Okay, so I’ve mentioned this a few times in previous pieces, and seeing as how the subject trend has not withered and died under the weight of its own absurdity (as I had hoped), it’s time to take it head on: What the hell is up with “skinny jeans”?!
No, seriously, I don’t get this. I really don’t. After nearly three and a half decades on this planet, and exposure to what must certainly be hundreds of thousands of different forms of attire – I honestly cannot conceive of a less flattering and more ridiculous way to clothe one’s self. It’s the ultimate failure of both form and function. If there is a mountain of ill-advised fashion choices, this is its summit.When I speak to friends about this, they always open with the same question: do I mean for men or for women? And to this I answer: both. Of course, it is much more inexcusable for men - but you ladies aren't getting away scott-free.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the form of a woman's leg, and it's display in public - but, there's nothing sexy about seeing anyone in something that looks like it's about as comfortable to wear as a sandpaper tank top. Besides, anyone who's read me before knows that I'm a big fan of the country bar, so I'm no stranger to women in tight jeans. But there's a place where the tightness must stop - and that place is called - the knee. I mean, honestly, if you think that showing off the shape of your calves is going to rescue an otherwise unflattering display of the rest of your lower half - you should probably just go with a skirt. And before you go telling me that "hey, they actually are comfortable" - it doesn't matter, the fact is, they don't look comfortable, and because I'm not a masochist - that's not hot.
Listen, if you're a girl, and you've got legs that are so fantastic that they absolutely must be displayed in their entirety - you've got plenty of options: leggings, mini-skirts, and fitted capris just to name a few. So what's the deal with skinny jeans? I imagine that even the most svelte young women must find getting into these denim torture devices to be an experience that requires equal bits of flexibility, determination and prayer. Additionally, there simply cannot be a sexy way to take them off - which ought to be reason enough for adult women to avoid them.
My point is, ladies, if you want to be trendy - get the latest handbag, and leave the leg hugging to that special someone in your life, and not your pants.
Now, gentlemen - unless you are very good at ballet, or even better at road bicycling, swimming or professional wrestling, there is no good reason for you to ever wear skin tight clothing - especially on your legs. These exceptions are not instances in which it is any more pleasant to look at, just those occasions in which the assault and battery that it inflicts on my eyeballs has some manner of justification.
I have never met a girl over the age of 15 who thinks these are even remotely o.k. to wear. And for the record, only two of the few "tween" girls I polled believe that skinny jeans on boys are acceptable (and I have the sneaking suspicion that these same girls would think that white spandex body suits were "hot" if the Jonas Brothers were spotted in them). It is also important to note that they were talking about boys the same age. If you're a grown man and you think that wrapping your legs in skin-tight denim is o.k., perhaps clothing isn't your biggest problem after all.
Don't get me wrong now, I'm not advocating overly baggy clothing on men, either. Seeing a guy swimming in a white t-shirt that goes down to his knees, a sports jersey (not at a sporting event), or pants that could fit two of him in them is the easiest way I've seen to spot a moron since the dunce cap. But, really, how hard is it to find clothes that fit?!
My disdain for these jeans may have something to do with the increasing inappropriateness I feel regarding the display of a man's bare legs as I get older. In that, the only times I think it's appropriate to wear shorts as a grown up male are when you at the beach/pool, participating in a sporting event, or at home. The male leg is like the engine of a big ship - you don't need to see it, you just need it to be strong and reliable... and seeing it sort of makes the ship seem a little cheap and silly.
The two "groups" of men which seem most predisposed to this inexplicable form of self-mockery are "rockers" and "skaters" - both of whom seem like unlikely adopters of such a trend.
For rockers, I understand there is some cache to being skinny and wearing fitted clothing, but can't it just stop at leather pants? Isn't the crazy black hair, the piercing of every conceivable bit of skin and the black nail polish enough? Take it from someone who's spent some time on Hollywood Boulevard, it is. I need to see the shape of your legs like I need to Chelsea Clinton giving speeches on college campuses again. Besides, with all that black on, isn't a little extra ventilation for some of your sweatiest parts a solid idea? As far as I know, the "rocker" motif is about "looking" different, not smelling it...
For skaters, a group who defines themselves by participation in an irreverent but strenuous (and challenging) athletic activity, choosing apparel that restricts movement seems like a more baffling selection than Sarah Palin. I mean, truthfully, if you're trying to dress for difficulty, why not just go with a suit of armor? These things practically scream chafing... and that's just from walking. It just seems so insanely contradictory to see a teenage boy with good enough sense to wear a helmet while skating, but bad enough judgment to wear skin tight denim so that he looks "cool" while doing it. It's not as though you need to do anything more to identify yourself as a "skater" if you're already carrying a skateboard.
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A long time ago, I once succumbed to a fashion trend, the sight of which still mortifies me to this day - and that was rolling the bottom of my jeans tight against my legs, what used to be known as pegging. And all this showed off of our legs was the ankles. Skinny jeans are a full blown fashion cataclysm, and for some reason, they've outlasted the poncho, the Kabballah bracelet, Crocs, Uggs and even Affliction. It's as though the ridiculousness of a trend is proportional to how long we'll be forced to suffer it.
In the end, I expect skinny jeans, like all unfortunate fashion movements, will run it's course, and I will have to find yet another reason to mistrust and dislike teenagers (don't worry, there's an endless number, and they're coming up with new ones all the time). In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed that summer comes soon, good sense prevails, and, for the first time I can recall, I'll actually hope to see more people in shorts.