April 29, 2017

"These pants embody a masochist aesthetic. They are ostensibly 'chill' and yet they are not comfortable..."

"... high waist, no stretch, devious center seams. At their most extreme they have the potential to be punishing both physically (you don’t feel good) and visually (you don’t look so good, either), which seems like a remarkable achievement. We have arrived at wide-leg pants that are somehow more restrictive than the typical tight ones. These pants propose a pants-strategy that is the exact inverse of jeggings."

From "Succumb to the Siren Song of Unflattering Pants."

To augment your understanding: "11 Pairs of Unflattering Pants That Will Make You Look Ugly-Cool."

You have to think about the idea that to look ugly is to be cool. You might never believe that idea, but just get your head around it. Put yourself in the shoes of — inhabit the pants of — somebody who believes that, yes, it's true. Hmm. Jeesh. Levi's has pants called "Wedgie Icon Jeans." Wedgie! This is what's so interesting here. Pants that are not ugly because they're nice and comfortable. They are ugly and uncomfortable. If you're wearing something odd looking, you don't want people to infer that you're wearing it because you don't care about fashion and just want to be comfortable. It's humiliating to wear something that elicits the noncompliment "That looks comfortable."

By the way, many years ago, in the 1970s, before I went to law school, when I fancied myself an artist, I had a day job that consisted of reading all the magazines, including all the fashion magazines. (All is only a slight exaggeration.) For 2 years, I saw the trends come and go, and the insight I remember 40 years later is that some designs are brought forward and promoted as good mostly so that a year later it could be trashed as "suddenly" looking awful. The funniest lines in the intro from the editor in chief of Vogue were making fun of something that I knew very well Vogue had quite recently, mischievously told us looked exactly right "today."

I was reading Vogue in the Grace Mirabella years, and now I feel like reading her book, "In and Out at Vogue."

14 comments:

surfed said...

I used to threaten my daughter "don't make me put on my bell bottoms". It worked till she cooly called my bluff. I guess they come as a set piece with the boots and side buckles, the Mexican peasant shirt. Buffoonish and ugly otherwise. I must have been high.

Bob Ellison said...

It seems to me that it should be spelled "coolly".

Laslo Spatula said...

For a while it was the low-rise jeans. Possibly uncomfortable pants, too. 'Feminists' owning their Sexuality. And men liked good-looking women in low-rise jeans. SNL's take of the time: Coin Slot Cream

But the Male Gaze is no longer wanted in a Rape Crisis Culture.

The New Feminist Pants. They cause the Male Gaze to go elsewhere.

I am Lazlo.

Lem said...

"making fun of something that I knew very well Vogue had quite recently, mischievously told us looked exactly right "today.""

That could very well be the thought behind Nordstrom $435.00 Muddy jeans.

It's a trap!

surfed said...

@Bob Elison - it's not my inability to spel it's my inabilty at 64 to see and type on a tiny phone at the beach and in the glare. Extra l's seem to not register when struck. Oh look. It happened with your name. I could delete and respell. Nah...

MadisonMan said...

The funniest lines in the intro from the editor in chief of Vogue were making fun of something that I knew very well Vogue had quite recently, mischievously told us looked exactly right "today."

Fashion has to change -- otherwise how can anyone make money?

Bob Boyd said...

If a fashion designer can use his/her celebrity cred and a carefully crafted media campaign can sell these pants, observers might conclude the public would buy anything they were told to buy.

It's no wonder the celebrity politician/media complex believed they could sell Hillary Clinton.

Hillary was the masochistic pants of national politics.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Designed by pants-wearing men?

Laslo Spatula said...

You'd think if they are going to flare pants-legs like that they'd give a little more room in the crotch to air out the vagina.

I am Laslo.

Liesl said...

Then there are these http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/topshop-clear-knee-mom-jeans/4619337?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLUE

Liesl said...

"They present a challenge. Who will accept it?" That's exactly it. As soon as I clicked on the related 11 Pairs of Unflattering Pants link, I envisioned myself visiting the local consignment shop and picking out a pair or two and distressing them to my desired effect. I've been bored of the legging/skinny jean silhouette for the past year or so but not enough to jump on the "mom jeans" trend, which really is horrendous. The cropped wide leg thing, though, I could totally pull that off. And, I probably will. The look I really miss, though, is the early-mid 2000s bootcut jeans, pointy toe stilettos or delicate strappy sandals, and lingerie style camisoles. I still have several of each in my closet but we're not quite far enough removed from that era for me to reasonably bust those out again, at least, not all at the same time.

jaed said...

Everything old is new again. I looked at the unflattering pants in the first link, flashed back to junior high school, and thought: "Gauchos! Gauchos are back in style!"

Although possibly calling them that is considered a microaggression, now.

But gauchos they are. Wide-legged, made of stiff fabric such as denim, high-waisted, and too short in the leg. Unflattering on every figure, horrifying on every height. Gauchos. I'd know them anywhere!

Jeff Teal said...

Comment on the thread below "There is a sucker born every minute".Equally applicable to everyone in the fashion industry.And ad industry.And political hucksterism.

holdfast said...

The whole point of ugly looking pants like that, is that in order to make wearing them look not entirely ugly you have to have an absolutely crazy slender body. It is a basically a plot by skinny supermodels to make everyone else look awful. While in good fashion should work with the wearers shape and help them as much as possible, this does the exact opposite.

It is the anti-Kardashian, except maybe Kendall.