So this is now a thing.
Readers, let me introduce you to the calchemise, a men's garment that's been getting a lot of press lately, primarily in Southern Europe (and a shout-out to MPB reader Andrea C. for bringing it to my attention).
As you can probably tell, the calchemise (from the French caleçon, undershorts; and chemise, shirt) combines a dress shirt with what look like boxers to create a romper-like garment that can be worn under regular pants or by itself.
As with most envelope-pushing men's fashion of late, it helps to have good legs (check) and be under thirty (damn).
Where would one wear a calchemise you may be asking. The calchemise website -- where you can actually order one (or two, or a whole wardrobe full) -- provides a range of possibilities, largely confined to skateboarding and/or posing on the narrow streets of picturesque Mediterranean cities with very little traffic. The designer of the calchemise, Simon Freour, would really be the person to ask, not me.
Just looking at photos of the calchemise makes me reflexively reach back and tug the fabric bunching between my butt cheeks, though, thankfully, there isn't any. It just doesn't look comfortable -- but I'd be willing to try one on nonetheless (hear that, Simon?).
Now for some context. A one-piece chemise-type men's garment, known as a union suit, was popular in the first half of the last century. You could even sew one yourself.
You may recall that, a few years ago, I purchased a similar garment (vintage deadstock) on eBay. I'd intended to copy it and draft a pattern for it, but somehow never did. The union suit, however, was intended solely as underwear.
My recent acquisition, this vintage Seventies John Weitz jumpsuit pattern, includes a short-panted version, but it wouldn't be mistaken for a calchemise -- unless it was done up in cotton shirting; then it just might.
And let's not forget Simplicity 5417, below.
The calchemise is closest to a woman's romper, which (I believe) peaked in popularity a few decades ago, though contemporary patterns can still be found for them today. Many women complain about the need to disrobe entirely in order to relieve themselves, but somebody must still be wearing and/or sewing these things. Perhaps you?
In closing, what do you think, readers?
Is the calchemise something you (if you're male) or the man in your life (if there is one) would enjoy wearing, if only for skateboarding or looking cute on the way to brunch?
How about wearing them under pants: would you want your shirt attached to your boxers?
The calchemise -- OUI ou NON? (Yea or Nay?)
PM UPDATE: Just learned there are buttons between the legs that you pop open when you need to use the bathroom, fwiw.
|How do you say "oy vey" in French?|