Sweden’s Male Train Drivers Wear Skirts Following Row Over Uniform

Sweden Train
Dan Clay, Flickr

At least a dozen train drivers in Sweden have taken to wearing skirts as they go about their job after their employer banned them from wearing shorts.

The men, who operate trains north of Stockholm, wanted to wear shorts during warmer weather but were forbidden from doing so after their train line was taken over by a new company this year. The drivers said they collectively decided to wear skirts once summer started because they were much more breathable than pants.

“The passengers stare at us but so far no one has said anything – well, not to me, anyway. And I don’t mind as it’s more about comfort,” one driver told the BBC.In an interesting twist, the company operating the train line has given the male conductors the green light to continue wearing the female attire. A representative explained the decision to a local newspaper, saying, “Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK. To tell them to do something else would be discrimination.”

Good News, Ladies! Now You Can Wear Pants In Paris

Paris
Are you a woman planning a trip to Paris? Well, now you can pack a pair of pants without fear of running afoul of the law. The BBC reports that it is now legal for women to wear pants in the City of Love.

The city government has finally struck a law off the books dating back to 1800 that required women to get police permission before “dressing like a man.” Around the turn of the past century, concessions were made to ladies riding horses or bicycles but in general, fairer sex had to stick to skirts.

The law, of course, has not been enforced in many years. It isn’t the only odd law on the books. Every state and city has a few antiquated regulations that the local government doesn’t remember existing, let alone trying to enforce. There are a bazillion websites on the Internet listing weird laws.

Many of these are apocryphal, however. One I heard while living in Arizona stated that it’s illegal to wear suspenders in Nogales. The law supposedly dates back to Prohibition. Nogales, being a border town, was full of gringos heading south of the border to get drunk. It still is. Back in Prohibition days, the story goes, some tried to smuggle bottles back over the border into the U.S. and wore suspenders to keep their pants from falling down from the extra weight. The bullshit-cleaning website Snopes actually checked and found that no such law ever existed.

For every old weird law that gets eliminated, a new one crops up. Live Science has a great list of weird state laws that took effect at the beginning of 2013. In Oregon, for example, it’s now illegal for employers to post job openings if they won’t consider hiring someone who is unemployed. Perverts will be disappointed to learn that it is now illegal to have sex with a corpse in Illinois. It used to be that if you got caught with a cadaver the worst you could be charged with was criminal damage to property.

Um… since when are corpses considered property? Whose property?

[Photo courtesy Procsilas Moscas]

Spring Capri Pants For Women From Aventura

Arden Organic Cotton Capri PantsCapri length cargo pants are a must pack for every trip I take in the shoulder seasons – spring and fall. I like lots of pockets. I like having something that’s lighter than a pair of jeans but is not a pair of shorts. I like being comfortable and casual without looking like I’m in my jammies. And I like the length, as my travel wardrobe leans towards the modest side for most destinations.

Aventura’s Arden Organic Cotton Capris
almost fit the bill. I wanted those cargo pockets on the side – that’s where I like to put my phone. That’s the ONLY thing I want. Beyond the additional pockets, I really like these pants.

I won’t wear the zip off convertible trousers that some travelers favor. They’re just too dorky for me, and that’s saying something given my level of dorkiness. But I do like roll ups with tabs or ties to hold the cuffs in place. They’re great for beach combing or sunny days. Aventura’s capris have roll up cuffs and button-in-place tabs. The buttons are sewn on to ribbon detailing that runs down the leg. I like both the look and the fact that they’re reinforced.

The fit on these is just about perfect, and that’s a thrill for someone who’s short but hardly skinny. They’re low rise and there’s a wide flat waist that sits just right. The pants are a good cut – flat front, straight in the leg but not too narrow for a person who like cookies. There are button-flap pockets in back and flat pockets in front. On me, they’re a little long, but again, they roll up so they can be adjusted to the right length.

Fashion mavens are not going to make any bold trendsetting statements in these pants, but my travel wardrobe tends towards practical and comfortable. The pants come in six colors including white (is it after Labor Day yet?) and they feel soft and wearable right out of the box. They hold their size after washing, too.

I don’t know about you, ladies, but I have a terrible time finding pants that fit. Because the cut is so great, I’m tempted to throw a bunch of their other styles into my virtual shopping cart. Your mileage may vary, of course, as fit is purely subjective (plus, I tried on one of their dresses and oh, it did not work at all on me). That said, the Arden Capris totally fill my need for casual, lightweight, and versatile clothing for spring travel and I’ll likely be packing them well into fall. They’re $72 directly from Aventura.

Snow Angel Dynamix Flare Leg Pants

I’ve posted before about my search for clothes that I can wear on the plane without looking like I’ve just fallen out of bed or come from yoga class. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what you wear on the plane, and I will not give you crap if you show up in seat 17F in your flannels with the penguins on them.

I’m trying to dress like the kind of human who might get an upgrade if she asks, nicely. I still believe in that fiction. Also, I feel slightly more human when I’m dressed like I actually bothered rather than put on whatever what was lying next to the bed. Still, I want clothes that are soft, don’t bind, and feel fine after six eight ten hours in flight.

Snow Angel is a sport line — base layers, long underwear, that kind of thing. But they’ve got heavier pieces that work well for travel. The shirts are nice, if a little shiny for my style, but I really like the Dynamix Flare Leg Pants. They’re cut like a pair of jeans, with patch pockets on the pack and two shallower front pockets, but they’re all stretch and give, easy to move around in.

Because they’re made of a heavier weight fabric, they don’t immediately read as yoga pants. They have a nice wide, flat waist band, stretchy and comfortable. There are no zippers or buttons or ties, they’re just pull on and everything fits flat and smooth.

The fabric is all artificial stuff — supplex and spandex. That’s why you get that great stretchy feel. I have really sensitive skin and I had some doubts about whether these were going to work for me, but after two washings, whatever was making me itchy was gone, they’re nice and soft now.

The pants come in two colors, a royal blue and a black. I prefer the black, you really can wear them with a nice blouse or sweater and look perfectly acceptable in most casual environments.The cut is quite flattering, too, ladies, you’ll look good loading that bag into the overhead bin. They run true to size, though you could go up one size if you want a little more room.

The Dynamix pants aren’t great for hot places, their made out of a not particularly breathable fabric, I found. But I was very comfortable wearing them on my last round of flights. They’re wearing well and surviving the wash, plus, as I mentioned, I don’t look like I just came from the gym while I’m standing at the coffee counter in SJC, IAH, or whatever airport I find myself in at 6am.

Snow Angel’s Dynamix pants are 70.00 directly from their website.

Gadling gear review: Pick-Pocket Proof Pants from Clothing Arts

Pick pocket proof pants from Clothing ArtsFew things can ruin a trip more quickly than losing your wallet to local thieves who make it a habit of preying on unsuspecting travelers. In the blink of an eye, your cash, ID, passport, credit cars and other valuable items, can be gone, leaving you scrambling to recover. To prevent these types of situations from ever occurring, the designers at a company called Clothing Arts, who happen to be travelers themselves, have created a line of pick pocket proof pants that make it nearly impossible for you to lose your important items.

Dubbed the P^cubed travel pants, Clothing Arts makes these garments for both adventure travelers and businessmen and women who frequently visit areas that pose a high risk for pick pockets. These pants (and shorts!) resemble typical cargo pants, with pockets in the usual places, namely the front and back, as well as additional pockets on the legs. But these aren’t your typical pockets, as you soon find out when put the pants on. Security is central to the design of the P^cubed line, and as a result each of those pockets can be sealed with both zippers and cloth covers. When sealed up tight, it would take a very talented pick-pocket indeed to gain access to your valuables.

These security measures mean that you can put your wallet in a pocket and without the fear of it being lifted. The pockets are spacious enough to accommodate most small items that you would want to carry with you, and the cargo pockets even expand for extra storage. Even cell phones and small cameras can comfortably be carried without worrying about them finding their way into unwelcome hands.

While we can all appreciate having an added sense of security while we’re traveling, the bottom line with any piece of clothing that we take with us is that it has to be comfortable. The P^cubed pants excel in that area as well, using a blend of nylon and cotton to offer up a relaxed fit that doesn’t hamper movement, even when taking part in active pursuits such as hiking or climbing. I found the pants were just as comfortable to wear around town as they were on the trail, which makes them a versatile piece of gear that can be used just about anywhere. That versatility is a big plus for travelers who like going as light as possible and don’t always want to carry a lot of items with them.
I put the Adventure Traveler Pants through their paces and was impressed with how well they resisted wear and tear, while also managing to stay clean. The materials used in making these pants are designed to resist the stains and dirt marks that come from typical travel situations, while not scuffing or tearing either. As a result, you end up with a pair of pants that you can take with you on a round-the-world trip that will look as good upon your return home as they did when you first set out. The fact that they are also quick drying is appreciated both while wearing them after a surprise rainstorm, and while cleaning the pants back in your hotel room.

If you’re like me, you probably have a few pieces of clothing that seem to always find their way into your bag no matter where you’re headed. They tend to be comfortable, versatile, and still manage to look good too. The P^cubed pants now fit into that category for me and are likely to be a regular companion on future excursions. I appreciate their comfort and fit first and foremost, and the fact that they have plenty of big pockets for storage is a major plus as well. Throw in the fact that they provide a level of security for your valuables that you won’t find elsewhere, and you just might have the perfect travel pants.

The Adventure Traveler Pants cost $109.95 on the Clothing Arts website, which is a bit on the expensive side when compared to other options. But when you consider what they bring to the table, you’ll realize that it is actually a very reasonable price. Not only will they keep the pick-pockets at bay, but they’ll also last for years, making them a wise investment for any traveler.