June 12, 2014

"In trying to save men from the blight of Dad Pants, Dockers is running away from its own dubious legacy."

"It’s denying its own success story. No, Dockers are not fashionable. They are not especially attractive...."
But buried in that anti-style history, is the reality that Dad Pants... often are representative of a mindset that puts personal vanity at the end of a long list that includes school drop-offs, soccer practice, yard work, saving for college and the grind of a 9 to 5....
ADDED: Here's the Dockers ad Givhan is critiquing, in which Dockers purports to be the solution to the problem that is Dad Pants:



BONUS: Clint Eastwood rocks the Dad Grandad Pants.

34 comments:

John Lynch said...

Dockers are terrible work pants. I've been buying Duluth or Carhartts for years now. Dockers rip too easily. That's fine for dress pants... but Dockers aren't that, either. Can't work in them, can't go out in them.

traditionalguy said...

We always called them Khakis. Wiki says Khaki means yellowish brown and made of cotton.

But we wear Dockers in various colors.

Gene said...

Robin Givhan can tell women what to wear till the cows come home. But I wish she would not try to argue that men need to forego comfort for style. The only time a man needs to worry about style is his wedding day, his daughter's wedding day and his funeral. The rest of the time he should be comfortable. Any man who cares what Givhan thinks isn't a real man anyway. A dumb story by a stunningly shallow person.

Tarrou said...

You white devils and your pants. When I get my reparations check, it's nothing but size 56 Denizens.

chuck said...

They are not especially attractive

And the last pair I had didn't last long either, caught on a snag and the ripped off pants leg from thigh to knee. Low quality and overpriced, I haven't looked Dockers since.

Skeptical Voter said...

I'll go with John Lynch. Who gives a flying fark what Robin Givhan thinks.

You wear what works. I used to wear Dockers then switched to L.L. Bean's khakis.

If I don't get invited to a Robin Givhan cocktail party, I think I will still find a way to survive.

Carnifex said...

there's only 1 reason i wear dockers ,,,pleated fronts. a necessity for some of us guys. right Titus?!

tim in vermont said...

If they could just make us men more style conscious, just think of the otherwise perfectly good clothes we would replace annually. Think of the money to be made. It's almost un-American to resist this.

PB Reader said...

It wasn't Obama and "Dad pants" It was Obama and "Mom jeans"

The author of the article doesn't make a positive contribution to the world.

Scott said...

Pleated pants suck. No one looks good in them.

FullMoon said...

Doesn't matter what it is, if I am wearing it, it is stylish.
Because I'm a rebel, that's why.

The Crack Emcee said...

A "dubious legacy" of responsibility that few appreciate in the moment.

Check the divorce rates,...

MadisonMan said...

I have never owned a pair of Dockers.

Today I'm wearing black Levi's.

SGT Ted said...

Khaki is military cross over fashion, much like cargo pants.

Dockers can be nice for casual fashion, because they don't really scream "fashion", pleated front or not. They actually look nice on the right body shape. If you have any sort of belly, pleated pants look bad. If they don't fit your waste right, they look terrible.

I wear Dickies work pants for my job at the Harley shop and sometimes around town. They are as sturdy as Carharts and not as heavy. I wear jeans otherwise. Or sometimes tropical style shorts. Just to drive Ann bananas.

I wear a kilt for formal wear.

Curious George said...

"...former star quarterback Jim Harbaugh..."

Uh, no.

~ Steven said...

Never knew Clint Eastwood was left handed. Belt is off the gig line.

Ann Althouse said...

"Pleated pants suck. No one looks good in them"

"But, there are certain specific occasions when a snotty, grey flannel chalk-stripe suit with a peak lapel and deep double forward pleats, with a rise up to your belly button feels, well– proper. I guess it’s more nostalgic than relevant, but it’s badass just the same."

At the link, in pleated pants: Cary Grant, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, and Gary Cooper.

MathMom said...

My then Sophomore-in-High-School son and his friends put together a LAN party that required the renting of the local convention center. I accompanied them to negotiations, because they were too young to sign a contract. I told them to dress in a business-like manner, not in blue jeans and t-shirts. They wore Dockers and buttoned shirts, with neckties.

The manager of the convention center kept apologizing for his attire (well-pressed and nice-looking sort of a Hawaiian shirt), because the lads looked so sharp in their Dockers. He gave them a massive discount on the convention center because he said they looked like they were going somewhere, and he wanted to encourage that.

My Dockers story.

EDH said...

"Wearing the pants" used to be the exclusive domain of the family patriarch, damn it.

MadisonMan said...

If they don't fit your waste right, they look terrible.

I'm laughing at your typo. What a great image! Thanks for a good start to Friday!

Paco Wové said...

I don't get the pleat-hate on display here. I wear both pleated and flat-front trousers; both can look fine (or not). If you look like crap in pants, pleats are probably the least of your worries.

David said...

"At the link, in pleated pants: Cary Grant, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, and Gary Cooper [in pleated pants.]"

If I looked even remotely like them, I might wear pleated pants. Of course I do not.

Even Eastwood looks a little funny in thin. Of course his belt line is just below his sternum in that picture. Oh Clint!

JRoberts said...

At the office I wear "khakis" (preferably Lands End). Around the house, I wear Cherokee 4100 scrubs.

The scrubs are most the comfortable pants I've worn and they're cheap.

Michael said...

Pleated pants are provided on all Saville Row suits unless the client requests otherwise.

Americans have generally favored flat fronts even on suits and Brroks Brothers offered nothing but flat fronts until the late 1980s when they were acquired by the British fim Marks and Spenser at which point pleated trousers were the only ones on offer with their suits. Fashion has now reversed that and both styles are now available.

Deirdre Mundy said...

My husband loves pleated pants, because the give you a place to keep your keys and wallet. Pickpockets, on the other hand, prefer flat-front.

EMD said...

At the link, in pleated pants: Cary Grant, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, and Gary Cooper.

They chose men who would look great even in ... gulp ... shorts.

Most Docker-wearing bastards (term of endearment) are of the chubby, schlubby business casual army.

Anglelyne said...

tim in vermont: If they could just make us men more style conscious, just think of the otherwise perfectly good clothes we would replace annually. Think of the money to be made. It's almost un-American to resist this.

They're trying to make you more fashion-conscious, which men should rightly resist. As should women. Now, having style and being well-dressed, that's a different matter. (Stylish people have small closets and clothes they can wear for years, or even decades.)

Anthony said...

I wear mostly jeans, in the field or the (university-based) office. I have a few pair of other ones but they are a mix of pleated and non-pleated.

But I still don't care what this Givhan person has to say about anything.

Oh, and here's something for our host:
http://videos.nymag.com/video/I-Am-Ann;Short-Films#c=XV7Z1T2VR2N48GMT&t=I%20Am%20Ann

Balfegor said...

1. Flat front trousers are the devil's work. Pleats (forward pleats preferable to reverse pleats) are correct.

2. Low rise trousers are an abomination unto heaven, a cheap trick to save on fabric. They are passable on people who are extremely skinny. On anyone normal size and up, they look absurd. Trousers should hang from the waist. If you don't like the way that looks, then diet -- you're not going to look any better in low rise trousers.

3. Even if Dockers is calling its trousers slim fit or some such rubbish, I'd be shocked if that's anything other than vanity sizing. I have "slim fit" shirts from Lands End that are practically indistinguishable from their normal shirts. They fit roomily, and I'm far from slender.

The idea of these things isn't to make them fashionable -- it's to take them (back) in an inch or so and let the men who were going to wear them anyhow feel better about themselves. Well, that or the people picking these labels are delusional.

EDH said...

Sorry, but this is truly more disturbing than Dad Pants and Man Shorts:

Pitbull’s Mom-Capris Stole The Show At The World Cup

Sam L. said...

At some point, comfort beats fashion, and I suspect it starts with price.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Haggar is the true manufacturer of "Dad Pants", as shown in this classic commercial:

http://youtu.be/WCXSfBvo61Q

Andrew said...

Pit Bull isn't wearing Capri pants, he's wearing rolled up white chinos with slip-on deck shoes. Unfortunately the pants don't fit.

southcentralpa said...

Embrace being an adult. Embrace being a parent. Revel in the legroom afforded you by a minivan.

(PROTIP -- kids, no one is ready to have kids. Have them now while you can still deal easily with the lack of sleep.)

Now get off my lawn.