Tracksuit bottoms & Chicken Balls!

9 Feb

It’s good to see that fashion has changed and we have now moved on to a “new. seasonal look”. For men, it appears to be chinos worn in different styles and various colours. Tops are co-ordinated and there is an unusual welcome return of what we used to call !the Val Doonican” sweater, a throw back to the 70’s when an old crooner used to wear multi=coloured or patterned sweaters.
It’s strange at my age to see clothes items coming into stores and worn by young men in 2013. I’d seen them the first time around in the 70’s. There must be something in that adage of “fashion comes in a 20 year cycle”.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is this: there are still some young men out there who insist on wearing tracksuit bottoms, sweatshirts and tops. There is nothing wrong in that. If it makes them feel comfortable and provides ease of movement and practicality in their everyday routines, then fair enough. I’ve never been one for trackies and sweatshirts myself. I’ve just never felt comfortable wearing them. I am not a prude or fashion snob although I do appreciate someone who dresses well. How one perceives someone who “dresses well” is a very personal matter of taste, flair, fashion, cultural and social background…

No, what I want to say is there are some lads who insist on wearing “trackie bottoms”, but why do they persist in putting their hands down the front of their pants? You know what I mean. When their hands are idle, they shove them down the front of their pants. I asked the 17 year old son of one of my friends, why he did that and he replied it was to keep his hands warm! These tracksuit bottoms have pockets I said, that’s where you can place your hands. No, he said, it’s warmer at the front!

I think it’s uncouth and makes me and others feel uncomfortable. This “so-called practice” amongst young boys and men maybe a form of social rebellion. But I am reminded of several things:

When we used to do that at school, as children or young teengers, our parents, adults, teachers and others, used to say “Stop doing that! or ” Now go and wash your hands!” as if it was unclean, unhygienic, rude and unacceptable social behaviour, especially amongst guests and in public. If we were to do that in our years of puberty, or teen years, it was a sure sign that sexual habits were occurring. We were not puritent in our attitudes but there may have been an old fashioned Victorian attitude in saying these things.

Then, there are the dress codes. Over the centuries, what constituted acceptable dress code and behaviour differed, from being constrained in certain types of costume or attire in the early part of the 20th Century to the days of liberal freedom, hippies and “flower power”, however fashion dictated, the male of the species did not push their hands into the front of their pants or the confines of their trackies to fondle their groin areas as it appeared to be deemed “obscene”.

Lastly, I will mention an incident that may put you off your tea:
Whilst on a night out about 10 years ago, my friends and I decided to visit an open buffet Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Birmingham. As we apprached the door, we noticed a young adult male, aged between 15 and 19, who was wearing a grey tracksuit. He had his hands down the front of his pants “to keep his hands warm!”, I suppose. Idle hands need to be kept occupied is another way of putting it…But he was clearly “adjusting” himself in many ways. He appeared to be a tad nervous, anxious and twitchy. His eyes shifted left and right, up and down the street. I have to say he was quite a good looking young man but there was something about him that indicated he was a somewhat” disaffected youth”. His demeanour, body language, his apprehensions and overall disposition was suspicious. As we approached the restaurant doors, the lad sauntered in before us, grabbed a handful of chicken balls off the open display food counter and dashed out, biting on one of the balls as he ran off. I wanted to call out to him “Now go and wash your hands!” but human rights, freedoms and liberalisation of the society in which we live in today prevented me from doing so, although I did report his actions to the staff who were present at the time. Needless to say, we all avoided eating the chicken balls and observed other customers in case they had found a pubic hair!

There are parents or people out there who may say we can’t tell them what to do with their hands! I agree. But you can certainly enocurage them in other ways to keep their hands warm or occupied – wear gloves, keep hands at the side or in the trouser/trackie bottoms pocket or if they insist, simply tell them to go and wash their hands afterwards.



The Learned Kat


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