Saturday, March 14, 2009

stirrup "pants" then and now.

Now ladies, I know this might be especially confusing since the word "pants" is in the name given to this garment, but use your eyes. I beg of you. 

The stirrup pants of yesteryear have melded with the tights as pants plague of today. Two things that should never merge, just like Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.  The result; a tighter fit sans pockets and a general feeling of nonsensical wonderment sure to ruin reputations. 

I was forced to wear stirrup pants as a child. In the late 1980's and very early 90's. This was not because my parents were sadists, but because it was "cool" and they were everywhere. Much like how when "deconstructed jeans" got "cool" it became almost impossible to locate a new pair of jeans that did not look like they had been sent through a food processor and/or "tagged" with a sharpie marker and even more recently how the "skinny jeans" epidemic has made it a somewhat of a sport to try and find pants I can actually fit my boots under; during 1988-1991 stirrup "pants" were all over the place. Especially in the children's section. 

I remember wearing the stirrups over my shoes hoping it would wear away and break. I hated the way it felt on my skin and the stirrup made it more difficult to squeeze both of my legs through one pant leg in order to pretend I was a mermaid.  Once this trend ended, even as a ten year old I was relieved. I craved actual pants. So you can imagine my horror as an adult, when walking down an East Village street I am faced with small tribes of stirrup "pant" wearing youths. Why is this happening? Maybe it is because they were not around for the original fad and therefore don't associate it with being dressed by their parents, or because they are too drunk on Papst Blue Ribbon to see themselves clearly, or because they are on their way to an Equestrian Club meeting, or maybe they are just tired of the footless tights they have been wearing as pants riding up in such a way that they look like capris. Capris are so 2003 and anyone caught that far in the past would be humiliated. So better to just strap on some elastic bands and avoid looking so out of date. Oh. Wait. 

In reality it is because some fashion house decided it was cool again. I wish I had that job. I also guarantee that all of the people at that design meeting were wearing actual pants without spandex straps at the bottom.  There is a simple and precise formula for creating the more extreme trends; resurrect a horrible fad of the past on modern models that are edgy and look strung out. This saves a lot of time in terms of actually coming up with new ideas. But there are two things that people should remember: 1) models are paid to wear these things and 2) messy hair does not an outfit make. 

Looking like you just rolled out of bed in the morning does not give you the go-ahead for also forgetting to get fully dressed.  This also applies to shirts as dresses and underwear as shorts.  The bathrobe was invented in the 18th century so the world's roommates and door to door salesman wouldn't have to see us half naked.  Why now in the 21st century would we balk at that tradition and take it to the streets? Not to mention turn that bathrobe around and market it as a blanket with sleeves to wear over complete outfits? The world is full of mysteries, but I'd prefer if I didn't have to wait in the really long bathroom line at Wholefoods next to some of the most boggling. And if I have to, well I choose the Snuggie. Or the Narwhal. 

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