YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Having a Cow Over Leather Pants at the Office

March 09, 2001|Jeannine Stein

Dear Fashion Police: I just saw one of my male colleagues wearing black leather pants--in the office. Is this appropriate in today's new relaxed (fashion-wise) workplace environment?


Dear Working: Either you're not exactly thrilled with those leather pants or you'd like to wear a pair yourself and are looking for our approval. We're not into pop psychology, but we're going to guess you're in the former category.

The problem is, we can't book this suspect on probable cause. Since we don't know what kind of an office you're in, leather pants could be perfectly OK, or a felony. And therein lie the special circumstances of casual work attire.

We will deduce that since the pants caught your attention, you work in a rather conservative place where fashion accouterments such as visible tattoos, body piercings, green hair, see-through belly shirts and thigh-high stiletto boots aren't everyday attire, so those leather pants really stand out. Still, if management hasn't put out an official verboten stance on leather pants, your colleague isn't really breaking any laws.

However, you did ask what we thought of them--how kind of you--and whether they're appropriate for a work setting. Frankly, we've never been fond of leather pants. There's something just so . . . leathery about them. Your co-worker may be indulging some kind of rocker fantasy by wearing these pants, which is his prerogative, but they're just kind of icky in an office.

Some of you may be thinking, "Hey, if jeans are OK, why not leather pants?" Because leather pants put out a distinctly different vibe--a vibe that says, "Hey, I'm not a corporate wonk like you! I'm different! My soul runs free! I go to late-night rock clubs!" We're not sure apparel should be so outspoken in a conservative, mainstream workplace. There's a time and a place, and this isn't it.


Dear Fashion Police: My almost-13-year-old son is a bit more than "husky." I cannot find clothes for him, especially pants and suits. Please let me know if there are any stores that specialize in large sizes for boys. The husky clothes at JCPenney, Sears and similar stores are too small. The men's clothes are too long and big. My son is 5 feet 2, weighs 125 to 130 pounds, and his waist is 33-34. His weight is mostly around his middle. His bar mitzvah is in May, and he will need a decent suit. Please help!


Dear Desperate: We know it's tough to find clothes for children and teens who don't fall in the "regular" size ranges. After making some calls, we did discover that not every department store carries husky sizes, and the ones that do don't always have a lot of choices in stock.

However, we did find some resources for you. Nordstrom carries husky sizes; we called the Westside Pavilion store and were told they carry slacks and suits. Although the selection isn't huge right now, they are expecting a new shipment soon, so check back.

Lands' End's Web site (, [800] 963-4816) carries a boys' hopsack blazer in a polyester-wool blend in husky sizes, as well as several styles of casual pants. Their waist sizes only go up to 32 1/2, but if you choose pants with an all-elastic or part-elastic waist, the company's size expert we spoke with said they'll probably fit. They may need hemming, but the rise should be OK.

Another resource is the Red Apple in South Miami, Fla. This store also has a Web site ( that lists some of the husky styles they carry, but it seems limited, so we suggest calling the store ([305] 669-6899) during East Coast business hours.

Also in Miami is Heritage House, which specializes in dressy boys' clothes. Visit its Web site (, where you can also request a printed catalog, or call (888) 784-8269.

Brody's clothing store in West Bloomfield, Mich., carries husky sizes, but there is no catalog, and their Web site ( currently features just camp wear; clothes should be online in the fall. However, you can call and ask about the stock, and Brody's will ship to you.

Although Rochester Big & Tall stores (they're nationwide, in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York) cater to men, they do outfit some husky kids and teens. Their clothes might be proportioned for boys taller than your son, but it might be worth a try.

If anyone else has great resources for husky sizes, please let us know.


Write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888, or send e-mail to

Los Angeles Times Articles