Saturday, September 24, 2011
Fashion statements then and now
My husband is not a fan of the droopy pants look. I'm talking about the guys who wear the waistband of their pants somewhere below their buttocks, exposing their underwear. So far his response is reserved to muttering under his breath and grinding his molars.
For some reason this "fashion" reminds me of another men's style popular beginning in the 14th century, when tunic hemlines became shorter to make men's legs look longer, exposing their "naughty bits" when sitting. The Church declared the Black Plague was a divine punishment for this sinful flaunting of private parts.
Then the working men began to take off their tunics and waistcoats in deference to th hot summer sun and worked in their shirts and breeches. The young men of the aristocracy gleefully adopted this "look" to the bewilderment of their parents. Unfortunately, removing the outer garments made the gap between the shirt and breeches (leggings that were laced to the shirt) even more noticable.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and so the codpiece appeared to cover the gap. Over time, this practical answer to propriety was decorated, padded and eventually shaped to represent a permanent erection.
After some 200 years of popularity, breeches grew wider (think of the Dutch) and the codpiece disappeared except for rock stars and comic book heroes.
I hope this currrent trend of exposing the buttocks, although decently covered by plaid, polka-dotted and striped drawers, won't last as long or I'm afraid my husband will grind his teeth down to nubs.
Yes, I can be tolerant when I put this look into historical perspective. But can someone tell me why so many young girls and boys are wearing their flannel pajamas to McDonald's and Wal-Mart?