Monday, September 22, 2008

#9 Skinny Jeans

If you have ever put on a pair of jeans in under 5 minutes then they're definitely not skinny jeans. And they're probably at least 2 sizes too big. What you need to do is immediately give those pants away and head to your nearest Buffalo Exchange to get some pants that will put you on the road to underground. To understand why skinny jeans are so underground its important to understand the history of the jean. Since jeans and useless history are both underground this is a double-whammy. Don't say double-whammy too much though because that's not underground at all.

Jeans started as a form of dyed cotton material known as dungaree that was exported from India in the 16th century. Sailors would literally take a piece of this stuff and improvise a pair of pants using nothing but a huge knife, some thick rope, and a parrot. In the 1850's a German merchant guy named Levi Strauss started selling mass-produced jeans to gold miners during the gold rush in California. Like everything that hits California, the trend caught on like wildfire and pretty soon everyone was wearing "Levi's" so that they could pretend they were a gold miner and everyone would think they were cool. This is an important point in jean history because from this point on all jeans would be qualified as falling into one of two categories: cool, or un-cool.

In the 50's and 60's rock-and-rollers taught us that jeans didn't have to be loosey-goosey like a working man's pant. They told us to be proud of our junk by wearing pants that would cut off the circulation to most of our lower body. Thank you to people like Robert Plant for this very important lesson (anyone who's seen "The Song Remains the Same" knows exactly what I'm talking about).

Over the years, several uncool styles tried to distract us from this knowledge. I'm sure several of us are guilty of wearing these non-underground looks such as Jnco's, mom-jeans, bell-bottoms, or bedazzled jeans. Flash forward to 1998 we used to think that carpenter jeans were here to stay. At that point we thought that you couldn't get more underground than a pair of jeans with a loop in which to keep your hammer at all times.

But today, the skinny has made a comeback and again it's the only jean that can officially make you cool. If you'll notice all of the previous styles that have come and gone had two significant flaws. First, they allowed for complete circulation to the legs, which is just stupid. Second, they often cover some or all of the shoe, which is pointless because hip shoes are a very important part of an underground outfit. Skinny jeans can barely fit over ankles, let alone shoes. So whatever type of skinny jean you have, remember the cardinal rule: the skinnier the better, and be proud of your junk.

P.S. Dave, I've been looking for skinny jeans with a 38" inseam all day and can't find anything. But I did find some Jnco's with a 38" inseam and 36" leg openings. Those are pretty sweet.


Lola said...

Ahhh JNCOs!! That was a sad chapter. I hope those never pop up again but everyone said the same thing about stonewashed fabric and look who is walking down Bedford Ave with them!! (You know who)

kaRESEN said...

before hipster tight jeans there was san franciscos and lawman jeans - when the gap and zztop were cool. or the true pre-hipster was when you had to bleach your stiff levis in a tub with bleach to make them faded and worn out - of course that lead to the grunge phase that was all about looking thrifty and a little bit country to protest the corporate regime. of course that was not underground once CK started selling flannel lumberjack shirts for 2 benjis. buy jeans and have them tailored to your body is super underground. awesome blog.