Why Everybody Should Wear Skinny Jeans

The irony of this commercial is the typical skinny jeans wearer would opt for a full-bodied craft beer that you’ve never even heard of and respectfully decline this spring water being bottled and labeled as Miller Lite.

It wasn’t that long ago that Levi’s had their grand debut of the ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ jean. A play off of the ‘boyfriend’ jeans meant for women, the ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ jean is for men who have an edgy style and wanted the all-snug fit of their old girlfriends jean (plus some breathing room on the rise). As a fan and wearer of skinny jeans for over 8 years now, I had a quick look and moved on. These skinny jeans were really nothing revolutionary…

But I was wrong. I searched for the jeans again today on Google to have another look and what I found was surprising. These jeans were revolutionary – in terms of marketing. All it took was a clever name and it seems like the whole Western world had finally became aware of the existence of skinny jeans. These jeans have been featured (mockingly) on hundreds of blogs and the Ellen show, while beer commercials ridicule those who wear them. Reading vulgar and hateful comments and listening to pointless rants about how no true man wears skinny jeans have made me realize that the mainstream consumer is extremely hypocritical when it comes to fashion and they don’t even know it.

Fashion exists as a status indicator and as sexual ornamentation. Like it or not, you’re contributing to fashion when you’re wearing anything above and beyond covering up and keeping warm. Even the manliest of men are wearing jeans that were designed and cut in a special style, dyed, treated, and marketed. But for some people wearing a certain style of clothes was never about fashion, it was about blending in.

In the animal kingdom, the males are the most ornamented and visually noticeable. The peacock is adorned with bright colours and large feathers (the brighter and larger they are is an indicator of health) for the sole purpose of mating. Not blending in makes them a target to predators and is very dangerous but it comes with the territory when attracting the peahen. When men wear unbuttoned shirts, rings, necklaces, and skinny jeans – it communicates to women that they’re able to hold their own despite standing out. While guys routinely mock the men in the club with longer hair, tighter jeans and accessories – they always act surprised when that man genuinely holds the interest of the only perfect 10 (although perhaps not that bartender in the commercial). Be sure that for every insult the man that stands out hears based on what he’s wearing from the bro’s, he’ll also be getting a number — and maybe that’s where all the insults stem from. What kind of alpha bro would you be if you didn’t try and knock the edgy guy that might steal your girl?

Fashion is constantly changing so that those with status can stay elitist and ahead of the curve. Elitists want the masses to notice their ‘weird’ fashion and the people in the know to appreciate details like their selvedge, hand-stitching, and perfectly tailored break. Looking back, high heels were invented by men and for men. And the idea that pink should only be worn by girls and blue only by boys? That was only established in the 1940s. When a boy was born in an earlier time period, you can be damned sure he was wearing pink as a baby because “…pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl…” Some theorize the colours switched as a marketing scheme by a department store to shake things up. Before all the blue/pink mix mash, boys and girls used to both wear white dresses and skirts because white clothes could be bleached.

Have a look at this child. Would you have guessed that this boy became the 32nd president of the United States? Would you have guessed that this was even a boy?

So, why should everybody wear skinny jeans? What I’m more curious about is why the same people that pretend fashion doesn’t matter are so deeply offended by it. In the grand scheme of things, fashion is constantly fleeting and only a product of our socio-economic culture – so why all the negativity? Why all the pressure? Fashion can be about individuality and self expression, or about conformity. It can say something. It rarely says nothing. It can be art. The moment that we truly realize that it fashion will never stop evolving is the moment that everyone stops taking it so seriously and lightens up. Sure, 20 years from now we may say we looked silly back then, but at least we were having fun.


  1. W. Shane Duquette on May 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Wicked article.

    And, I’d add, you accomplish the same thing by standing out in a variety of ways, and encounter the same backlash when you venture outside of any niche. You can have a unique street style, fashionista style, a flashy $10000 “Chuck” style business suit or, my two current favourites, a retro RnB style or a well put together edgy 50s style.

  2. ... on May 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Progress is attained through opposition. If it wasn’t for the negativity and criticism of the masses (as it will always be and I am not saying that I support it; yet have come to terms with it as a natural phenomenon) the term “elitists” would be irrelevant as their existence is principally anchored in opposing what masses consider the norm. Everything in our culture comes from “opposition”, nothing is self-reliant; everything is always measured against something. Interesting article but what I am trying to get across here is that it’s very difficult and maybe even pointless to argue for one side against the other in this case, as one party cannot in its essence exists without the other.

  3. W. Shane Duquette on May 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I agree. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dressing to fit in. And You’re right, if there wasn’t a mainstream there wouldn’t be an avant-garde. If there weren’t social norms it would be difficult to position yourself outside of them. And I wouldn’t say that one style is intrinsically better than another, or that standing out is better than fitting in.
    Will negativity always exist? Of course. But can we oppose it, discourage it, and mitigate the damage? I hope so. Being different doesn’t need to be viewed as being bad. I understand why it is.. but that doesn’t mean I support it.
    I’m not a hip-hopper but it’s not like I feel the urge to walk up to the guy wearing the hip-hop gear in the rock club and insult his masculinity — and that’s not just because they’re usually bigger than me 😉

  4. Jared Polowick on May 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I’m not disagreeing with opposition. There are a lot of styles that I don’t agree with or enjoy the look of. But I don’t agree with attacking the individual verbally or physically – everyone is just taking everything so seriously. Thanks for your comment though, I do agree.

  5. ... on May 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    “But I don’t agree with attacking the individual verbally or physically” true, destructive criticism is no help to anyone or anything.

  6. Cy on January 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    It would be interesting to point out that the first people to wear leggings were men, not women. Look no further than the founding fathers…all of them were wearing stockings and tight capris for heaven’s sake.

    The same applies to male body hair (in the 70s it was sexy, now it is gross). Society unwittingly influences us, or at least the sheep, much like religion. Only some (few) of us (which you call the elitist) can actually see beyond these silly norms.

    Then again, no one really points out that the first ones to don skinny jeans were punks…And I don’t think any of the punks in the 70s or 80s can be qualified as gay or feminine, far from it. The point is, depending on how you wear them, you could actually emulate the “bad boy” look.

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