HIGHTOWER: Capri Pants for Men
Time for another journey into the Far, Far, Far-Out Frontiers of Free Enterprise.
Today, Spaceship Hightower takes you to where you may not want to go: into the bizarre and often ridiculous realm of fashion design -- a realm where the sole goal appears to be to try to get the public to dress up in the most clownish clothes possible while paying the fashion industry good money to look like a doofus. The latest example: Capri pants for men. I kid you not.
OK, Harry Belafonte wore capri pants in the late 1950s and looked great, but, hey, he was Harry Belafonte, the Calypso King, and he would've looked good in a chartreuse tutu. You, on the other hand, are a big-butted guy who has carefully sculpted your physique by practicing a daily regimen of 12-ounce elbow bends and wolfing down happy-hour buffets ... yet they want you parading around in whacked-off trousers?
"Clamdiggers," the fashion barons call them, or "three-quarter-length pants." Goofy, I call them. Yet, they're selling. USA Today informs us that fashion designer Tom Walko can't keep the cropped pants on the shelf: "My best-selling pant for spring was a cotton twill three-quarter with heavy, masculine Tahitian embroidery at the cuff," he reports. Hello, Tom! "Masculine" and "embroidered cuffs" are an oxymoron. Nonetheless, he's selling skads of his embroidered chopped-off trousers at Bloomingdales and other fine fashion stores -- only $195 a pair.
Let me ask you: If they're only three-quarters length, shouldn't you get a fourth off on the price? Nevermind. The industry claims it's our fault. As one spokeslady put it: "We listened to what our customers said they wanted -- another pants option."
This is Jim Hightower saying ... Oh yeah, that's sure high on my list of priorities, how about yours?