Friday, October 14, 2005

The Itch to go Retro

I’m sorry. I just don’t miss wool.

I know it’s the miraculous natural fiber that inspired all the synthetic under- and outerwear, but it inspired them for a reason. I know it’s the badge of the true retro devotee, but I put up with years and years of nip-rash and pit-chafe, finally resorting to a cotton tee shirt under the wool, which half defeats the purpose.

Protogs gave us Superwash, which was definitely softer than some of the steel wool coming out of the cheaper European clothiers. But I could always tell. Sooner or later it got to me.

I hate putting sheep out of work. But now they can get their haircut to suit their own fashion sense, not my need for cycling apparel.

While we’re at it, natural chamois presented its share of challenges. After one washing it turned into sandpaper without constant lubrication after it dried. And as a natural substance it certainly seemed as if it should happily host all manner of fungus and bacteria.

Natural chamois isn’t enjoying the vogue that wool jerseys are. Retro posturing ends where the pad meets the privates.

The retro jerseys do stir up a few fond memories of times when we all looked like that. I like them on other people. Maybe I’ll dig mine out of the bottom of the dresser and sport around on cooler days. I’ll have an excuse for the undershirt then.

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