Fashion Statement


I see that “mom jeans” – that ‘90s look where the waistband of a woman’s pants is up under her armpits – are back.

Since I’m a guy, you probably expect me to say this is a terrible development in women’s fashion, especially since they are replacing low-rise jeans.

But you would be wrong. I welcome any look that kills off low-rise pants, which are just plain silly, no matter who’s wearing them. Human beings just weren’t meant to show butt cleavage. You don’t see depictions of cave people walking around with loin cloths or bear skins slung so low you can see “where the good Lord split ya,” as my Grandma Rose used to say.

And yet, low-rise jeans became so ubiquitous that everyone was forced to wear them whether they wanted to or not, because that’s all the stores were selling.

Even I momentarily owned a pair. I bought them after “Old Blue” (yes, I name my pants – don’t you?), a pair of Levis I’d owned for ten years, finally gave up the ghost.

I didn’t try on the new pants at the store, per my strict policy about getting in and out of clothing stores as fast as possible. My best time, by the way, is two minutes and 38 seconds. It’s a record that may never be broken, although you’re welcome to try.

But, I did try them on at home. The lovely yet formidable Marcia took one look, frowned and said, “Um, yeah, no. Humanity isn’t ready for that,” for which I was glad because they were tight and uncomfortable, anyway.

The older I get, the more I think life’s too short to wear tight and uncomfortable clothes. In my worldview, men shouldn’t bother with tight jeans, neckties or dress shoes, and women should hunt down and stone the idiot who came up with high heel shoes. How they walk around in those things is beyond me. I actually tried it once – not walking in women’s heels, but walking on my tiptoes like that. I was sore after two minutes.

Fashion designers are to blame, of course. The profession clearly attracts people who enjoy punking other people. For instance, I saw a GAP ad last week that described mom jeans as “a 90’s throwback that seriously flatters.”

The misuse of a possessive apostrophe in the number notwithstanding, that’s a bald-faced lie. Fashion designers know it, too. They have eyes, after all. High-waisted jeans may be comfortable, but they’re also patently ridiculous, whether you’re a man or a woman. (And make no mistake, high-waisted pants for men are on the way, you watch. MC Hammer is thrilled.)

I don’t believe for a second that fashion designers think mom jeans are attractive. I think what happened is they realized people had lost patience with low-rise pants and a replacement was needed, so they had a meeting and asked, “What would be the most ludicrous thing we could talk people into wearing?”

“How about buckskin pants with fringe?” one asked.

“The anti-fur and leather crowd would protest,” said another.

“How about clown pants – you know, with polka dots on them and secret compartments for rubber chickens and stuff?”

“Too obviously ludicrous.”

“I’ve got it! How about we bring back mom jeans?”

The room fell silent.

“Perfect!” they cheered in unison. “My god, it’ll be hysterical to see people walk around in those again!”

And then, they all laughed and toasted one another with white wine spritzers.

So, now you know how the fashion world really works.

You’re welcome.


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