Friday, January 27, 2012

Men's Fashion

Not long ago I watched an older gentleman on a city bus.  Two grocery bags stood at his feet.  As befitting the cold weather, he wore layers -- shirt, sweater, down vest, jacket.  It wasn't until he stood that I noticed his pants -- old jeans -- that had slipped down his thighs, taking his underwear with them.  I had an unwanted and unnecessary view of the man's bare butt.  To his credit, he moved quickly to pull up his pants, pick up his bags and leave the bus.  But I've had the image of his wrinkly bare butt in my mind ever since.
Credit: zBare-Butts-498
Now, that man on the bus had not intended for his pants and underwear to slip.  It was an accident.  I see men much younger than him, though, who wear their pants intentionally slipping down their skinny thighs, revealing their underwear.  From what I've heard of this fashion, this particular fashion statement by young men is cool and emulates prison fashion, i.e. prisoners who must struggle to keep up their pants because they are not allowed belts.  Most of the time, they let their pants slide hence the result emulated by young men not in prison.

OK, we observe fashion trends that come and go, sometimes return years later and go again.  I'm waiting for a sharp-dressing role model to appeal to those young men with the falling pants so that they'll change their style.  After all, I have that image of a wrinkly bare butt in my mind and I don't particularly want to reinforce it with more images of bare butts, wrinkly or not.
Have you ever watched a group of young men, their pants' waistbands down around their upper thighs, walking?  There's kind of a trick to it, I think.  They have a certain roll and bounce to their walk so their pants won't slide down any farther.  I've sometimes wondered if they have actually pinned their pants somehow in order to keep them right at that level, no higher and no lower.  But then I see them pull up their pants a bit and conclude that they're high risk takers, inviting someone to come along and just give their pants a little tug.

So this fashion emulates prison fashion and prisoners and began, I guess, with hip-hop back in the 1990's.  I wonder, do these young men want to look like thugs or be thugs?  If it's just looking like thugs, they don't need to worry about their pants being so low down.  But if they want to be thugs?  Running in pants on their way down is really awkward and slow and a really stupid thing to wear if you want to make a quick getaway after doing something thuggish or criminal.  They are more likely to trip over their pants than make a clean escape from the police.  Which maybe is what they want anyway to bolster their street cred with an arrest or jail.

I guess I just don't get the currents and trends of fashion for young men.  Do young women really find the falling-down-pants fashion attractive and appealing?  I don't.  It takes all my restraint not to reach over and give those pants a little tug.....

Now this...

1 comment:

Lin - said...

Supposedly it's a signal, in the prison system, from one inmate to another that they're open to sexual advances from other inmates. The transfer of this look to the streets may or may not have brought that implication with it.