colmanseat_crop.jpg

Times style writer and noted pants proponent David Colman has a fairly fine-tuned trend detector—so fine tuned that a strong breeze will sometimes set it off. But his latest target has us a bit confused. By Colman’s lights, the hot new trend for ’09 is…butt-hugging pants.

Of course, this is the Times, so they end up using terms like “backside display,” but the slideshow of a fully restrained model makes it pretty clear what the trend in question is. A personal trainer even stops by to testify to the increased popularity of squat lifts. The real question is…can they be serious?

Bonobos is held up as the poster boy for the trend, but they hardly reach the same levels as the slideshow slacks, which suggests the real problem. Most shifts in the world of men’s style happen slowly and subtly, which make them hard to write trend pieces about. When writers inflate something to make it newsworthy, they push the style too far in one direction, and people who take the pieces at face value end up embarrassing themselves.

In other words, there’s a fine line between J. Crew loosing a little room in the seat, and more avant-garde downtown firms tailoring trousers that lift and separate. Cross it at your own risk.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom