Here Try This Thing: Polka Pants
What are practical, fun, flattering and do what they say they’ll do? Polka Pants.By Nikki To
This iteration of Here Try This Thing exists purely to offer you the biggest favour in a long time: A recommendation for a pair of practical, great-fitting, good-looking and not-crazy-expensive pants. We all know finding that perfect pair of practical pants is no easy task. I’m not talking about fancy pants, that’s easy – baggy, shaggy, flared, sparkly, skinny leg – it doesn’t matter, they’re occasional. Practical, hard-working, not-too-tight, not-too-baggy everyday pants? That’s a different story. From your bum to your thigh and right down to your ankles, not only do they have to be functional, but it’s preferable they flatter all aforementioned body parts too. I personally find it challenging to find pantaloons to serve my whole bottom half. I sit somewhere between flares (good on the butt and thighs but a lil impractical for work) and just straight baggy (again, not practical for a photographer bouncing around kitchens and different shoot sets for the most part of a week).
Feeling the pant predicament with me? Enter my very fancy friend, Melissa Leong. Mel is a food writer and one of the unstoppable hosts of Masterchef, amongst other things, she’ll always be known as the woman who introduced Polka Pants into my life. She sent me a pair simply because she thinks they’re “everything a woman could want in a pair of pants. A woman who needs to bend and stretch and spend hours getting things done. They’re pants made by a badass woman for other badass women.”
It’s true, founder Maxine Thomson (Aussie-born, London-based chef) designed these out of the pure need to serve women in the kitchen with a pair that was both flattering and ergonomic – a far cry from the usual daggy, baggy black and white checkered chef pants we’re so accustomed to seeing. Maxine wanted to create pants women could be proud to wear and feel good wearing. This is a really pertinent point. Women in the Western world weren’t commonly seen wearing pants publicly until the mid 20th century. Today, pants wearing is, rightly, increasingly talked about. Even schools are looking at bringing in gender neutral uniforms – pants for our young women.
So! In the spirit of increased-comfort-pant-wearing I shall break down why these pants are the right pants. For me it’s the high waisted fit (inspired by Utility Scheme clothing of the 40s), the durable gold side zip (love a side zip), the pockets (the epitome of practicality in clothing) and the pattern. Maxine’s nailed the bum-to-thigh-to-ankle ratio – they’re not too tight or too baggy, they celebrate your body. We all tried them on in the Buffice, we’re all different sizes and they all fit like a glove. How does she do it?!?
Analiese Gregory (chef and non-stop wilderness adventurer) was another powerhouse woman I’ve spotted in these spotted pants. For her, “after so many years of wearing huge baggy chef pants designed for men”, she finally found something that not only looked good and felt good, they were “actually made for people who have a waist.”
But wait, there’s more! Maxine’s just released her first unisex range, Polka 2.0. Style, comfort and flattery now extends to both women and men. The 2.0 are a slimmer fit, tailored for both men and women. I personally haven’t given these a go but Dan Pepperell of Bistrot 916 has and reckons they’re “super comfy, light and breezy.” For a busy man chef, buzzing around all day and night, we feel this short summary says it all. ~ Breezy ~
To finish this dish, let’s ponder some wise words via Miss Leong. “Things that look good and don’t perform? What’s the f*cking point?" Polka Pants look good and Polka pants perform. My point exactly.