The first pair of pants I ever made was for a trip to Guatemala. I wanted something light weight that wouldn’t wrinkle, and most of all I wanted a secure pocket for my passport. I ran into some problems along the way – I never quite got the fly right, and I cut the legs too short and had to add mock cuffs around the bottoms just to get the length right. But on the whole, they came out surprisingly well, mostly thanks to the fabric, a wonderful linen/bamboo herringbone, which was light and airy, didn’t wrinkle (except around the unfortunate mock cuffs), and was quite pretty. I ended up wearing the pants a lot after the trip, and lending them to other people who wanted a secret passport pocket for their trips. Eventually they completely shredded and I had to say goodbye.
Last week I went on a road trip through the Southwest and in packing for that trip I really missed my travel pants. I didn’t want to wear shorts, because I was afraid the backs of my legs would get sunburned hiking, and then driving would be terrible. But I didn’t want to wear long pants in the desert, because even my summer pants get pretty warm. I have another pair of pure linen pants, but they get so wrinkly. It was clearly time to make another pair of travel pants.
I couldn’t find anything with quite the beautiful sheen of the herringbone I used last time, but this linen blend had the key features I was looking for: good airflow, somewhat wrinkle resistant, and with enough pattern to hide a bit of dirt. I didn’t put in a passport pocket this time, but I’ll add one if I ever take them out of the country – the patch pockets in front give plenty of space to hide a zippered pocket inside. Like my old pants these have wide legs (for extra airflow), and these new ones are high waisted (just for fun) and uncuffed (like the others should have been).
The pants did their job. I felt a little out of place on hiking trails full of people in fluorescent wicking fabrics, but I think I was more comfortable than any of them, and I didn’t have to change for dinner.