Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why Are The Fashionistas Attacking 'Dad Pants'? Is Nothing Sacred?

Photo: She overstepped - critiquing dad's Dockers!

Today, Father's Day, you'd think the Fashionistas, i.e. the style fetishists  -obsessed with how people look and dress - would put a sock in it and give Dad a rest. But evidently not. Apparently, a number of fashion Nazis and their media mouthpieces (all in the Neoliberal domain since Socialists don't obsesses over such piffle) are going after Dad,  disparaging his favorite slacks: Dockers. Though comfortable and easy to take care of, the fashionistas declare Dad would be committing an unpardonable crime against style and fashion if he actually received such a gift and wore it.

It's bad enough, of course, that American dads are given short shrift on most network TV fare, often depicted as clowns, willing dupes for their exploitative offspring, or idiots. But then to attack them in the sphere of what clothes they wear is going beyond the acceptable. Doesn't Dad deserve to be the king of his castle, at least for one freakin' day? Doesn't he deserve to wallow in comfort and screw "style" (an ephemeral, effete attribute anyway) at least today?

Okay, let's admit that in some countries wearing the wrong pair of pants can get you into trouble. In Barbados, for example, you do not want to be seen wearing camo pants unless you want to be apprehended, booked and spend several months in the slammer. The law there treats camouflage of any sort as evidence of a terrorist - most likely some breed of American race supremacist (of the nasty sort that tried to take over the island of Dominica in the 1970s.)

But Jeezus Peace! Dockers! Wives, daughters and other female associates are really going to go batshit crazy over Dad wearing Dockers? (Called "Dad Pants") Give me a break!

According to fashion imperialist Robin Givhan, scribbling in the WaPo yesterday:

"The spirit of Father’s Day, fashion’s mass market has turned its attention to men, parenthood and style. A new Dockers advertising campaign stars Sarah Harbaugh lamenting the fashion crisis facing her husband,  San Francisco 49ers football coach Jim Harbaugh. He is the victim, Sarah intones, of  Dad Pants — those terribly unflattering, ill-fitting, excessively pleated trousers that are often favored by men who relish comfort in their clothes above all else. They are saggy trousers that do nothing to flatter a man’s physique"

Hey, Robin! The fashion mass market - the creator of half of all credit card debt for the hoi polloi, can go take a dump. WHY do you think males who merit the designation love these pants? It's because they're not only comfortable, but allow a guy to easily migrate from reading his Sunday paper on the couch to going to the garage to work on a project. Any idiot knows you're not going to wear high fashion Seersucker trousers while adjusting the carburetor! Thus, comfort and venue flexibility mightily figure into the love for these "saggy trousers".  As for "flattering physiques", uh.....hate to break it to you but we aren't parading on a beach or for a fashion show! Sheesh!

Givhan goes on:

"and, indeed, they can make an athletic man resemble a schlump. Famously, President Barack Obama wore a pair of his beloved Dad Jeans in 2009 when he threw out the first pitch at baseball’s All-Star Game. Specifically, they were a pair of baggy, faded dungarees that were a few inches too short. He has since reassured the country that the First Lady has seen to their disposal"

Well, pardon me, but was it really the First Lady's business to dump her hubby's favorite slacks? And what is a "schlump", anyway?   Philosopher Alan Watts, in his book 'Does It Matter?' warns all of us mortals not to give import to material objects, things.  He actually spends one chapter dissing all Western- style wear, discussing how the "fashion" styles actually abuse the body. He takes particular aim at women's high heeled shoes and how they have deformed female feet for decades  - all to appear in "fashion".  He goes on to also elaborate on other abominations, speedos, for example, and then notes the least offensive clothing which is always loose fitting and floppy. Got that?  The best clothing of all? A robe!

Perhaps Givhan's last remark is most telling:

"Buried in that anti-style history, is the reality that Dad Pants — those sad, please-throw-them-out pants — often are representative of a mindset that puts personal vanity at the end of a long list that includes school drop-offs, soccer practice, yard work, saving for college and the grind of a 9 to 5."

Seriously? Puts "personal vanity at the end of long list that includes school drop offs, work etc."  As Watts would warn her, this is exactly where personal vanity belongs! Personal vanity is the bane and likely cause of human destruction in whatever form. There is too much personal vanity from the ubiquitous 'selfie' to the whole solipsist obsession with texting and instagrams. Why not at least give the dads of the country a break in the clothing sphere?   And who says the pants are "sad" or  telegraph "please throw me out"? That is YOUR personally vain impression!

As Alan Watts would acknowledge, only a cosseted individual of extreme personal vanity and self-absorption would condemn or criticize the clothing choices of others.  Especially if those choices deliberately eschewed style for comfort. Only a monumental egotist and narcissist would judge someone's trousers to be disposable when in fact comfort ought to be the primary criterion in the choice of clothes.

Let's give dads across America a break today, and let them enjoy their Dad Pants in peace and comfort - without smart alecky comments or putdowns from those high on fashion but low on I.Q.

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