Published February 04 2012
Swift: ‘Jean pool’ coughs up scary slacks-ers
How else can we explain this latest baffling fad: drop-crotch jeans.
These droopy denims showed up on runways about a year ago, but are inexplicably slogging their way onto the store shelves of mainstream retailers like the Gap.
If you haven’t seen them yet, picture this: They are what would happen if MC Hammer’s pants and jeggings fell in love.
While part of me is relieved to see jeans get roomier – albeit in the least flattering area imaginable – I can’t imagine who would look good in these. Even the straw-thin mannequins modeling them look like they’re re-enacting a “Dorf” skit.
What’s next? Maybe Isaac Mizrahi will introduce “Justles” – blue jeans conveniently padded with a bustle. Or perhaps DKNY can release its Jips line, comprised of dungarees that conveniently inflate around the hips whenever you stand up.
Even so, drop-crotch pants aren’t the lone members in the Sisterhood of the Hideous Pants. History’s jean pool is filled with bad, dated or downright hideous entries. Among the low-points:
- Toughskins: At some time in the 1960s, the people at Sears discovered a surplus of galvanized tin and wondered what they would do with it. “I know,” said one brilliant executive. “Let’s make them into indestructible jeans for kids! Mothers will never have to patch ripped knees again, and when they’re dirty, you can just spray them clean with the backyard hose! Fortunately, we also have a surplus of lead-based paint in mustard yellow and Army tank green, so we can offer them in a range of fashion-forward colors.” Amid all of the excitement, nobody bothered to check whether children could actually move, bend or breathe in them. In fact, I believe the childhood obesity epidemic officially began when Toughskins were invented. Rather than try to run and play ball in what felt like a suit of armor, kids gave up and spent long hours on the couch, watching “The Brady Bunch” and drinking Tang.
- Mommy jeans: I remember seeing my first pair of mommy jeans. It was sometime in the ’80s and they were worn by a fashion-forward schoolmate named Marcy. They had tapered legs, a high waist and pleats in the front. Marcy was thin, tall and young – and they looked great on her. But the problem started when the Marcys of the world got older and never surrendered the jeans. Clinton and Stacy of “What Not to Wear” started shrieking at unsuspecting, mommy jean-clad suburbanites. “Your waistband is up under your armpits!” they’d say. “Slink back to your minivan in shame!” Today, Victoria Beckham could instantly lose her fashionista status if paparazzi caught a single frame of her in these tapered, pleated badges of frumpitude.
- Skinny jeans: I’m sorry, but unless you are 23, leggy and built like a tongue depressor, these jeans don’t flatter you. It’s like trying to shove a manatee into a tube sock. The saddest is to see young, slightly chubby men shoehorned into these denim girdles. They always look like they raided their 12-year-old sisters’ closets.
- Pajama jeans: These “As Seen on TV” jeans were supposed to combine the comfort of pajamas with the “high-fashion” look of designer denim. Unfortunately, real jeans don’t include oddly placed back pockets, Carhartt-coverall stitching and a drawstring waist. Neither comfortable nor fashionable, they failed on both fronts.
Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to run to the mall for some “Justles.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525