Extreme needs for thermal trousers

It was Alfred Wainwright who said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

While this may be true for most situations, there are places where the weather is so severe that no matter what you wear, the elements are bound to come out on top.

Pack your sandals, shorts, thermal trousers and perhaps even a windproof umbrella – as we embark on an extreme weather tour of the world.


It’s cold up north
Source: Sometimes Interesting
Slip your feet into ice skates, or strap on your snowshoes – you’ll need them in the coldest inhabited place on earth. The isolated Russian village of Oymyakon has a population of just 472 – not surprising given its shiver inducing, monthly mean temperature of -46°C.

It’s not just the villagers of Oymyakon, who have it tough. Inhabitants of the Canadian research facility ‘Eureka’ spend the whole year dressed in thermal trousers and super warm coats. With the world’s lowest annual mean temperature of -19.7°C, stepping outside in your jeans and sweater can be fatal.

For a more accessible chilly city, try Winnipeg. The Manitoban capital is dubbed “Winter-peg”, as temperatures rarely reach double figures even in the summer. Once in 1879 the thermometer fell to a bone chilling -47.8°C!


Dallol, Ethiopia
Not your usual tourist trap
Source: Atlas Obscura
Many of us like to escape the gloom of the British winter. So if you like to wear your shorts and t-shirt in winter, how about a holiday to Dallol in Ethiopia? The town is a little short on tourist facilities, but it’s consistently sunny. Between 1960 and 1966, the mean daily temperature was 41.1°C, making it on average, the hottest town on earth.

Even the most dedicated sun worshiper would think twice about rolling out their towel in Death Valley. The record temperature there is 56.7°C, which in a place where people run marathons and visit for tourism, is really something.

Unlike Dallol and Death valley, no one has ever lived in the Lut desert of Iran. This is hardly surprising given the temperature there has reached 71°C – the highest ever recorded.


Wellington wind
It’s windy down south
Source: Expat Forum
Chicago is called the “windy city” but it’s nothing compared to Wellington. The New Zealand capital once recorded a wind speed of 248km/h. Certainly not weather for a sun hat.

Wellington is built on the edge of the Cook Strait. There, a gap in the mountain range running the length of the North and South islands creates a wind funnel that accelerates the air blowing through it. The effect is strongest on the Wellington side, making this one of the most windy cities on earth.

Wellingtonians must be very fond of windy weather – the shape of the capital’s Westpac Stadium, aka the Cake Tin, creates a vortex – was that by accident or design? So if you go and watch the All Blacks play, you may wish to take a windproof umbrella.


Bathing in the rain
Bathing in the rain
Source: Asfayara
Here in Britain we get out and about despite the rain – donning our waxed jackets and rubber wellingtons to fend off precipitation. But in some places, you may just want to stay inside.

Separated by just 10 miles, inhabitants of the Indian towns of Cherrapunj and Mawsnyram must fight over the title for wettest place on earth. In June and July you can expect 120 inches of rain there, more than double the UK annual average of 45 inches.


San Pedro de Atacama
Not a hose in sight
Source: Leave Your Daily Hell
Jump into moon boots and visit the Mars coloured sand of San Pedro de Atacama. Chile’s Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, but that doesn’t stop flip-flop wearing backpackers from visiting.

Due to the minuscule 15 mm of annual rainfall, there’s a 3 minute shower limit. So you have to wash your hair quickly, or everyone goes thirsty.

If you do decide to visit the Chilean desert, don’t forget to pack something warm to wear. Daytime temperatures maybe scorching, but at night, the mercury can fall to -10°C.


Singapore Humidity
A muggy night over Singapore
Source: I Super Love
Find yourself a time machine and head back to 1922 Libya. If the statistics recorded at the time are correct, the temperature soared to a scorching 57°C with 100% humidity. Dehumidifiers would do you no good here.

Can’t get your hands on a time machine but still want to get hot and sweaty? With an average annual humidity of 84.2%, you could try Singapore. In Singapore’s popular tourist spots and streets you’re sure to swelter, but if you feel a bit faint, there’s many air-conditioned shops and restaurants in which to retreat.

Do you know of any more extreme weather locations we might have missed?

Mens trousers you should never wear

So, you’ve got some jeans and some smart trousers and maybe a pair of jogging bottoms or two — but it feels like there’s room for something new in your wardrobe.

Somebody might have inspired you to go for something a bit alternative and daring, but this is where you need to pull back and go easy. There are some men’s trousers you should never wear.


Chaps: Only if your Clint Eastwood
Chaps: Only if your Clint Eastwood
Source: IOPhoto

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne are two of the toughest, meanest cowboys to grace our screens and it’s hard not to be inspired by the gun-swirling, horse-riding outlaws in their chaps.

But hold it right there, Mister!

Step down from the horse, which you don’t own, get back in your house, which isn’t in the Western Frontier and take off those chaps unless you’re a cowboy.

If you walk around 21st Century Britain in chaps, people will simply think you’re on a gay fancy dress outing (which you might be, in which case: enjoy!).


Iggy Pop
Image source: Northfoto BP
Iggy Pop

Bare-chested and clad in tight and transparent PVC trousers, Iggy Pop is the Peter Pan of the rock world. With his trademark Lust for Life, he continues to fire out the hits and moves.

But before you listen to his CD and recall how good he looks (in a man to man kind of way) in those transparent PVC trousers: just don’t go there.

Iggy Pop is not a man who can be imitated. You would probably turn heads, but not in a good way.


After the 2012 London Olympics, once-fringe sports like cycling and gymnastics have suddenly become mainstream. Armchair fans have been inspired to have a go — their first stop being to buy some sporty men’s trousers.

But slow down there.

Lycra trousers may look good on toned athletes like Louis Smith and Mark Cavendish, but they’re the professionals. Just beware of how tight you go with your trousers — tightness may protect you against physical injury, but not massive embarrassment.

Imagine if your boss or your dad saw you doing squat thrusts in the park…

Skin-tight red jeans

Since One Direction first appeared on the X Factor, a boy band renaissance has been sweeping the UK music scene. These young men own quite an impressive range of men’s trousers.

Their skin-tight jeans in shades of bright red are proving very popular with fans.

But before you go raiding your sister’s wardrobe for tiny jeans and start to cut off the blood supply to your legs, you’ll need to know something:

If you’re a teenager and in a boy band, you can get away with wearing most things. If you’re not, you will end up looking stupid and struggling to walk.


Men of the desert, bounty hunters and eccentric poker players are the type of men that wear snakeskin trousers.

These men could track a guinea pig through the bush faster than it takes you to make a microwave dinner.

Cork-dangling headwear and snakeskin trousers is not a good look in the middle of Wigan. You’re much better off playing it safe when shopping for new men’s trousers.

The Wrong Trousers

As Wallace and Grommit discovered, wearing the ‘wrong trousers’ can be more than a fashion faux pas. But it appears young men continue to ignore this cautionary trouser tale.

Mens trousers have come on leaps and bounds, and we’re eager to embrace coloured chinos and skinnier fits with open arms (or rather, legs). We do, however, draw the line at some of these…

Red trousers
Image source: TK Link
Trousers bad enough to start a riot
Tartan trousers
Image source: James Creegan
Fashion icon
Image source: Ruth Hartnup
I don’t care if you’re skiing, there’s never an excuse for these…
Oh dear
Image source: Scott Davies
Spotted on the streets of Perth… oh… dear…

Mens trousers James Bond would never wear

Daniel Craig
Image source: Piotr Zajac
The name’s ‘Bond’… ‘James Bond’.

James Bond has never been more stylish than he is today. His suit selections in Skyfall really were top notch.

It’s a pity the British public doesn’t always live up to the high standard set by our favourite fictional spy. Here to help you avoid a fashion faux pas, is our guide to trousers for men that James Bond would (mostly) never wear.

Red trousers

The much maligned choice of the British upper crust. Red trousers have never been more popular with certain sections of society. Fleshy faced, round middled, braying toffs love them. We wonder why?

James Bond would never wear something so brash, so bawdy, so silly. If you have a tendency to wear red – or worse – pink trousers – you need to buck up. Bond wouldn’t give you the time of day.

Leather trousers

Leather is for shoes, belts and gloves for assassins with a licence to kill. Unless your name is Slash, we suggest you refrain from draping your legs with dead cow. As far as James Bond goes, the creak of tanned hide would rule out a stealthy approach.

As far as you’re concerned, leather trousers make you look like an ageing metal enthusiast, with all of the vices but none of the talent of an actual rocker. If you’re a cowboy – please ignore this tirade.

Gangster hipsters

The current trend for bottom revealing hipsters originates in America. Death row inmates have their belts removed so they can’t top themselves, so they have little choice but to wear their trousers slung low.

The same can not be said for the cool kids who seek to imitate such criminal fashion. James Bond in hipsters? Don’t be daft.

Tracksuit bottoms

The clue to their purpose lies in the name. Tracksuit. For wearing at the track (running, not dog). The current trend for grown men wandering the streets looking like they just got out of bed is alarming to say the least.

James Bond would be appalled. Is he risking life and limb in the service of his country so that you can limp about the place looking sloppy? If you wear a tracksuit, either go for a run, or go and get changed.

Lycra Shorts

James Bond takes his fitness seriously. So should you. He wouldn’t think twice about donning a bit of lycra if appropriate. In this case, the tables are turned.

We’re not saying don’t wear lycra – but before you pull on the stretchy stuff, ask yourself the following question. Do I have the sort of physique that turns heads…or the sort that turns stomachs?

Famous women who wore the trousers

Who wears the trousers in your relationship?

Throughout the ages many a strong woman has donned a pair of men’s trousers – in both the metaphorical and the material sense.

Here’s our round-up of some pretty formidable ladies who feel right at home in a pair of slacks.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson
Image source: Wikimedia
Amy Johnson

Hull lass Amy Johnson appreciated a pair of warm trousers in 1930, when she flew single-handed from Britain to Australia at the tender age of 26.

Sadly this pioneering aviatrix died in the line of duty delivering a plane as part of the war effort in 1941.

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich
Image source: Wikimedia
Marlene Dietrich

German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich wore men’s suits on stage and screen.

A vocal anti-Nazi, she abandoned Germany for the US in 1939. Dietrich played for the Allied troops on the frontline throughout the war and was awarded the Légion d’honneur for her bravery.

Wallis Simpson

Wallis Simpson
Image source: Wikimedia
Wallis Simpson

Wallis Simpson – ‘that woman’ – was the American divorcée, fashionista and socialite for whom Edward VIII gave up his throne.

Simpson’s sartorial elegance made her a fashion icon of her era, even if her politics and morals were decidedly questionable.


Image source: Wikimedia

Ranked one of the most powerful women of the 20th century by Time Magazine, trouser-wearing Madonna continues her campaign of world domination in this century.

She is the world’s best selling female recording artist, ever, and the most talked about celebrity of the last decade.

Annie Lennox

Singer, songwriter, activist and philanthropist, Annie Lennox is a passionate woman of many talents.

Dressed in a city suit, with orange, cropped hair and the face of an angel, Lennox questioned the nature of femininity in the ‘80s.

Grace Jones

Jamaican Jones is far from your average ‘singer/actress/model’.

With some outstanding music under her belt and an amazingly sculpted body – even now aged 64 – Grace is still a force to be reckoned with.

Hilary Clinton

Queen of the trouser suit, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has served in politics for over 20 years.

Having survived the Lewinsky scandal with her dignity intact, Clinton has proved herself an extraordinary diplomat, politician and wife.

Queen Elizabeth II

Ok, so we admit this is a rare photo of the Queen wearing a pair of trousers. Elizabeth II prefers skirts to slacks, even when jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond.

But as the nation’s figurehead for the last 60 years we figure she deserves a metaphorical entry in our list.

Men who don’t wear mens trousers

Now most men wear men’s trousers, right? Hmm … well not quite.

You see, the world is a vast place and the varying landscapes, climates and religions all have an influence when it comes to wearing something a little bit different downstairs.

Highland men wear kilts

Scotsman kilt
Scotsman in his kilt

Many have wondered what lies underneath a Scotsman’s kilt and many have never been the same again since. Why the Scots chose to wear a tartan skirt in chilly conditions is probably the greatest mystery.

Desert men wear thawbs

arab thawb
Traditional thawbs – ideal for the desert

If you’ve ever worn a pair of jeans in the desert sun, you’ll feel the need to add a new definition beside ‘sweat’ in the dictionary. What you need is one of those thawbs — an ankle length garment made of light coloured cotton and favoured by Arabs.

South East Asian men wear sarongs

mens sarongs
Men looking cool in sarongs

The sarong has been the daily dress of South Eastern Asian and African men for centuries, long before David Beckham was spotted swanning along the High Street in one. It’s flexible, good value and goes down a treat with a nice pair of sandals.

Romans wore togas

roman toga
Romans invented the toga party

The toga party belongs in the Premier League of party ideas, but let us not forget that the toga is a very serious garment. Created by those clever Romans, the colour of a person’s toga once represented their status. It’s also a great way to carry around a bedsheet if you’re camping out.

Aussies wear Bermudas

man in shorts
Aussies wear bermuda shorts

Less traditional than the preceding examples, the Bermuda shorts are worn by many Australian men. Obviously this is slightly stereotyping a whole continent, but a pair of Bermudas are the perfect attire for enjoying a few tinnies around the barbie, before catching a wave to cool down.

Musical mens trousers

Men’s fashion can seem at first glance, to be rather limited. After all, there’s not a lot you can do to a pair of trousers, is there? Or is there?

Here we take a look at some of the most striking trousers for men – and the music that inspired them.

Drainpipe trousers for cowboys and Elvis

Image source: Wikimedia
The King of tight trousers

Drainpipe or stovepipe trousers will always be synonymous with the Rock and Roll revolution of the 1950s. But the origins of the fashion are to be found in Country music.

Tapered jeans fitting close to the ankle were the favoured pantaloons of stars like the singing cowboy, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry – of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer fame.

The Lone Ranger too wore skinny jeans, but it was when Elvis strutted his stuff on stage in stovepipes, that the world gasped in awe and the crazy times began.

Flared trousers rocked the Seventies

Fashion trends are like a pendulum swinging between extremes, and if there’s one thing that kick starts a new clothing fad, it’s popular music. Most people who enjoyed their youth during the 1970s have burned the photos of themselves wearing bell bottoms. However, these trousers, at least had the backing of some cool bands.

Derek and the Dominos sang about them in ‘Bell Bottom Blues’. But some trends, are just plain wrong. When mid 70s rockers, the Bay City Rollers stepped into the limelight, they took the current trend and moved it on. Anyone remember, ‘Birmingham bags’? Hideous, high waisted, wide legged, half mast abominations, with the tartan trim – ah, where’s my bucket?

Hell for leather trousers

From the revolting to the merely sweaty; yep – leather pants. Still, even in today’s high tech world, the best material for protecting motorcyclists, nothing flexes like leather or is as tough, in a tumble. That’s probably why leather was the legwear of choice for 1980s hard rockers.

Mention Guns n Roses, ACDC, Iron Maiden, and that’s several dead cows accounted for. But leatherwear is not just the preserve of the hard men of music. Proto punk bands like the New York Dolls were also leather clad, but we know who we’d back in a bar brawl.

Big baggy trousers

MC Hammer
Image source: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Mens trousers don’t get baggier than MC Hammer’s

It’s the duty of each fresh faced, hormone charged generation to look ridiculous in the eyes of their elders. The 1980s and early 1990s are a fertile hunting ground for those who love to laugh at awful fashions. There were the New Romantics, just for starters, with their baggy, multi pleated bloomers, but the trend that takes the biscuit has to be, parachute pants.

The garments origin lies in the breakdance movement. Clothes had to be tough, yet friction free, for all that spinning. When musicians adopted the fashion, however, the trousers just got bigger and brighter. And then MC Hammer got hold of them – how we laugh now!

Wild man of rock and PVC pants

Iggy Pop
Image source: NorthfotoBP
Iggy Pop

One of the original wild men of rock, Iggy Pop adopted his stage name while playing drums for his high school band, the Iguanas. The inspiration for the stage antics – slashing himself, vomiting and rolling in smashed glass – he claims to have picked up from watching the Doors.

An old pal of David Bowie, Iggy has a self destructive streak a mile wide – his heroin addiction nearly ending his career at one point. But this extraordinary performer is still going strong and now performs with the remaining Stooges. What has this got to do with trousers? See through PVC – that’s what.

Infamous Mens Trouser Wearers

Walking off the edge.
Image source: Kinetic imagery
Incorrect trouser wearing may cause funny walk

Forget the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel, it was the moment when man put on a pair of trousers that he truly stood tall and walked into the future.

It’s such a shame then that certain Homo sapiens still haven’t learned how to walk because they don’t wear men’s trousers properly. The silly-walking savages!

Simon Cowell

Image source: Wikimedia
Simon Cowell wears his trousers too high

The pioneer of the chest belt, a useful device for keeping one’s trousers tightly around your pecs, Simon Cowell is almost as famous for producing Saturday night TV trash as he is for wearing his trousers far too high. You’ve definitely got the chest factor, Simon.

Vic and Bob

Mad, mental and crazy are just some of the names associated with the citizens of surrealness, Vic and Bob. But don’t let all that funny stuff distract you from the can’t-catch-your-breath fact that Vic and Bob’s trousers are far too tight. It’s not your sides you’ll be splitting, chaps.

Charlie Chaplin

Image source: Wikimedia
Charlie Chaplin’s trousers were far too long

The prince of silent movies and slapstick, Charlie Chaplin is an iconic figure around the globe — especially in a small town in India where the whole population dress up like him for the day. They even embarrass themselves by wearing trousers that are far too long. Turn ‘em up or get a tailor!

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber wears his trousers far too low
Image source: Kathclick
Justin Bieber wears his trousers far too low

If his lyrics and screeching weren’t bad enough, Justin Bieber has adopted the fashion sense of subversive rappers and decided to wear his trousers so low around his backside that he can’t walk properly. Baby, baby, baby, yeah! Err … NO actually, they’re too low.

Wallace and Gromit

Wallace and Gromit
Image source: catwalker / Shutterstock.com
Wallace’s trousers are just wrong

Perhaps the worst offenders are Wallace and Gromit, who somehow managed to be fooled by a penguin and end up wearing the wrong trousers. I mean, how could you get your Chinos mixed up with a pair of mechanical, remote-controlled trousers? Plasticine for brains!

Gents, if you’re getting some new men’s trousers anytime soon, wear them properly will you. Enough said.

Mens trousers are not pants

George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde have all at some time, been credited with commenting that Britain and America are two great nations divided by a common language.

On the far side of the pond, mens trousers are ‘pants’, and by pants we don’t mean rubbish. See how confusing it gets?

The potential for trans-atlantic mystification is considerable, so let’s take a moment to get things straight.

Hamburger or beefburger?

Hamburgers or beefburgers?

Thanks to the prevalence of American fast food outlets across the British Isles, few of us would bat an eyelid at the thought of ordering a ‘ham’ burger, but why isn’t this food item correctly described as a ‘beef’ burger?

The explanation has nothing at all to do with pigs – and everything to do with the Germans. Low quality, shredded beef, seasoned and served in a bun was a dish imported to America by German immigrants from Hamburg.

Suspenders or braces?

mens trouser suspenders
Suspenders or braces?

In the UK, a chap who wears suspenders, would probably do so at home, and then only at weekends. Not so in America, where men wear suspenders in public.

Here in the UK men wear braces to hold up their trousers, suspenders are a belt used to hold up ladies’ stockings. To our American friends they are a means of preventing men’s trousers, sorry, pants, from falling down. Confused? You will be if it turns out he has on a garter belt beneath.

John or Loo?

John or Loo?

In the UK, it is Thomas Crapper who is widely credited with inventing the flushing toilet. However the Americans have identified, an Elizabethan courtier and God-son of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, John Harrington, as the originator of the toilet – which is why they call it the ‘John’. Harrington himself, nicknamed his creation, the ‘Ajax’, which comes from an even older word for the lavatory, the ‘jenks’.

As to why here in the UK, we call toilet, the ‘loo’, nobody really knows for sure. It could relate to the practise of yelling, ‘gardez l’eau’ before chucking the contents of a chamber pot out of the window. Or to the European euphemism ‘Room 100’, and possibly to one ‘Lady Lousia’, the unpopular wife of a 19th century Lord Lichfield, whose name was once pinned to a lavatory door.

Bum bag or fanny pack?

bum bag
Bum bag or fanny pack?

An invitation to ‘park your fanny’, is merely an indication from an American, that you should ’sit down’. However, this friendly gesture could cause considerable consternation to an uninformed Brit.

In the United states, one’s ‘fanny’, refers to one’s bottom, but in the UK, the word relates to an altogether different part of the anatomy. Similarly, the mention of a ‘fanny pack’, would be a great cause of mirth for British School children, whereas ‘bum bag’, to an American might be taken to mean, a bag carried by a tramp.

Band Aid or plaster?

first aid box
Band Aid or plaster?

Cut your finger here in the UK and the chances are that you’d stick a plaster on it. But what if the casualty is an American? An anguished cry for a ‘bandaid’, could inspire a helpful Brit to dial an 0800 number to leave a donation. Either that or he or she will start humming, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’.

If your injury is more serious, then a trip to casualty may ensue. Luckily, in the UK, treatment is free for all, but over in the States, you’d better hope that your health insurance is up to date!

Apartments or flats?

Apartments or flats?

If a Brit refers to an apartment, they’re either an estate agent doing the hard sell or someone trying to make their accommodation sound more upmarket than it really is. Americans are quite right to call their homes, ‘apartments’, because they got the word from the French, who in turn got their word from the Italian, ‘appartimento’ meaning ‘a separate place’, which in turn comes from the Latin ‘partem’.

Our ‘flats’, by contrast, are not the result of Roman conquest, but old English, meaning ‘floor’, ‘hall’, or ‘story of a house’. We got the word from the Germanic hordes that invaded us after the Romans left.