The thing about trousers is there are really only two possible outcomes for me, trousers will either look passable on me, or they’ll look silly on me. I have never worn a pair of pants and had anyone say “You look really good in those pants”. I have however had people say “Man, those pants are dicked up” or “Those pants look stupid you dick.” The best I can hope for when I pant up is that I meet the relatively uninspiring bar of ‘not looking like a dick.’
The other problem is there is no way of knowing whether they’ll look “meh” or “shit” before purchasing them. I mean, a lot of the time I try them on in the shop and I suppose this is the best defence against buying some fucked up trousers. The problem is this is so far from fool-proof that it is unsurprising I have bought loads of pants without trying them on first. Firstly, no-one can think straight in a clothing shop. There is something claustrophobic about all that fabric and the muffled screams of Chinese slave labour haunting the over-stuffed aisles. I also lie when I said that no-one has ever said I looked good in pants; shop assistants have said that I look good in pants, and they are full of the brown sticky stuff.
I came to the realisation many years ago that I give off the air of a man who will lay down money for even the most vacuous compliment or stalest whiff of affection from a stranger. I also know this about myself, have a rudimentary idea of how capitalism works in as much as it relates to shop assistants, and therefore I know to take anything they say with a grain of salt. So I am without rudder or oar.
A further issue is that if I buy ill-fitting pants, I seldom buy them too small. No, I always grossly over-estimate how wide I am, or when buying trou I feel a subconscious need to factor in gaining ten kilos before I next need to trouser shop. The problem with this is I’m tempted to make-do with the oversized sacks of fabric rather than return them, which I would have to do if they were too small.
There are a few things I miss about the nineties, none of them technology based, but a lot are clothing based. About the last time I got pants right was 2001 because there are few ways you can balls-up raver jeans; you are supposed to swim about inside them. In fact, the whole point was you could dance pretty vigorously inside the jeans without the jeans moving at all; a sort of tent for the legs which occasionally brushed against your calves absorbing perspiration and drugs.
Bad things happened in 2001 but nothing on a scale as destructive as what The Strokes did to pants. The skinny jeans phenomena meant that men who were both vain and also lazy were faced with a stark choice; move with fashion and be forever pulling our crotch out of our crotch, or dance on into uncoolness, picking up cigarette butts and leaves with the bottom of our 50 inch hems.
I for one believe the Era of Big Trou needs to return, if for no other reason as it means pant-purchase will be less hit and miss and there will be one less reason for people to call me a dick.