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

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.”

Spring Capri Pants For Women From Aventura

Capri 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.

Traveling Pants from Ex Officio

I get that folks think they’re practical or that they take up less space in the bag, but whenever I see someone wearing those pants with the zip off legs so they convert into shorts, I think, “Really? Are you so tight with space that you can’t find room for pants AND shorts?”

This is not the fault of Ex Officio, it’s just that my not very high bar for fashion rests at the convertible pants/shorts combination. I’m not down with the look. And I confess, I felt a little bit dorky while wearing a pair of Ex Officio super light weight travel Nomad Roll-up Pants during a recent journey. At least they’re not the kind with the zip off legs, right?

The pair I wore is also sort of convertible; they roll up and have keeper straps for those beach-combing days or when you wish you’d worn shorts. The fabric is super light and soft — they roll up to a tiny size and take up very limited luggage space. That soft fabric is also somewhat water resistant, if the weather goes bad on you you’ll stay a little drier, a little longer. There are deep side pockets and additional zip pockets on the side, but they lie flat, they’re not lumpy like your typical cargo pants. The waist band is lined so there are no itchy bits against your skin, and there’s a wide tabbed closure at the waist. Unlike a lot of outdoor attire, Ex Officio seems to run true to size and I’d venture that they’re cut just a little bit generous, but not excessively so.Since I don’t do the full convertible thing, I got a pair of Ex Officio shorts too. They have they same deep pockets at the waist and zippered pockets on the legs, but they’ve also got that funny little pocket for your bus money or lip balm and an additional one, maybe for your cell phone? The waist has the same lining as the pants, but the shorts have a button closure, and there’s a webbing belt that’s sewn into place — it’s full adjustable but you can’t lose it.

Both of these items beg to be paired with a safari vest and perhaps some giant binoculars as an accessory, and then, to be promptly rushed on a birding expedition. I can’t help it, there’s something about the khaki tones and extremely practical design that makes me vaguely snarky. (Okay, perhaps not so vague.) That’s not to say I didn’t immediately put this gear into rotation as part of my “go do something outdoorsy” travel kit. With long underwear, those pants could tackle a broad range of conditions and shorts, well, hiking shorts are hiking shorts.

And really, you should pack both. You don’t need the zip off legs really, do you?

The Nomad pants are $65.00, the Nio Amphi shorts are normally 60.00 but they’re on sale right now (June, 2011) for about half price. Ex Officio makes non-convertible pants for guys, too, check them out on the Ex Officio website. And get outside.