In Defense of Long Johns
- Najib Benouar
In our efforts to dapperly winterize your wardrobe earlier this week, we made a polarizing suggestion: long johns.
While we’ll admit the ones we suggested were of the advanced variety, we’d like to assert that the idea—wearing thermal pants, not a full union suit, in your urban day-to-day—isn’t as crazy as it seems.
Just consider the amount of layering you do above the waist and compare it to the two layers (if you’re counting that swatch of cotton you call your underwear a layer) down below. Not even the thickest of boiled wool or heaviest of selvage denim is going to keep the chill of deep winter off your cozy-menswear-accustomed gams, no matter how closely tailored it is. And that’s where an extra layer comes in handy.
A further defense of long johns, with a foolproof user’s guide:
Forget all the worrying about looking like an old-timey gold prospector or a sexless hermit—nobody is going to see you in these unless you deem them worthy. And for the nonsense about burning up once you make it into the office, here’s your answer to that: grab your briefcase like you’re headed to an important brunch meeting, hang a left at the restroom, quickly change out of them, fold them discreetly into your briefcase, end of discussion. (Other than a reminder that you should be wearing these over your underwear for situations like this.) Though, your standard-issue pair in 100% cotton waffle-weave is pretty breathable, so you shouldn’t be too worried about it.
And with the troubling rise of the tailored-sweatpants micro-trend, consider this your equally cozy, dignity-retaining alternative.