Around the year 2000, I transformed from a writerly guy who took a lot of notes into a writerly guy who took a lot of notes, travelled a lot, and also carried lots of gadgets. My old-school jeans just couldn’t handle my digitized commensal devices. The camera, the mobile, the city maps, the keys, pens, notebooks; when you live on the road that “daily carry” intensifies.
Tacticals, in the meantime, left the legs of the mountaineering community, and, thanks to certain members of the Colorado FBI, became the favorite pants of federal cops. I’m by no means a cop, but I was never a miner or a mountaineer, either.
The daily clothing needs of street cops are in fact pretty close to the daily clothing needs of street-wandering journalists with a big yen for tech devices. Cops haul around a lot of specialized belt gear, they’re in and out of cars, bikes, whatever, they’re commonly reacting to sudden opportunities, they alternate bursts of action with a lot of bureaucratic somnolence and the filling-out of forms… Cops are also intimidating tough-guys who project an ‘atmosphere of deterrence,’ but that machismo doesn’t come out of their pants. It comes out of their hats, badges, sunglasses, pistols and clubs. I don’t wear those. I wear bifocals and Missoni ties.
And I wear cop pants. For years now. Nobody minds, comments, or even notices. Since I need my gadgets at hand every day, I rarely wear anything else. I’ve tried a variety of cop pants, created by different cop suppliers. Most are, to tell the truth, not as well-thought-through as 5.11 Tactical garments.