Style, by Rich Paschall

Perhaps you have noticed that it seems to have died out.  You are probably glad of it too.  You did not like it.  You may even have been insulted by it, so it is so long and farewell.  It should be like many style statements we have seen over recent generations.  It is here for a while, then reason sets in.

Of course, we are talking about that so-called “fashion trend” that saw young men wearing their baggy jeans below their rear ends so that we could see their boxer shorts.  I am sure this did as much for makers of boxer shorts as it did for sellers of baggy jeans.  Perhaps these guys have started to realize just how crazy this was.  There may have been some cheap thrill in letting us see their underwear, but as a practical point of view it could not have been dumber.  At least you know these guys were not going to cause trouble.  It is tough when you have to waddle away from the scene of the crime.

Maybe the lack of a Justin Bieber tour helped to kill this idea.  Let’s hope that his next tour (if there is one) does not bring it back, or some equally strange wearing of clothes.  The alleged singer-songwriter stopped his Purpose tour without performing all the shows.  We are not sure of the Purpose or style yet, but we know he is unpopular at certain venues, but I digress …

When I was younger we had our strange fashion trends, which I am sure were heavily influenced by the entertainment industry.  If someone looked cool in the movies or on television, then I guess we wanted to look cool too.  I was too young to be influenced by the first wave of the British Invasion.  It did not matter to me what John, Paul, George, and Ringo were wearing.  For clothes choices, I got whatever my mother thought I should have.

As I got a little older I realized, as all kids do, that a little (or a lot) of whining would probably get me a few of the things I liked.  By high school, it was white Levis, madras shirts (plaid) and penny loafers.  I thought this ensemble was cool.  I guess I still do.  For a while, it was “skinny jeans.”  I don’t think we called them that, but they were the type that was difficult to put on and the opening at the bottom of the pants leg was barely big enough for your feet to go through.  I guess we thought we were sexy, like the boys showing off their boxers in more recent times.  Skinny jeans also seem to be quite popular at present, but mostly, it’s young girls.

It was just a few years and then that whole “preppy” look I loved so much was out. A whole collection of things that would not stand the test of time followed.  When skinny jeans gave way to “flares,” that is pants that had wider leg openings at the bottom, and then bell-bottoms we had a whole new look.  Yes, I got those, including the “hip huggers” style.  Those had a lower cut.  Neither my parents nor my grandparents ever wore any such items.

Your wide pants might go with a variety of looks, but maybe not with your Nehru jackets or shirts.   These items may have retained their popularity in India, where they are named after  Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who served from 1947 to 1964, but they were a brief trend here.  The jackets and shirts with the “mandarin collar” would make you look like a priest if you wore something dark.

Your 70’s hippie look did need “tie-dyed” t-shirts.  I guess those just keep coming back around the style block.  They were always popular with the Grateful Dead crowd and then with Phish, the Grateful Dead for the 21st Century.  I am glad to say I never owned one.  You may think that picture of you with beads, tie-dye shirt, bell-bottom pants and sandals that one of your friends posted on facebook on “throwback Thursday” looks really cool, but I have news for you…

All of this was followed by the regrettable trend we called “leisure suits.”  The polyester creations featured jackets that looked like shirts trying to be jackets.  Unfortunately, a number of pictures of my youthful self in these suits can be found.  My friends who escaped the camera at the time are pleased to point out how unfashionable that look is today, using one of my pictures as an example.  The worst looks were the ones with the leisure suits featuring a polyester, flower-patterned shirts with big collars.  Thanks to the internet and some Boys Club photo albums, I may never live that down.

It would have been easy to be an Urban Cowboy next.  Who does not love a classic American western look?  Following his success in making us all want to look like something out of Saturday Night Fever (which I saw more than once), John Travolta soon convinced us we should change to jeans and ride a mechanical bull.  Yes, the fashion bull kept galloping through our lives and many of us got trampled by it.

It probably would have been better to stick to standard looks that stay in fashion generation to generation.  Frank Sinatra always looked cool.  He has style throughout the ages, even if it was all pretty much the same.  A sharp suit and a fedora hat would have been good, but not as good as a tux with a carnation or other fresh flower and a hat tilted to the perfect angle.

If you do not understand, here’s your primer:

Categories: Culture, Fashion, Rich Paschall

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17 replies

  1. “It is tough when you have to waddle away from the scene of the crime”

    Just punishment too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am impressed with your fashion background, I don’t find men too interested in fashion, basically jeans and polo shirts or t-shirts and work boots, or sneakers is what I see. I dress my hubby, “don’t wear those old man pants” I tell him. He always folds his jeans with creases down front when he takes them off, I hate that….so out of style, I change them. He wears t-shirts and usually ripped and worn jeans, naturally made that way by him….he doesn’t know the good/dress jeans from the work jeans and will wear anything he picks up by the laundry room, he rarely goes in his drawers, where the dressier tops and pants are, he wears whatever is accessible. John is slim and well built, wears 30-30 pants, and 38 chest, small/medium tops, he looks good when he dresses well, very handsome. John is a simple guy, he would dress like a lumberjack most days in cold weather, with long johns and thermal underwear as well. He rarely wears shorts in summer because he doesn’t have “tan” legs, and he hates sleeveless tops, he calls them “wife beaters” you know, a sleeveless men’s t shirt? He doesn’t like wearing shoes without sox, and hates open toed shoes/sandals as well. That is my honey, I dress him when the need calls for it, like weddings, he has the clothes, suits, ties and nice dress shoes, wing tips and loafers, nice slacks and cargo shorts with coordinating polo shirts, looks very classic and handsome. He gets lots of complements when he dresses well. I like a sharp dressed man. He is handsome no matter how he dresses himself, but I think when you have all the genetic goods, small waistline, flat tummy and nice build, why not go with it and wear those nice outfits? He is handsome, did I say that? Always looks so good , similar to Richard Gere in build, white hair, hazel eyes and nice build, 5′ 6″ 145-150 pounds. Fashion is simple for those who remain in good shape, everything looks good, even those flannel shirts and fleece lined jeans with work boots and a beanie cap!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am more into comfort now. I dress up when the occasion calls for it. I think you should work for one of those sites that sells sets of clothes to people so they are coordinated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That would be fun but no $$ in it,and my taste isn’t same as others, I am good at what I’ve learned though, I’ve been into fashion for years and I have many fashion/glamour books, I love Clinton Kelly and Coco Chanel to name a few, have many stylist books and my favorite show was “What Not to Wear” when it was on, now I watch re-runs, still is exciting to me! I enjoy browsing nice clothing stores, and nothing feels better than “sharp” shoes (pointy toes) and nice slacks that fit well, accentuate the positive, hats, especially a Fedora, and accessories, all great for feeling awesome, you should keep it up Rich, just for yourself, its fun too. I receive Stitch Fix boxes, they have men’s wear as well……I am somewhat satisfied with it, but it is overpriced and I know I can do better, I use it for inspiration, but mostly I am not satisfied, they throw in one, or two good pieces and the rest is not so good, overpriced….64.00 dollars for a pair of bermuda shorts? Called navy blue, but not at all, more royal blue, fit well though. I returned 3 pieces. Anyway I am trying to “”, and de-cluttering my life so clothing is one area I have lots of, any occasion I am covered for. My life is casual now, nursing scrubs, uniforms and then casual stuff, active wear and PJs. Need any fashion advice? I am here, I’d do it for fun of it. Those plaid pants could work.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was a bit thinner and perhaps shaped differently when those plaid pants fit me. I always wondered about the Stitch Fix boxes. I think I could just do better myself at the Gap.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. You could see a lot more than their boxer shorts Rich. They were a challenge to a few “plumbers”.
    Leslie 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a pair of patchwork bell-bottoms jeans. Other than making me look like I sat on a waffle-iron, they were GREAT, Long gone, my body having done signifcant reshaping over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I still have a pair of “tie-died” jeans.., died them myself.., and if I do say so myself, they ARE a work of art. Of course I can’t get into them anymore on account of other factors being supersized. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fun walk down “fashion lane!” I’d forgotten about my madras blouse before reading this:)

    Liked by 1 person

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