September 28, 2006

"Fornication pants."

That's a term coined in the 1830s by Brigham Young, who was appalled by pants with buttons visible on the fly. The reminder that pants can be taken off might inflame the passions, because otherwise, you could just forget that clothes are not permanently connected to the body.

Most of the linked article is not fashion, religion, and history. It's present day opinion about blue jeans, like:
I’m especially confused by a style I have lately seen with alarming frequency: the fronts of the legs are light and the inner thighs tinted much darker, giving the wearer not the intended lean-thighed look, but the appearance of someone who is blissfully unaware that she has lost control of her bladder.

30 comments:

Noumenon said...

I've seen jeans with exactly the opposite shading pattern make someone look much thinner. The dark fronts basically look like the real legs and the lighter parts fade away, kind of like the flesh on an x-ray.r

Maxine Weiss said...

The classic Jordache jeans in the deep indigo denim, high-waisted narrow straight-leg, with bright white stitching down the sides, and the silver horse on the back pocket....are back in fashion! I saw a pair in Macys.

Ooo-La-La Sasson!

Uh-oh Sergio...

Sergio Valente, Bon Jour, Gloria Vanderbilt stretch-denim...

It's all coming back, even the "baggy" jeans circa 1980 !!!

Peace, Maxine

knoxgirl said...

This makes me think of those pants Jeffrey made on PR where there was that elaborate "stuff" going on in the fly area.

knoxgirl said...

It's all coming back

I had a pair of baggy Jordache jeans in 6th grade. I really can't see myself wearing that style in my 30s. Or ever again.

Gerry said...

If only Bringham Young could have seen this.

Goesh said...

-just stuff a whole bunch of tissue paper down in the crotch and strut, the hell with fashion trends..

chuck b. said...

Worst of all must be the word "JUICY" stitched across the ass. I want to shoot a paint gun at that.

Meade said...

Jeans have sort of become false idols, haven't they?

And does anyone actually use them to, you know, work in anymore?

Fenrisulven said...

I was eating lunch across from a mother & daughter at the mall. The daughter sitting down facing away from me in those low cut jeans. Before I left, I penciled a quick note, placed it front of the mother, and walked out.

The note said: Thought you should know - your daughter's jeans are sliding off her backside, showing her butt crack to everyone in the restaurant while we eat our lunch.

She looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I offended her. Sigh.

Richard Dolan said...

At first I was thrown off by the by-line (Alex Koczynski), and confused it with that fellow of the same-sounding name but a slightly different spelling (Alex Kozinski). But in reading the piece it became clear that the NYT's AK was of a different gender. Putting aside the gender difference, I could easily image that other AK writing a piece like this.

Drew W said...

Surely someone must recall the infamous pants design that Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver once tried to market. This is from his Wikipedia entry:

In 1975, Cleaver modeled anatomically fitted men's pants he designed featuring a "Cleaver sleeve" which was a penis sheath that was basically a sock protruding from the front of a pair of pants. The sleeve accommodated free movement and size changes of the enclosed male organ.

Now those were fornication pants worthy of the name.

Ron said...

The note said: Thought you should know - your daughter's jeans are sliding off her backside, showing her butt crack to everyone in the restaurant while we eat our lunch.

I like the slang for that: "muffin top." or if you see the top of the thong: "whale tail."

Ron said...

I must no longer wear my "shagging shorts" and switch to my "fornication pants" as per Dr. Althouse's suggestion...

Joan said...

Drew: Ewww!

Maxine, honey, I know you have a thing for high-waisted jeans, but that is really not the best look for anyone with a pouchy tummy. I'm not advocating the low-rise monstrosities that are finally going out, thank God, but I think setting the waistband just below the natural waist is not only the most comfortable, it's the most attractive. High waists just call attention to the stomach.

And narrow, straight legs only work if you are a narrow, straight person. If you have any kind of hips at all, narrow jeans contribute to that oh-so-attractive mushroom look.

I'm wondering about the merchandiser who assembled the display in the first photo. What the hell was he thinking, that XXXL jeans are sexy if you stuff one torso into each pant leg? Ick.

Ann Althouse said...

Do you really want your penis isolated in a thing called a "cleaver"? I think they will eventually make pants for men like this... because there are so few lines left to cross in fashion. But calling them "cleaver" is like making women's camel-toe pants and calling them "candida." And I do assume that line will be crossed too.

Gerry said...

No to cleaver. But rhymes are nice.

Anonymous said...

Drew -- I just can't believe that "the Beav" would suggest pants like that! Are you sure you've got that right?

Ann -- Please don't tell me that's what the Tony Orlando song is about!

Revenant said...

"Fornication Pants" would also be a great name for a band.

Ron said...

Cleaver 'n' Camel Toe! Undercover detectives workin' Ye Old Times Square back in the Swingin' Seventies!! Coming this fall on ABC!

Ann! Building the pants with the camel toe already put in! Genius!

I got dibs on camel toe formal wear, however!

Truly said...

I almost cried when I read in Harper's that the skinny jean is back. Why????? WHY!????! They flatter no one, even the stick-thin. If something makes Kate Moss look as big as a house, that should tell you something.

Kent said...

It's not too hard to imagine Brigham Young coining an expression like "fornication pants," though I've never heard it attributed to him before.

But a fashion critic at the New York Times does not strike me as the most reliable source for an attribution that happens to make a historically prominent leader of a conservative religion sound silly to modern ears.

Just something to keep in mind.

Joe said...

"Mom! Are my fornication pants still in the laundry!!?"

Eli Blake said...

Brigham Young however had 87 children, and by now has well over 100,000 living descendants, just about a century and a quarter after his death.

phillywalker said...

Gerry, I love your typo:

If only Bringham Young could have seen this.

It's arguably the best way to make converts.

BeckyJ said...

Sergio Valente, Bon Jour, Gloria Vanderbilt stretch-denim...

It's all coming back, even the "baggy" jeans circa 1980 !!!


When Ditto's jeans make a comeback then I'm giving up on jeans! Anybody in junior high or high school in the 70s should remember Ditto's. Gawdawfulest things around.

Maxine Weiss said...

Not Ditto's, Luv-its were better.

But, those were flared at the cuff.

I like the real narrow cuff---straight leg...

...that's a very flattering look---the baggy, pleated high waist, that gradually narrows as it reaches the cuff.

Slenderizes everything as it moves down the leg.

"You've got the look I want to know better...You've got the look that's altoghether....Day or night...the look is right.....The Jordache look..."

Sasson made the good baggy jeans, though.

It's all back in style, that look!

Peace, Maxine

knoxgirl said...

But Maxine, that makes the widest point happen right at the hips/butt area--decidedly *not* flattering, unless you are a pre-teen or super skinny model. And the pleats on the tummy? I don't get it.

Tom Dougherty said...

I thought the term "muffin top" was used to describe a roll of fat hanging over the top of too-tight pants? Yes? Judges? A ruling, please?

Mortimer Brezny said...

making women's camel-toe pants

Ann. Stop. Please.

Ankhorite said...

Eldridge Cleaver's "Cleaver" pants were, as I recall, pants which just had a brightly-colored codpiece kind of arrangement. That it was an actual sheath is news to me. On the other hand, I was so young then, perhaps my parents were kind enough to shield me.

Oh, here's this, from the August 25, 1975 TIME magazine:"Eldridge Cleaver seeking legitimate business associates to finance and organize marketing of his revolutionary design in male pants;" read the advertisement in the International Herald Tribune. Had the fugitive Black Panther decided to go straight? Hardly.

The distinguishing feature of Cleaver's new pants turned out to be an enormous, codpiece-like set of external genitalia. "I want to solve the problem of the fig leaf mentality," explained Cleaver, who now lives in the Latin Quarter of Paris after spending four years in Algeria. "Clothing is an extension of the fig leaf; it puts our sex inside our bodies. My pants put sex back where it should be."


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,913426,00.html