What is life without a good debate? Whether it is an in-depth political discussion, a consideration of important social questions and conventions, deeply concerning environmental issues regarding the plight of squirrels or just a big argument with your mates down the pub over how many chips you can jam up your nose, and who will fall in the most hedges on the stagger home (either with physical encouragement from said friends or without). The televised debates during the general election gripped the nation and proved that a good argument really helps us all become undecided about who we want to lead our nation, and if we’re all completely honest, who doesn’t enjoy the odd episode of Jeremy Kyle. Although that could be seen more as unnecessary shouting than a reasoned debate. It is fair to say then, that a life without debate isn’t really a life at all.
As you may well know, the fashion world is no stranger to debate, discussion and controversy. One needn’t look any further than Lady Gaga for proof that pushing the boundaries of fashion, particularly in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable (I’m thinking of the meat dress here) can cause some huge debates both within fashion specific circles and the wider world. However, while this is obviously an extreme example and the level of controversy and debate involved will probably never enter the world of the average fashion conscious gentleman, it would be naïve to think debate and differing views had little or no impact on our choice of clothing, even at an everyday level.
This can be seen clearly in our individual choice of style. Do you prefer a sharp, clean and tailored look or do you lean more towards the more relaxed, casual and rugged look? Obviously you an describe your own personal style in any way you want, but the divisions that separate each individual style can boil right down to specific items; which brings me neatly onto the main topic of this article, skinny jeans.
You would find it exceeding difficult to discuss the fashion trends of the past few years without considering the impact of skinny jeans. In a very short space of time, they became a veritable fashion Behemoth, much to the delight of some and dismay of others. Of course they only appealed to certain groups, which is where we find the stark contrast between advocates of such a style and those that loathe it with a passion. The go to stereotype for skinny jeans would be the ‘Emo’ trend; what image of skinny jeans is more recognisable than the pasty faced teenager, with black hair, black clothes a ridiculous fringe and studs everywhere, who stomped down the road listening to heavy metal, and one must of course not forget the more feminine connotations of tighter jeans. How many wearers of such garments have walked down the street only to be hollered at by Jonny tracksuit and the white lightening gang?
However, skinny jeans are far more versatile than that. They help to create a much sharper silhouette, with cleaner lines and more definition, something baggy jeans or loose fitting trousers are unable to do. This immediately creates a far smarter, more formal look, harking back to the 1960s and the Mods, while still maintaining a modern feel, developing into the whole ‘Indie’ look. This look has become very popular, and you only need to look at many well known figures in music, fashion or television to see the results.
Here we can see how skinny jeans have helped to create relaxed, casual outfits that still retain an air of formality and definition, without having to resort to a properly formal selection of clothing.
Here are some LookBook.nu examples; I have tried to get a mix of looks, incorporating both casual and formal styles. I feel that all the looks, even the casual ones, have much sharper lines and better definition, but it is when they are used in a more formal way, with shirts, blazers, cardigans and smarter shoes that skinny jeans really come into their own.
But wait! This is supposed to be a debate, and here I am waxing lyrical on skinny jeans when I have hardly touched on the other half of the argument. Well, the time has come to consider the other side of this discussion.
While skinny jeans still remain a very much a force in the fashion world, The last couple of seasons have been awash with new styles and, fitting in with the vintage/heritage trends, a revamp of old styles. With skinny jeans playing a much smaller role on the catwalks, it was only a matter of time before their popularity started to wane, which has allowed different cuts to come to the fore, bringing with it new trends, different shapes and new possibilities. There has been an obvious shift away from skinny jeans to slim jeans, which afford the wearer much the same cleaner shape, and sharper cut but without the social stigma, more flexibility and a bit more practicality.
The new Banana and Carrot cut jeans have proved hugely popular, so to have the drop crotch styles and they all provide a much needed switch to jeans becoming more of a focal point in your outfit. These new cuts are just as much statement pieces as skinny jeans, really letting your make the look your own so you stand out from the crowd. They add a whole new edge to the big trends of the season and look to become a fashion staple, with many designers and companies releasing pieces.
Of course one cannot ignore the monumental rise of the Chino, particularly during S/S10. This revamp of a classic style has brought with it a wealth of possibilities, with its ability to switch between a casual day time look to formal evening wear at the drop of a hat. It also provides a very real alternative to jeans as a wardrobe staple, something you could wear everyday and is always hugely practical, especially when dealing with the heat (or what little we actually experienced). While they became big over the summer, it is clear that they are here to stay as their versatility means they can be worn all year round and incorporated into a number of trends, highlighting the importance of investing in transitional items.
Whether you like skinny jeans or not, there can be no denying that they have had a massive impact on the fashion world. But I intended this article to create some kind of debate, so I need to know what you guys think! Personally I’m a big fan of skinny jeans; they are versatile, different and make you stand out from the crowd. To be perfectly honest I feel uncomfortable wearing any other cut of jeans now. There are many factors that affect our opinions of new trends, old trends and specific items of clothing, so:
Let me know in the comments and have your say.
And for all of those that might have been wondering, I can assure you that no, skinny jeans do not crush your gentlemen’s vegetables.
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