Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Arc'teryx A2B and the Return of Knickers Friday

ok, first here's the Knickers Friday background: I work for a large corporation with a business casual dress code.  We get to wear jeans on Fridays for $1 for charity. Also, capris are allowed in the summer and they're worn by many of the womenfolk in the office.  I'd been threatening to wear knickers on Fridays for a long time but never actually did it. Then one autumn day over a year or two ago I found out that the dress code had changed and capris were now allowed past September 1st. It wasn't just Memorial to Labor Day.  And it's non-gender specific - the code doesn't specify females only, the purveyors of the dress code probably just didn't think any guys would wear them or it went without saying.     

Voila! Thus began Knickers Friday and I started wearing my Kuhl Krux shorts on Fridays.  Raised a few eyebrows in the office and around downtown, especially when I continued Knickers Friday in winter.  But it was all in fun.  A bike buddy at work did join me for a bit, but overall Knickers Friday wasn't a big success.  It never really caught on with the menfolk, even when I offered free donuts to manpri/knickers wearers. I get some razzing about them, but again, it's all in fun.

Fast forward to one Friday last November when I'm walking past the office of one of the upper mgmt. directors in another department.  She's coming out of her office at the same time, and says "nice shorts, Scott".  I say thanks, and that they're knickers, pointing below the knee.  I think, hmmm I'm not sure but there may have been some sarcasm in her comment.

Later that day I get an instant message from our HR Director asking me if I could stop by and talk.  Sure, unsuspecting, and thinking it was regarding another matter.  I walk into her office on another floor, and she says what's with the shorts?  I say they're knickers, manpris, and I've been wearing these on Fridays for over a year.  The upshot of the conversation was I could still wear knickers, they just had to be longer.  It wasn't specified how long.  (oh yeah, I remember her saying, well if you want to be cold…).

So started a long search for some 3/4 pants or knickers with an inseam longer than the 16" of the Krux shorts.  I thought I wouldn't have any trouble finding some longer hiking or biking shorts, but I couldn't. REI, Mountain Gear, etc but no luck.  A bike buddy at work likes the Prana Menace knickers, but there's something about the fit/looks I don't like in them, and I wanted a cotton blend instead of all polyesterish material.  I thought I was going to have to cut some jeans or slacks and make my own.

Finally one day in mid-December I'm checking REI again, drilling down in the menus and i see you can search by inseam length.  Suddenly one item with an 18" inseam jumps out at me.  I click, and up pops the Arc'teryx A2B Commuter Long bike shorts.  I may have come across the A2B's before but they're not cheap - $129 msrp now.  But the price at REI was only $63.83, probably last year's overstock or special buy.  And there was only one size available - mine!  Two colors available: dark grey or tan.  I took that as a sign and quickly order the tan ones.  Then I think again and order the gray ones, too.

Here they are next to the Krux shorts for a comparison.  It was difficult to get the waists an inseams to align, the Krux are up a little in the first picture:



  
When I tried on the A2B's, I wasn't sure if they were really that much longer on me than the Krux or if they would pass muster at work.  In the meantime, I had changed managers so the first Friday I wore them I showed them to him, and he said, eh, they're below the knee I think they're fine.

The A2B's are nice quality shorts, well made and seem more durable than the Krux, which aren't really made for cycling. The material is heavier, so they might be warmer in summer.  They do have all the supposed requirements for commuting - reflective bits on the back pocket and cuff, extra pockets, a higher waist in back.  The fit is good. They might be a little too stretchy in the waist, but at least they're not too tight.  The material isn't denim, and could pass as slacks or Dockers material.  A nicer material than the Krux.  Heck, maybe I could wear them every day of the week.   

That's my Knickers Friday story - I wonder if it'll ever catch on. It's nice to have one day of the week where I can just leave work on hot summer days without having to stop and change into shorts. 

  

4 comments:

  1. I can't decide if I like this story or if I think the managers were assholes. A little of both I suppose. 70-30 on the % scale.

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    1. yeah it's a tough call - i just think it's funny because i wore the Krux over a year and nobody said anything, including my former manager.

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  2. And all this time I thought you were a jorts kind of guy. :-)

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    1. oh i gave those up when i turned 50 :)

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