Where I went: Ben Sherman

benpantsDuring my formative years, male models looked along the lines of Tyson Beckford or Michael Bergin — big bohunks of men who had me trying to gain 20 pounds to catch up.

Now the trend is more toward guys who look like this — adolescent near-androgynes with sprightly builds who would have me trying to LOSE weight to catch up.

This would come into play in a most unusual way during my trip to Ben Sherman.

I will preface this by saying, rather unapologetically, that I have a good butt.  It’s no Sunny from “Pants Off Dance Off” skater booty, but still.  A good American butt.

(Straight guys will probably enjoy the complete, not entirely-safe-for-work video above — tell your wives and girlfriends I said it was OK! — but to get to the point, fast-forward to around 3:11 and watch for about 10 seconds.   It was much more entertaining on the TV program, which I have had saved on my DVR for two years now and enjoy making friends watch for sheer entertainment value [“so juicy!”].)

A good American butt, however, does not fit well into skinny jeans.  (As Funny Michael said the day I tried them on at Urban Outfitters: “It looks like your ass is eating those jeans.”)  It also has trouble fitting into European trousers.  (Me to salesman at Ted Baker: “In these pants my waist is a 32, but apparently my butt is a 34.”)

At Ben Sherman, my waist is a 31 –yay, Ben Sherman! — but my calves apparently are 33s.  Because when I tried on a pair of trousers, they were downright clingy … down there.  (I’m pretty sure that’ll be the first time “down there” has referred to “calves.”)  The saleswoman heard my Marge Simpson-style discontent and when she found out why, she pointed out that the pants I was wearing were the “Rod Fit” (aka: skinny leg).

“They can be kind of unnerving if you’re not used to them,” she said knowingly.  “We also have a ‘transitional pant’ if you’re not comfortable going all the way at once.”  (I know! I thought the same thing but didn’t say it.)  “It’s called the Lancaster Fit” (aka: straight leg).

Also, I am not saying ANYTHING about the name of this company. Out loud.

Lancasters, you're so roomy! I feel like dancing!

Well, after the Rod Fit, the Lancasters felt like a pair of palazzo pants — I didn’t want to end up on the lanai eating cheesecake with Rose and Dorothy!  (Well, I did, but not just yet. Maybe in 25 years.)  Was I being too set in my ways?  I did love the navy plaid — and my Lancaster pants weren’t giving me the same lovey feeling back.

So back on went the Rod pants, and as I stood in front of the three-way mirror in the hall trying to figure out if the calves looked as tight as they felt, one of the other saleswomen walked by, stopped and uttered a phrase that must sell her dozens of pants each day.

“Wow, your butt looks really good in those pants.”

I bought them, of course.  (Hey, her delivery appeared genuine.  You have to reward it, even if it was just good acting.)  And, just in case, the Lancasters, too, because they were on sale, and who knows if the Rods will just make me feel ridiculous.

One unique thing I loved about this store: A flat $10 rate for shipping.  When Space NK charged me for shipping they included not one but two of their catalogs.  (Bulky! Weighty! You bastards.)  But the folks at Ben Sherman even let me throw in their box a purchase I had made from the men’s section at Topshop, a store down the street.

(Also, the name of the company that sells those palazzo pants pictured above is named Eurotard.  I’m just saying.)

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