scribbles tagged ‘khaki cargo pants’

old local

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

The clientelle of a real ale pub in a midlands town

The pants of the khaki Cargo make an appearance

I wandered in without realising this was a women-free zone. A couple of the locals appear a bit overexcited by the novelty of a woman in the place. They remind me of those small dogs that attach themselves to your ankles.  Kind of cute, if a bit random and inappropriate. Shift workers at a local factory, some ex-students, they boast of thier prison histories, mention that I’ve got  “great pins” and slur other stuff I could barely understand

I’m more than glad when my companions saunter in…

Swan In The Rushes

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in a fortnight

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

less than 2 weeks after arriving in the USA I’m in a project meeting with 10 Americans mostly wearing the pants (UK = shorts) of the khaki cargo variety

programme manager: wendy, can we get a time on that deliverable?

wendy: a fortnight


more silence, I have no idea what’s happening

team leader: did you say 4 days?

wendy: errrr, no! a bit longer, more like 2 weeks or 10 days if my weekend goes for a burton

programme manager: lets touch base after the meeting

This prompted much giggling from the team. I knew they wouldn’t understand ‘go for a burton’, I hadn’t anticipated that they also wouldn’t understand ‘bit’. Most British English speakers understand American English, many American English speakers do not understand  quirks of British English.

Hometown cafe tabletopI picked up and started using American English phrases while mostly maintaining my British accent. The Hispanic American staff in the canteen couldn’t understand my accent unless I used an American pronunciation.  I started imitating American English to get tomatoes with my burger. Thinking about how to pronounce my vowels made my fake American accent delivery rather slow. Amused people in the canteen line (UK = Queue) commented that I sounded like a Texan, because of my  drawl.

Since returning to England I have maintained many Americanisms, they are understood.

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sufficient conformity

Monday, August 16th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Everywhere there are uniforms. Uniforms for

  • Empowered girliness – high heels, short skirt, proudly displayed cleavage
  • IT safe corporateness – khaki cargo pants, branded baggy t-shirt
  • London tube commuter – black and grey tailored and ironed outfits
  • Healthy person – fleece, neoprene, goretex jackets and bouncy footwear
  • Cyclist – lycra overdose, wrap-around glasses, go-faster helmet
  • …..

Prep School UniformThere’s rarely an instruction manual for these uniforms. Working out what’s best is all too much for me. I’ve jumped ship and tend to opt for wearing comfortable clothes that make a token gesture towards the uniforms. Not excelling in displaying any 0ne unifrom, but partially there with all that needs to be conformed-to for social acceptability.

On a good day I’m slightly quirky. More often I exist somewhere in everyone’s experience of visually bland stylessness. 

Apart from my hats.

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Lewis’s male mannequin

Friday, May 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

In John Lewis’ this chap demonstrates a shoulder bag,   hat and khaki cargo pants,  he has almost all the necessaries to be a real dude.

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shoulderbags for boys

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

A noticable style difference between UK and US males is that UK males have embraced the shoulder bag.   This store shows a range fairly representative of what I see slung over young dudes arms,   dudes in suits,   dudes in jeans,   dudes in khaki cargo pants, and none-dudes in all sorts of bizarreness.

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wild wrecklessness on whirring wheely thingys

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 | tags:  |

These two people, he with a big camera and pants des cargo con khaki,   her with hotpants and wobbly thighs, whirred passed the Madrid cafe  where I was peacefully soaking up  the view  and the vino.  

I suspect I would fall-off and crash such a contraption that clearly needs advanced balancing skills.   Why aren’t they wearing helmets?   Such wild wrecklessness on whirring wheely thingys.

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Oh fickle me and my grazed knee

Monday, August 6th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

I jumped right in and fell-over on my first day in Madrid.  

Nice scrape there on my knee… …and what colour and style are those pants I’m wearing….a shade of khaki…a version of cargo….have I succumbed to the camoflauge of the masses?  

Oh fickle me and my grazed knee.  

We are sat at the beautiful Madrid airport watching the  rain……

the RAIN   in SPAIN waiting for my PLANE

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the internationale

Sunday, August 5th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

The Spanish locals are wearing the pants of the cargo khaki.   They are internationale.   They are slightly smaller than the US equivalent.   They look like they fit the wearer.    They are all over the place here in Madrid.   Should I be scared or simply make sure I extend my wardrobe to contain the now essential khaki pants des cargo?

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wendy’s USA archetype

Friday, June 22nd, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

I confess to be in search of an image that somehow captures my archetype,   stereotype, of the US.   The unexported America,   not the internationally spread coffee houses,   fast food chains,   cans and bottles of soft drinks.   The image must capture something of what is and something of aspirational.   I doubt my photographic skills will adequately capture and convey this image, if it exists.   Here is a placeholder that caught  part of the my archetype.

It  captures the styling of the  classic red pick-up truck and  the white picket fence.   I rarely saw them in the UK where box hedges appear to be the  territory border marker of choice.  

The overhead lines, on tilted poles, are seemingly ubiquious.     What’s missing from this picture?  

What would your photograph include?

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the wrong trousers

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

thirty-fifth post in a Wednesday series detailing couture reasions  “why wendy’s single”.

Reason # 35: the wrong trousers

  Apparantly I need to secure some boyfriend trousers before I can achieve a boyfriend.  

The trousers appear to be of a similar kind of that worn by many local USA males;   the pants of the cargo khaki.   Now that is actually rather scarey.

 I have developed an allergy to these cargo pants of the khaki.   I may have to seek out some form of therapy so that I can,   with an absence of bile or attitude, pick-up and embrace the pants of the cargo khaki.


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Wednesday, September 13th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

eight in a series of post-hoc, post-modern, modern posts that  rationalise  the extremely important,   generally unspoken question of  “why wendy’s single“.    

Reason # 8:   my choice

It’s a positive choice.   When I feel inclined to persistently  torture some dress-challenged mortal that wears khaki cargo pants, flinches when I reach for my hat, looks confused when I’m entertaining myself with a monologue,   I will.   I’ll keep you posted …. 😉


Previously established reasons are labelled with their very own snoop tag in the right-hand side-bar

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fashion-failed females

Saturday, August 5th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

Second post prompted by ‘England and the English: from an American point of view”   a book by Price Collier.  (Post #1 – Heavy)

Price doesn’t much care for the fashion sense of his contemporary English women.   He blames English men for not adequately adorning their females.   Excerpt  (my bold emphasis):

“But the women!   What hats,   what clothes, what shoes, what colors, what amorphous figures!  Who permits that nice-looking girl to wear a white flannel skirt, a purple jacket, and a fur hat with a bunch of small feathers sticking out at right angles?…     …The gortesque costumes of the women would make one stop and stare, were it not that they are so common one ceases at last to notice them

No mistaking Price’s attitude!   A fur hat with small feathers sticking out at right angles sounds absolutely gorgeous to a Hat fettishist such as myself.   I wonder if Price was wearing the 1909 equivalent of khaki cargo pants?  Would that I could “cease at last to notice them“.   I do enjoy Price’s turn of phrase and emotive expression.      He later explains at some length  that the bad dress sense of the women is the fault of selfish men who don’t give their women enough money to construct fashionable and versataile wardrobes.  

Stay riveted to the edge of your seats… ….what will offend Price next?

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cargo pants parade

Sunday, July 9th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

A local celebration of specialness involved walking around in khaki cargo pants demonstrating evidence of fertility (children) herded on bicycles.   At least,    that’s what it looked like to me.   Me = Furriner.

Cargo pants on parade

I was baffled by the city parade today.   “What are we celebrating?” No-one seemed to know.   “It’s Derby Days“,   “What’s that?”.   The sheer abundance of khaki cargo pants was overwhelming.   Is there a conspiracy to reduce visual diversity?  Even women appear to wear variations on the theme.   In this city the dress trends appear to conspire to dampen evidence of diversity.

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casual smart

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006 | tags: ,  |

khaki cargo pants & t-shirts

Originally uploaded by :: Wendy ::.



Wendy: dress in clothes your mother would think you look good in. Casual with a hint of smart because you are representing the company to these customers.

male colleague: Khaki’s and logo’d t-shirt Ok?

Wendy: a popular choice!

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hotel US suburb

Friday, June 16th, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

No pedestrian crossing’s or sidewalks in this district.   Everyone drives.   I just wanted to pick up some supplies from a store near my hotel without getting into the car.    A low slung car pulled up as  I looked for a gap in traffic to cross the road

shiny black man:   wanna ride?   white-toothy-grin

Wendy “thanks,   but no thanks” yellow-toothy-grin

He pulled away.   A helpful native?    A guy with a thing about skinny older white chicks?   Someone surrupticiously working out whether I was a street walker? A budding serial killer?   I’ll never know.

Outside the deserted suburbian strip mall Hotel  a group of men loiter, smoking.   No-one is white.    The Hotel provides free  ‘beer’  (lager) to residents between 4 and 5pm.   This fills the lobby with the elegantly labelled  ‘business men’.   The mature manageress proudly referred to the hotel’s 20yrs history and recent renovations to suit  it’s business clientelle.    It certainly meets basic needs.    It is in some taste of finery that doesn’t permeate my senses.   It feels bland.   Only the people make it special.   She complimented me on my ‘cute accent’.     I returned the compliment.   Her drawl is kind to the listener and speaker.   No hurry,   think before you speak,   its ok to ponder.  Even the lifts are slow.  I like it.   She giggled as if no-one had ever told her she sounded cute.   Her cell phone rang,   she left…

In the foyer an attractive 44yr old black man talked about his business.   He’s  training chef’s  across the east coast.    He pondered on  how he came to this point in his life.    An easily shared  story of  college and job  changes.  He has a  french speaking friend  from the Ivory coast who now owns a cafe somewhere in Paris.    He commented that I looked European.   I giggled.   Can he not hear my accent? Is this a subtle form of politeness?   He asked if I can spot Americans.   I looked at his faded,   XL t-shirt and khaki cut-off cargo pants while pondering telling the truth.  I told the truth without citing khaki cargo pants or t-shirts.   Then my colleague arrived wearing khaki cargo pants and a t-shirt and we left to meet 3 more American people,   all of whom wore khaki cargo pants and t-shirts.

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