Friday, February 4, 2011

Retail Therapy: Men in Tights (tight tights)

"I'm going to a yoga retreat this weekend. In the Redwood forest"

He smiles shyly, and my heart warms to this tall, lanky man with a frizzy beard and a thin grey ponytail who has just stepped into this small outdoor retail shop situated in the heart of California's notoriously eccentric Humboldt County.

"I know that it's short notice, but I'm leaving tomorrow and I really need some appropriate clothing for the retreat. Do you have men's yoga clothing?"


I trail off. I don't want to disappoint him, but the truth is that while we stock a wide variety of women's yoga clothing, there isn't much in the way for men.

I head to the men's section of the clothing department and start pulling climbing pants off the rack.

"These aren't specifically designed for yoga, but since they have a loose fitting cut and a gusseted crotch, they should work just fine."

But he isn't paying attention to me. Halfheartedly pulling at the leg of the pair of pants I'm holding up, his eyes are roving the women's section of the clothing department. Dropping the pants he walks to the women's sale rack and grabs a pair of extra-small lilac Patagonia tights.

"These. These will work perfectly!"

His eyes light up as he circles the rack excitedly, pushing hangers from side to side. Pulling a matching flower print tank top with a built-in bra from its hanger, he turns to me. "I'll try these on. Can you please unlock the dressing room?"


Faltering, I glance around desperately for my manager, but she's nowhere in sight.

"These pieces are a lovely selection and perfect for yoga, but I'm concerned that perhaps they are not the correct size for you."

He mulls over my diplomatic attempts.

"So, you think I should grab a small too? Just in case?"

"Is there an extra-large?"

"Oh, I think that will be too big. I need this to be very close-fitting. It's for yoga."

Reluctantly, I turn to grab the keys for the dressing room and he slips in to try his selections on.

Out of morbid curiosity I hover nearby. I can hear the seams splitting one by one as he stuffs himself into tights that would be difficult for my 5'2" frame to slip into.

There is a tapping from the inside of the dressing room. "Miss?"

I freeze.

The door creaks open and he pokes his head out. "Can I get your opinion?"

And suddenly there he is in full form sporting lilac tights that he has not quite managed to get over his hips and a matching floral tank top that stops just below his chest.

He circles hesitantly.

I stare back just as hesitantly.

"I'm just not sure about this. I think it would be better if it were a one-piece, don't you?"

"Undoubtedly, sir."

"Do you have any leotards?"

"I'm afraid not. We're primarily a climbing and backpacking shop, but there is a dance store just down the road. They might have what you're looking for."

"Oh! I hadn't thought of that. I'll go there next. Thank you. It's too bad because I love this floral print. What's the company? Patagonia? You should tell them to consider making leotards with this print."

"I'll tell them."

I watch him walk down the street before turning my attention to the ruined tights. Filling out the "defective merchandise" form, I hesitate momentarily above the line "Why is this product being returned?"

Customer insisted on trying them on despite being obviously too large for said tights. Suggests that Patagonia design men's leotard in this print.


Humboldt County 


caterpillar said...


Nikki said...

haha, Yeah I was amused...and horrified. It was a state of mixed emotion. Those tights were, um, very tight. Verrrry tight.

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