It's In Your Jeans
by James Tuttle
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.