Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to Do the Man Pants*

Whenever a catalog or whatever tries to sell women something oversized, they always call it "the boyfriend cardigan" or "boyfriend jean" so it's like, "Hey, ladies, there's nothing butch about it! You just borrowed it over the course of your heterosexual relationship!"

Personally, I am all for androgyny in dressing, (not that it's something I personally feel I can pull off) but, of course, only if it's done right. Important things to consider: cut, fit, fabric, amount of tapering. If rarely works to just wear something that was made to fit baggily on someone larger than you, no matter how dominatrixy the other items you pair it with. Case in point: the look above. Even if you pair it with the ever-so hot Chanelish mom purse already harped upon, and a pair of patent leather shoes, and -gasp- a bodysuit, you are still wearing Jerry Seinfeld's jeans. And that's not flattering, to woman, man, or anyone in between.

Here's another lady, this one claiming to actually be wearing her boyfriend's pants. Well, I hope she didn't buy them for herself, because the fit on them is terrible, and the crotch is a saggy mess. Again with the Chanel bag, and this when went for that whole "contrasts" thing that is so hot right now, wearing a polished, ladylike look on top and trying to even it out with some khakis. Ugh. I feel like people are literally afraid to step out of the house looking elegant/polished, so everyone needs to add cut-offs so they don't look like they're trying so hard. It's tiresome!

Here's another one, this time from hated The Sartorialist blog. She is French, and you know how people love to talk about how great French/European taste is, even though you if have ever been to Europe you know that's not true. Or, if you have ever seen a European tourist walking around in socks and sports sandals and a soccer jersey, you also know this is not true. Or, if you consider the ongoing popularity of techno, you know it's not true. But Vogue and stuff is always being like, "Oh, the French girls, they are so effortless and lank and they wear beige and do not brush their hair, they have the je ne sais quas we bourgeois Americans can only hope for." Anyway, this girl falls into that French girl category, but she also fits in to the clicheed items category- ooh, a bowler-esque hat! A blazer with a crest! A plaid button-down shirt! Ugly tapered man-pants! I don't need to go to Paris to see this shit, I can find it all at Urban Outfitters.

I almost don't want to criticize this one, because at least she's going for full-scale androgyny and not sexy androgyny, but it's still real bad. If you want to obscure the female form and all, you don't have to do it by wearing baggy, ill-fitting things that make you look like an 80's gnome. Try a well-structured jacket with a strong shoulder or a nice crisp pair of pants or something. What's the point of trying to look menswearish if you're just going to look like Don Johnson? How about James Spader in Pretty in Pink as an 80's style icon instead?
Who else feels that she should have skipped the annoying Duckie, skipped the "I would only be considered attractive for a short period in 1985" Blaine, and just gone straight for James Spader, clearly the hottest one? (Though, technically, she should have said "See ya!" to all the guys in that movie and headed off to art school, but we all know John Hughes liked to keep the womenfolk down.)

Here's another one with a pair of baggy, tapered jeans. God, the way she has them rolled up over those Big Ugly Shoes just kills me. I just find that shape so weird and wrong. And again, it's that whole "contrast" thing where it's supposed to look good because it's paired with things that don't match, but, really, it just doesn't match.

Anyway, I think I've posted this photo of Katherine Hepburn before, but I'd just like to emphasize that what is traditionally called menswear can look great on women, and women should not be afraid to go for this look of they want. But part of what makes men's clothing different from women's is the added structure, which you're just not going to get from any old tapered pant that you bought yesterday because you saw someone else wearing them, dudes. Secondly, a huge, puffy pair of 501s, even paired with Chloe knock-offs and a bustier, make you look like a squat little gnome, albeit one who's devoted to the early 90's. It seems like so many people are adopting this trend because it's supposed to be so unexpected, and besides the fact that that doesn't make up for it being ugly, soon we really will be sick of looking at it.

*Clearly, the title of this post is a reference to a That Petrol Emotion song. Clearly.


Julia said...

sigh. i went through an attempt at androgynous dressing in jr.high/high school. short of binding my boobs down (which i could never ever pull off, because, well, these suckers are huge) nothing sits right when you're hipped out and rocking a curve or two. but how i tried. so many jackets! tuxedo pants! ugh. failures all around.

Simone said...

i did the same thing, before i understood that puberty meant that i had hips and a butt and that men's pants i found at the salvation army/dickies from the army/navy store would not fit me right EVER.

Perfect Ratio said...

omgz, this post is totally brilliant.

M said...

Yes: Dickies, pinstripe old-man pants, tuxedo pants, I wanted them all. Simone had a pair of pinstriped wool pants that she cut the bottoms off, to make a sort of manpri to wear with converse, and it's hard to express how jealous I was of her.

But, you know, the 90's/early 2000s was a far butcher time.

FRINGE said...

i love you..and i will miss you. and i totally agree about man pants...fucking gross.