Friday, 2 April 2010

London Loves.....Skinny Jeans

Mercedes Bunz thinks skinny jeans are finished.

So does Blockhead.

Mercedes Bunz and Blockhead are so wrong on so many levels.

First off, Mercedes, putting Kate Moss and “not fashionable” in the same paragraph? Oxymoron of catastrophic proportions.

Secondly, the skinny jean transcends fashion. For people like me with calves the size of freshly planted elm saplings, the invention of the skinny jean was more important than the wheel or combustion engine – who needs motorised transport when you can strut around in jeans you look good in? Seriously. You should see me wearing baggy jeans, or even normal jeans. I look like a famine victim who’s been donated random outsized clothes from an Oxfam campaign.

Normal. Jeans. Are. Too. Big. I had to live through the grunge and Britpop movements of the 90s, when jeans were ripped, corduroy, tie-dyed, turned up, anything but snugly fitting. They were normally Levi 501’s. I bet there are kids out there today who don’t even know what that means.

I would look at pictures of Paul Weller, or other Mods from a bygone era in envious longing for their super-tight jeans. Then, finally, they arrived. Suddenly, Kingsland Road was awash with scenesters who were actually proud of their twig-like legs. What a revelation.

At first they were meant for women not men. But when has that ever stopped me? Half of the clothes I wear are meant for women. My first pair, in 2005, were black Lee’s. I vividly remember the Swedish shop assistant allaying my fears that they made my thighs too prominent “people will just think you have shapely thighs”. Now, that’s what I call customer service. I still have the pair in question. Though they are now washed out to a virtual grey, and are ripped in the crotch to the point of indecency, I can’t part with them – they’re part of my cultural heritage.

Thirdly, Bunz makes the crucial error of aligning skinny jeans solely with hipsters – which is a term that doesn’t really exist in London anyway. It’s as if she hasn’t been to Topshop recently or taken even the briefest stroll down Oxford Street. Everybody’s wearing them. Maybe that is the true meaning behind Bunz’s anxieties; she doesn’t want to be part of mass fashion? She wants something more minority, more elitist, cooler. Hmmmm…bring something in Mercedes. I’m dying to see it. Some fisherman’s waders perhaps?

No, seriously.

No. Seriously.

The fact is skinny jeans are perfect. Anybody can wear them – and I’m not just saying that.

You don’t have to look like this to get away with them.

I’ve seen loads of girls with fuller legs wearing them on the tube, they look great. That’s what Lycra was invented for.

In some ways it’s just about having the confidence to put ‘em on, go out and flaunt them. Sadly, many people’s answer to lack of confidence is to cover up. But, look how great Beth Ditto looks here. Don’t be afraid! People have shapes and bumps. I have a bit of a belly. Not ideal on an otherwise skinny man. It’s fine. Get over it.

But, if you really feel they aren’t for you, then where do we go from here? Well, Mercedes touts an idea at the end of her blog piece - “something a little bit wider and maybe made of wool”. Interesting idea. I used to wear a pair of red wooly trousers. They weren’t knitted for the purpose I appropriated them for and whether they worked or not is massively open to question. But this was 1994, wooly trousers must have moved on a bit by now? Surely?

And when the day comes when the laws of fashion dictate we really must move on from skinnies, surely it’ll be to something even smaller? Every modern technological evolution involves reduction in size right? So maybe the next step from skinny jeans is micro jeans?? Jeans so slim you have to be airlifted and shoved into them by a squadron of paratroopers? I’m up for that.

Or, as one commenter on Bunz’s blog suggests “what about wearing no trousers at all?” Again, I’m up for that.

But looking for a genuine solution, and with the slurs and abuse of my work colleagues ringing fresh in my ears (“now you’re 30 Josh, are you going to stop embarrassing yourself?”, “they’re painted on”, “they’re so tight you’ll do yourself a hernia”, “get an elasticated waist band man”, “they’re so tight you look like you’re pregnant”, “they’re so tight I can see the outline of your cock and balls” etc.), I went into H&M on Wood Green high street and did the unforgivable, I caved in to peer pressure and bought two pairs of non-skinny jeans. One white, one black. I felt mature. Normal. Boring, even. After all, I’d actually bought some clothing from the Men’s section. I was proud of myself.

I still haven’t decided whether they work for me or not. I’ve decided the only way to wear them is with big old fashioned 90s style Reebok trainers. They just don’t work with skinny shoes.

The following Monday morning I went in to work anticipating the imagined praise I would receive. Has anyone even noticed? Have they fuck.


  1. That Swedish shop assistant was classic.

    Skinny jeans are a bit dead now I think. Infact I think that they've been dead for a loooong time. Every cunt seems to be wearing them now. Even young kids wear them now which is kind of weird and men in their 50's wear them with hiking shoes and polo necks. I think Russell Brand truly killed them because he made them acceptable to Essex boy dickheads who had previously mocked them.

    Anyway, I think that a nicely tailored trouser is a far more interesting alternative. Not red though.

  2. Red wooly trousers will be on the Milan catwalk before you know it. I've already had a call from Prada.

  3. I am still not converted Joshua sorry. Beth Ditto looks awful. People who don't have "lucky legs" (as in lucky they don't break) should not be encouraged to wear them. I think men should only wear them with codpieces, a la Blackadder II. Bring back the codpiece I say!

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