Fashion enforces slimmer choice in men's legwear!

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It seems that current fashion is still somewhat in thrall to the 80’s, as has been the vogue for much of the last decade and a half - and not really the parts that I loved. As a child of the 80’s I actually have quite the phobia for what were then termed ’drain-pipe’ or ’pipe-cleaner’ jeans - at their worst in stone-washed, distressed and torn varieties. I have naturally skinny legs and therefore no real wish to appear like some exotic wading bird.


Historically there have been circa 10 classifications / mainline trouser cuts / styles:

  • Wide-leg
  • Baggy
  • Loose
  • Flared
  • Bootcut
  • Straight-leg
  • Regular
  • Tapered
  • Slim
  • Skinny

When scouring the shops recently for a pair of semi-smart straight-leg black cotton chinos I came up quite empty-handed after a good day’s runaround. Although an extreme example, Topman is a good case in point, currently only offering up variations of:

  • Stretch Skinny
  • Vintage Skinny
  • Skinny
  • Spray On
  • Super Spray On

It seems that contemporary legwear is no true friend of man, as recent variations have seen the most uncomfortable and impractical variations of ’nut-crackers’ and ’butt-flashers’ with highly restrictive low-waist / no-waist editions too - they’re barely sufferable standing up - sitting down in them though is quite the experience! I am in no means opposed to diverse cuts, even though some of the drop-crotch and cropped versions are sublimely ridiculous - surely you don’t need to reveal every facet of epidermal and anatomical detail. My personal taste tends to Straight-leg, Bootcut and Wide-leg which are all currently somewhat impossible to find in general circulation.


The latest menswear must-have is now the ’Jogger’ / ’Jogging Bottoms’ or elasticated cuff tracksuit bottoms. ’Joggers’ are a further example of the more practical evolution to sportswear. 2-3 years ago catwalk models started sporting trainers instead of high-heels and formal shoes, as for most consumers this is now their preferred mode of footwear. Isabel Marant was the pioneer of designer wedge trainers, and Giuseppe Zanotti is the king of the luxe high-top trainer. If you visit Selfridges’ shoe department, you cannot move for designer trainers - mostly high-tops, and many retailing in the near £1,000 price range !!


Sportswear / Luxe Sportswear has been in vogue for a while now, as it is more practically compatible with modern lifestyles. For many though even the more designer versions of Joggers by Yoji Yamamoto / Y-3 may still be seen as a bit too casual.


Business attire is still fairly rigid and tending towards the formal, although for the most part the tie is now quite the optional extra. Every year the fashion journals proclaim the return of the suit, which is still though in marked decline from its heyday, and especially since the Armani and Hugo Boss glut of the 80’s.


I for my part will most likely steer away from ’Joggers’ as the only ones I liked were a Y-3 pair for circa £300 and with limited practical application. My preference is for versatile pieces which delicately straddle the smart-ish casual to casual smart mode of attire - meaning you can wear those articles for most occasions. I’ve never found spray-on jeans either particularly attractive or smart, the same goes for most of the joggers. Now if they did the joggers in a straight-leg and made them look semi-formal - that would be something worth considering ...

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