It's In Your Jeans


by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

An iconic new American tradition is about to join the ranks of “mom, baseball and apple pie” and put a little bounce in the step of our national identity.  That’s right, my friends, the first annual Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day was celebrated in West Hollywood right smack in the middle of last weekend’s pre-Halloween craziness.  It takes something big to get those WeHo queens to stop worrying about how to pull off the smallest Halloween costume possible without getting arrested, but it actually worked out quite nicely, considering the go-go boys also have to figure out how to pull off the smallest go-go outfit possible without getting arrested.

Every time Raymond Zommer loses his wallet down the front of his shorts, we sigh a little deeper. (Photo: T. Synnamon)

We dragged our friend Kelly, who was visiting from New York, to meet up with the guys at the newly re-opened and very crowded Revolver on Santa Monica Boulevard on Saturday and took in the sights from there.  In addition to the guys shaking their junk at Mickey’s, Eleven and Revolver, the adjacent street was closed off for the go-go boy competition that featured awards for categories such as Hottest Jock, Best Bootie and Best Package.  Isn’t that sweet?  And there was even a little stage set up down the street in front of the yogurt shop so that families with underage members could enjoy the festivities, too.

Go-Go-Appreciation Day. (Photos: J. Tuttle)

Unlikely though it may seem, I also had a little time to catch up with the second season of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist on Bravo.  The first season was pretty intriguing as a highly talented pool of contemporary artists brought intelligence and originality to their challenges week after week.  One contender was an adorable Obsessive-Compulsive who would sometimes fall asleep in the middle of the challenge only to awaken with some brilliant new ideas for his work.  He also had great hair and good fashion sense, so how could you not love him?

OCD is a bit late-90s Jack Nicholson dramedy, but Miles Mindenhall made it chic again.

I’m finding the show a little harder to warm up to this season.  It could be a typical sophomore slump where the producers are trying to outdo themselves with more complicated challenges and harsher judging.  It might also be the silly opening credits where the contestants are introduced in a montage that looks more like a competition for Who Is the Quirkiest Asshole You Most Want to Punch in the Face.  I personally think it may be the complete and total absence of hot guys.  Well, there was one cute one that got kicked off the first week but our DVR decided to skip that episode because it was pissed off that Scott was forcing it to record the sad Charlie’s Angels reboot, The Playboy Club and Whitney.  In its defense, not even an electronic device should have to put up with shit like that.

Simon de Pury and China Chow flank the Mona Lisa of pop art.

As good as tonight’s challenge might have been, the most interesting one thus far was last week’s foray into Pop Art that was introduced by the artists following a line of tin cans into a room full of stacks of more tin cans surrounding one of Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can paintings flanked by wacky French art luminary Simon de Pury and China Chow, who was wearing what looks like a Sixties Pierre Cardin clown outfit.  And then the challenge was to create a piece of Pop Art.  Wow!  Who saw that coming?

This commentary on fast food was the best piece but the judges didn’t get it.

The first one to start whining was a pretty figurative artist named Jazz-Minh (not a typo), who thinks she was at a disadvantage because she grew up in some hippie commune without a damn TV.  That might be a problem if the challenge was to create Pop Art for the time when Gilligan’s Island and I Dream of Jeannie were on the air but this is for 2011, girl.  Get with the fucking program.  Next up was the aggressively creepy guy who calls himself The Sucklord (sadly, also not a typo) who had a great concept for his piece about Charlie Sheen’s “goddesses” and “tigers’ blood” (i.e. hookers and drugs) so it’s nice that we have the “parental discretion is advised” card after every commercial break.  How many reality shows do you know that get one of those?

The WoA Gallery. (spoiler alert!) The Prop 8 billboard at left was the winning piece .

We also had our first naked bathroom photo shoot where the backdrop came loose and fell on the artist girl’s head so that was fun, too.  After a little drama, some fun critiques and much deliberation, the hippie chick and the totally groovy deaf-mute Japanese guy got sent home for being too lame and too literal.  Good times.

Anyway, my old friend Jason emailed me yesterday with a quick fashion question:  “New jeans…are flap pockets ok?”

Um, no.

In general, I wouldn’t recommend jeans with flap pockets, crazy stitching on the back pockets, rivets or anything else that someone wearing Ed Hardy on the top might wear on the bottom.  The trend in men’s denim right now—and one that follows my own personal aesthetic in general—is cool, clean and classic.

However, if you look like Jon Kortajarena, you can wear any jeans you like, especially these Armanis.

In addition to the indigo in varying shades that will always be current, we’ll be seeing more gray and black denim this season.  There are still some wear-and-tear details and fading but the look will be cleaner and less distressed than before.  Even Balmain, the gold standard of rocker jeans, is darker and more even-toned going forward.

Balmain jeans. Ranging from $980 to $1925. I know, right?

As for shapes, they only do the super skinny fit that rules the runways but not everyone should be wearing those.  In fact, my friend Ethan Reynolds was saying today that he couldn’t wear them and he’s a damn underwear model.  I guess he’s been hitting the squats too hard.  The good news is that the loose fitting jean is making a comeback but you have to keep the rest of your outfit neat to avoid looking like a rumpled paper bag.  Classic straight leg or boot cut jeans will always be around so invest in those if you want to keep them for a while.

Men’s jean silhouettes, super skinny to extra relaxed.

Here’s a general guide for finding jeans to work with your body type:

Athletic guys should wear relaxed, straight and boot cuts but, like Ethan, avoid the skinny jeans.

The slimmer men can wear skinny, straight and boot cuts, but stay away from the relaxed fits, which will make you look lost in your pants.

Stocky guys should stick to relaxed fits and some straight leg jeans but the boot cuts are not for you, I think.  And the skinny ones will obviously make your leg look like a snake that swallowed a small animal on the Discovery Channel so steer clear of those, too.

If Ethan Reynolds can’t wear skinny jeans, don’t worry if you can’t, either. (Ph: N. Caletsos)

Most of all, take your time looking for the right pair because jeans are the things we wear the most but are often the hardest to find.  An important fashion insider tip is that the denim is cut in stacks and the bottom piece comes out larger than the top, so two different pair in the same size could fit very differently.  This variation usually diminishes as the price and quality control go up but fit is still more important than the designer price tag.  I have a pair of Helmut Lang dark denim jeans that I paid $300 for but I never wear them because they’re stiff as a board but I pull my $49 skinny Zara jeans on all the time.  You just never know.

Happy shopping!

Much love,


Comments: 15

  • M.Fay November 2, 20119:40 pm

    I keep forgetting to watch that show. Too many shows…will I ever pick up a book again?! My vote for male jeans is darker the better wirh no back pocket details. Skinny jeans if you play in a band or skateboard otherwise chill somewhere in the middle. Got it?!

    • James Tuttle November 3, 20119:59 am

      I’m with you on the books. I think I only read them when I’m away on holiday anymore. I also think I have to join a band now because I like my skinny jeans and I’m afraid to start skateboarding. Yikes!

  • stacia dunnam (@staciadunnam) November 3, 201112:41 am

    would just like to hit like on the previous comment. and great take down on the jeans issue. always love your point of view

    • Pure Film Creative November 3, 20118:17 am

      I’ll think about adding a “like” button for comments as well as stories in the new format, Stacia. Thanks for the suggestion and for reading.

      — James K.

    • James Tuttle November 3, 201110:00 am

      Thanks so much for joining, Stacia! And the “like” button is a great idea.

  • Margot Montaigne November 3, 20111:23 am

    Darling James, What a STELLAR issue this is!! Your best piece in ages. Your actually writing about things i find so interesting and amusing. (I just wasn’t relating to all the haute couture for the 1%, and trash reality for the bottom half of the 99%). I love hearing about the WEHO scene I miss so much! (remember how I used to feed those gogo boys $ bills like a Vegas slot machine:-) The bravo Art Show sounds interesting and I WILL watch it. And whats more important to EVERYONE than good jeans–great advice!!
    You always give great pics, but this weeks are especially yummy!!
    For me, this was your most enjoyable chapter to date, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!!
    CONGRATS!! Margot XO

    • Pure Film Creative November 3, 20118:15 am

      I completely agree, Margot. I found the information useful, personally. This is the kind of thing we need to isolate and highlight in the New Format.

    • James Tuttle November 3, 201110:20 am

      Hi. Margot! Thanks so much. I do try to make what’s happening on the runways relatable and share particularly inspiring fashion moments with readers who wouldn’t otherwise have those things on their radar. As for reality TV, that’s just a guilty pleasure.
      Come back to L.A. soon. Those go-go boys need you!
      Thanks for your support, my dear,

  • Lisa Norcia November 3, 20118:38 am

    Loved it James!!! Good one. I have to say Margot put it perfectly and I remember her and the Go-Go boys of days gone by. Very informative jeans article. I’m going to print it up for David to read. xoxoxo.

    • James Tuttle November 3, 201110:22 am

      Thank you, Lisa! “Margot and the Go-Go Boys” sounds like a great idea for a movie. I hope David likes the jeans info, too!

  • Greg November 3, 20118:56 am

    Great article again, James. I disagree with you tho on the skinny jeans. People inclined to wear those should follow suit with the OWS crowd… only 1% of those wearing them can pull them off. The other 99%… well, let’s just say that it’s simply an assault on the eyes, especially when they’re pulled down below their butt cheeks. Flash back to the scene in “Clueless” when Cher disses the collection of the “hip” guys as they walk down the sidewalk, concluding with, “… and we’re supposed to swoon?” And, with your friend Ethan be at Jonathan Adler tonight? He’d certainly be appreciated.

    • Pure Film Creative November 3, 20119:31 am

      Oh, he just compared skinny jeans to the OWS movement. That is very inspired. Maybe I should riff about that in a post…

      — James K.

    • James Tuttle November 3, 201110:27 am

      Hi, Greg! I think people have been scarred by the sight of people wearing skinny jeans who shouldn’t be and we don’t necessarily notice the guys on whom they look perfectly fine. I agree with you, though, in that people should wear what looks good on them regardless of the trends. Unfortunately, Ethan is in Vegas or I’m sure he’d have been happy to join the party.
      Thanks for coming along,

  • oldancestor November 3, 20118:42 pm

    Another gem, Mr. Tuttle. I laughed (at the text) and cried (at the pics).

    Keep covering the art show on Bravo. Nicely done.

    – Eric

    • James Tuttle November 3, 20119:39 pm

      Don’t cry, Eric! If you eat right and exercise, we’ll have your pictures on here in no time. I’m glad I could make you laugh, though.
      And you should watch the show. I think you’d really like it.
      Thank you,

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