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trouser press

I feel sorry for trouser presses. What’s to become of them?

The history of menswear is a long narrative of loosening and simplifying. Things that were once normal become formal, then disappear into the costume dramas. Everything becomes more casual.

The City gents held onto the tailcoat and bowler hat long after everyone else had switched over to lounge suits. They’ll be the last to abandon the lounge suit, but it will happen. Already for many urban types the smart suit and long tie only comes out for weddings and awards ceremonies.

So I don’t need to press the baggy knees and vague creases of my suit trousers in a kind of rubberised sandwich maker for 30 minutes. That’s because I’m in jeans or something like them. The trouser press stands to attention in the corner like some old retainer the family hasn’t the heart to get rid of.

I’ve an idea we should reinvent the trouser press. Perhaps we can organise a competition where the brightest designers in the country make them over. I can see trouser presses in Paul Smith stripes, ironic Burberry checks or Vivienne Westwood tartans. We could daub give them with a retro Union Jack: very Mini Cooper. We could clad them in pink feathers, yellow Perspex, 50s retro polka dots or jazzy tweeds.

The trouble is, designers like things to have a function too. That’s where I struggle with the trouser press. Can it be adapted to make sandwiches or pizza bases? Will it convert into a cocktail cabinet? Can the 50 Shades of Grey fans see some future for it as an aid to the modern adult relationship?

We desperately need your ideas now.


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