There’s something in the air in America. An air of change. It has been coming for many years; since the wayward feral years of the early 2000′s when we thought anything was possible. We showed this to the world by wearing skinny jeans – jeans so skinny that they got the names “matchstick” or “carrot jeans” due to the extreme tapering.
Skinny jeans are nothing new. They are a solid fashion trend and have been for many years, since the early 60′s, again in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. They pop up around every ten years or so for roughly the middle four years in any decade. Yet this time they’ve stayed.
I’m not saying that people don’t look good in them – it’s no surprise that the skinnier of us look great dancing around in pants that accentuate our long legs. That’s what skinny jeans are good for. Long legs. On anyone with any weight, they make their lower half look like Kermit The Frog. Disagree? Here is a picture of Kermit:
Anyway. Many years ago when I was a young, whiskey-and-cocaine loving DJ in Chicago, I bought a pair of jeans at a thrift store. They were seemingly brand new, and fit me well. They called themselves the “Amelie” jeans. They were in the mens section. I thought to myself “Damn! A pair of French jeans!” and bought them right then and there. I then wore them outside and was laughed at by a team of sassy black ladies on the subway. “WHITE BOY YOU’RE WEARING GIRL JEANS,” I remember them saying, and then laughing, and for good reason. Oblivious as to the why of their sartorial criticism I went online that night and searched for the Amelie jeans. They were women’s jeans. I had gone a week wearing women’s clothing. Not that that’s a bad thing if that’s what gets you up in the morning, but at the time I felt like an unwilling transvestite. And, dear reader, I had been.
The problem with skinny jeans is that once you get used to the practically-wearing-leggings mentality, you have a hard time picturing yourself in anything else. For years I bought Levis 511 – the brand’s flagship skinny jean – while neglecting to try anything else on. Let me tell you ladies and gents, I’m not a skinny guy. I’m built like a science experiment gone wrong – a terrible mixture of the build of a bulldog and the posture of Woody Allen with the face of lost Ryan Gosling when he got fat that one time. It is a terrible mix. I’m amazed people even talk to me.
But enough with my insecurities! Insecurity be damned! Which is precisely the segue I needed to get back to talking about skinny jeans: the problem with skinny jeans is that we’ve just gotten so damn used to them.
To combat the problem of skinny jeans on a personal level I went jean shopping with a woman. Yes, a real one, not a fake one. Really. Honest. I made her sign an affidavit and everything. We picked out a pair of black Levis 514′s – a jean that is skinnier than their 501 yet not as sperm-killingly tight at the 511. The fact is: the look damn good and dare I say it – much more masculine than those skinny jeans ever did. That’s the joy of not wearing skinny jeans anymore: they give you a much manlier silhouette. Again, skinny jeans work for some people. But for those of us who desire to look a little more Donald Draper than Donald Duck, a looser and less tapered jean can honestly work wonders.
There’s also nothing sadder, too, than someone trying to be something that they’re not. Now we have the problem of plus-size skinny jeans,” a uniquely American problem, it would seem.
There are those, too, from older generations, who choose to approach the skinny jean problem with much more fervour.
At the end of the day, though, as the concept of “hip” passes through our fingers and into the hands of the younger genration, perhaps it is best to let the skinny jean thing go. It’s not worth the hassle of trying to peacock your way into nightclubs anymore; to quote the late, great Lenny Bruce, “there’s nothing sadder than an aging hipster.” Besides. The skinny jean fad has played itself out. The last thing you want to be is this fucking guy:
Or perhaps you do. Maybe, then, take one last look at our dear friend Kermit.
That might look familiar. Need I say more?
Main image: taken from here.