This morning’s Style section boasted a remarkably detailed summary of something that’s been going on behind the scenes for years now: the ongoing Japanese love affair with American preppy style. ACL gets a little much-deserved love, Daiki Suzuki gushes about Thom Browne’s Japanese style, and all is right with the world.
Times style writer and noted pants proponentDavid 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?
We go way back with the New York Times’ David Colman—through his strangely unmotivated obsessions with vests, shorts, and even pants—but we have to give him credit on this one. If you’ve managed to snag some Red Wing boots, it would be silly to let your pants cover them up.
We aren’t sure about those cowboy boots—although Mr. Benjamin might disagree—but this is a general trend we’ve been seeing for some time. The beauty of the shorter pant leg that’s come into fashion over the past few years—we’re looking at you, Mr. Browne—isn’t that it shows a bit of ankle but that it perfectly frames your shoes. Now that the footwear has gotten bulkier, you need to hike your pants up even higher to get them out of the way.
As for where you should draw the line, we’d say galoshes are for rainstorms. But Mr. Colman might disagree…
Of course, what men.style only hints at is that, for Gawker and Condé Nast (and we suspect the fashion desk at the Times), office clothing takes on a somewhat different meaning. After all, how can they expect old Coles to write trend pieces about cutoffs when he’s can’t wear them himself? That kind of trendiness is what they pay him for. The same goes for anyone else who happens to be in the trend business—leading to the dreaded Schnabel effect—while the poor folks in the rest of the office are stuck in white button-ups for the rest of their lives.
As the old saying goes, there are three kinds of tie on Wall Street: solid color ties, diagonally striped ties, and ties that set your career back five years.
We shudder to think what they’d make of a shorts-suit.