This morning found me in a stall full of vintage clothes. Vintage clothes are much the same as charity shop clothes but more expensive. Often much more expensive.
I’d spotted a waistcoat, almost brand new in appearance, hardly been worn from the look of it. I examined it. Buttons okay, general exterior pristine, lining just as good. Next the label. That looked brand new too... Arrrggg... Crimplene!
Developed by ICI eh? Remember ICI? The waistcoat had a prominent ICI logo on the label.
A pair of Crimplene trousers were easily the worst trousers I ever bought. This would be the early seventies. Brown they were, a seventies colour. We even painted one of our ceilings brown. I’d been looking for a reasonably smart pair of trousers for work – my first full time job. A pair of Crimps as we later called them seemed just the job.
Problem one was the plucking. If I brushed against anything less smooth than a snooker ball they plucked. Long fluffy brown threads emerged like peculiar growths and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I wasn’t too keen on cutting them off in case the whole trouser just kept on unravelling. I think I burnt off one or two, hoping to cauterise the wound before trouser gangrene set in.
Unfortunately plucking wasn’t the worst problem. Buying them in winter was the worst problem because Crimplene has absolutely no wind resistance. Even a moderate December breeze felt like strolling around the Arctic in underpants. The trousers may as well not have existed apart from the need to keep up appearances.
In those days I couldn’t afford to discard unsatisfactory trousers as I would today, but soon enough they went the way of all fashions. My future wife thought they were a hoot which much must signify something.