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Men haven’t traditionally worn perfume. Or, you know, “cologne” as we’ve mansplained it since it gained popularity. But then something phenomenal happened in 1994, and no, I’m not talking about Seal releasing his critically-acclaimed self-titled album, “Seal.”
The term “metrosexual” entered the world by way of a column written in The Independent.
I know, I know, it’s been a while since that beautiful compound word has graced your ears. Prior to the metrosexual trend of the 90s, men were shamed for using lotions or gelling their hair. The term refers to any man who “especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this.” Yeah, we can probably attribute all of this to Patrick Bateman. But he also murdered people for sport and squandered his relationship with Reese Witherspoon, so I’ll just attribute it to yuppie culture in general.
Adopting traditionally female trends has never been something I’m averse to. Is it a crime for me to want to smell like limes of the Amalfi Coast? Should I be victimized because I want to emphasize my cowlick with some organic pomade? Should I delete my internet history every time I visit Goop? No, and neither should you.
Every Memorial Day, the world is blessed with one of the Wonders of The World. Pale creatures emerge from their apartments sporting the one article of clothing that screams, “Yes, it is summer.” They aren’t a trend like cutoff jean shorts or palazzo pants. No. They’re a staple from generations before us. White pants.
Traditionally a staple in the feminine wardrobe, men have drooled over them on patios spanning the globe while women have done everything in their power to keep red wine stains off of them. And now, we live in a world where white pants have no boundaries. Where white pants can adorn the hairy legs of men. Where white pants know no gender.
“But Frasier Crane wore white shorts in the third episode of Season 11,” you say. And you’re right. But in these instances, white shorts were reserved for the squash court, casual doubles matches at the country club, or Wimbledon. Wearing white shorts outside of the confines of these accepted habitats was simply taboo, if not completely outrageous.
People would look from afar and point. “Why’s that self-respecting dude wearing white below the waist?” they’d ask. But we don’t live in those despicable times anymore. We live in a world of unisex fashion where you’re not sure if Jaden Smith is wearing a huge t-shirt or an actual dress, and that’s okay.
I, a 30-year-old man in mediocre shape (at best), purchased my first pair of white jeans on the 10th day of June in the year 2017 at J. Crew*. Emerging from a dressing room where I had a pile of cashmere-cotton sweaters, I sought out a pair of pants to try them on with. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted them. A beacon of light in an otherwise dark-washed world. “These may be too small,” I thought as I lifted them from the table. “But let’s give them a shot.”
Snug. Tailored. Clean. Crisp. Refreshing. Perfection.
Up until that moment, I lived in a world – nay, a mindset – where a man wasn’t allowed to put on a pair of white jeans without being ostracized. But as I slid my meaty thighs into that pair of 33x30s, it was like watching ——- for the first time. My world would simply never be the same.
I wondered how I’d be accepted. Yes, of course, Dickie Greenleaf could pull them off. But his father was a rich American businessman who allowed him to summer and sail all through Italy. Would I, a modest Michigander, be lumped in the same category? I wasn’t sure if I was ready to find out.
I was initially asked, “Why do you own white jeans?” I was called a “commercial painter.” I was told that it wasn’t the summer of white jeans even though I was positive that it was.
But then the tides turned.
People began embracing them.
I became – dare I say – a hero.
And I had the attitude that came with it. Cocky. Arrogant. Bold. Indian food in white jeans? More tikka masala, please. Croquet on freshly mowed grass? I was reading my shots from the push-up position. Coupling it with a white linen shirt? That porch had never looked so goddamn bright.
I’m not an influencer. That’s what people with 30,000+ Instagram followers call themselves. I’m just a boy, standing in a pair of white pants, asking the world to love me. And I must say, it’s working. .
*I’m not getting paid to tell you this, but you can buy this same pair online for 30% off using the promo code YESPLEASE. “Yes, please,” indeed.
Image via YouTube