The real reason why clothes have toggles.

It seems to me that more and more clothes nowadays have an excess of accoutrements that add nothing to the garment they’re attached to. In this case I am referring to those dangly cords that line the bottom edge of jackets, coats, body warmers and trousers (pants for the US English speaking world).
These cords are often ended with a knot and feature some kind of plastic tightening device that you fiddle with if not otherwise occupied. Due to this, these are more often than not, broken or missing a vital component for those rare times you actually want to use it for its designed purpose.
I’ve often wondered why these items of apparel feature these obscure extras. Granted, if I found myself visiting an Arctic tundra or going up mount Kilimanjaro, the ability to entrap as much air within my clothes as possible so as to stay warm would be a good thing. However, these are items of everyday wear designed for a less harsh climate. If I was planning on going on such an expedition, then I would seek out more specialised gear.
The other day, I found out why such clothing are adorned with this paraphernalia.
At work I keep my body warmer on the back of my office chair. The heating arrangements are such that at any moment, it can be sweltering or quite chilly regardless of what the weather’s doing. In those colder periods, I can quickly put my body warmer on to, er, warm my…body. Anyway, on one such occasion, I slipped my arms into the arm holes while it was still on the back of my chair, as I usually do, with the view to the pull the whole shebang over the chair. Nice, quick, simple. Not this time. The body warmer had slid sideways enough for one end of the cord to touch the floor. Unknowingly, I had then rolled my chair over it. So now picture me now trapped in the equivalent to a race car harness, unable to lift the body warmer over the chair, nor do much of anything else. Rolling the chair only made things worse. At this point I ought to point out that the office is open plan and holds about 30 people. I had to resort to sliding down the chair onto the floor to get out of my well-crafted snare.
Now free, I stood up and tried to pick my body warmer up off of the chair. No luck. Again moving the chair about made it worse. Interesting fact: the cord of my body warmer happens to be elasticated, so to the observers in the office it would appear that I was trying to start my chair as one would a petrol lawn mower. Down on the floor again I see that the cord has managed to get completely entangled with the inner workings of the wheel. Eventually, I do manage to free the irksome elastic string and get to wear my body warmer, though truth be told, I wasn’t feeling the cold any more. Looking down to see what’s a tapping at my shin, I see that one end of the cord has been pulled right into the garment, and the other is almost dragging along the floor. With this corrected, both plastic toggles then banged against my knees.
The lesson learnt: Toggles on clothes are there to make you look and feel like a right pillock.


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