When in England, Don’t Say “Pants”

Fieldwork in Stilettos

I’m going to take a break from telling embarrassing stories about my brother today and tell one about myself instead:

Once upon a place (Oxford University, circa 2006), I volunteered to costume a student production of… actually I can’t remember the name of play. Or even the playwright (and even though I’ve googled “play about mountain climbers” I still can’t figure it out) so we’re just going to leave it at that.

What’s important is that the cast was comprised almost entirely of men: smart British men with British accents and British names and—most importantly— a British understanding of the term “pants.”

union jack

As the costume designer and wardrobe mistress, one of my many jobs was to measure inseams. The act of measuring a man’s inseam can look a bit, well, improper if you don’t know what’s going on so I decided I should explain exactly what I was…

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