessary transgression since Filson didn’t bother to manufacturer tin cloth trousers in plus two or four dimensions).