I was browsing on Twitter and found this article from the Washington Post called “Tight Squeeze: Making Room For a New Men’s Fashion”. First of all, I’m pretty sure this is not new (Wikipedia dates the style as originating from the 1950s). Secondly, if you can’t move properly in your everyday clothing I think you have serious problem of fashion over function. This applies to both men and women alike.

For me, fashion should be a mash-up between your own personal style, current trends, practicality and comfort. Some put more emphasis on ease of movement and comfort while others veer quickly into the “trendy” aspect where practicality is thrown out the window. Quoted from Ray A. Smith’s article:

“Doug Black has found himself in a tight squeeze more times than he cares to remember. One day, he got caught in the rain without an umbrella and was unable to run. When his colleagues sat in a circle, the 23-year-old English teacher from Portland, Ore., couldn’t cross his legs. And when he tried to jaywalk, while in Beijing for work, he couldn’t hop the median divider with his friends.”

Although I am aware it happens, I don’t think it’s quite often that you hear guys having trouble with fashion and comfort. Also, even if I talk about 3-inch heels on this blog, there is such a thing as a comfortable heel (another issue entirely). I’m glad that Doug Black is happy with his style but I personally would not want to have to deal with the hassle of such tight jeans.

I have been reluctant to participate in this trend for a long time now. Part of the reason is because I love the freedom of movement and comfort I get with traditional styles, but skinny jeans (more often than not) go against that. I think the issue is that the cheaper brands tend to cut their jeans in slightly awkward ways (too tight at the feet, too loose at the top) and the quality of the fabric makes it more likely to shrink in the wash and require them to be broken in all over again. Personally I wondered if I didn’t have the body for this type of fashion, like how some body types don’t suit certain fashions. I have seen many women and men who have tried to pull this style off, only to wear the jeans too tightly (in a size too small), so their legs ended up looking like sausage links instead of svelte. Also what about those muffin tops…

Couldnt bring myself to post a human muffin top on this blog

Couldn't bring myself to post a human muffin top on this blog

It’s totally possible that there are people out there with bodies built for skinny jeans, but I worry about the majority of us that are probably damaging nerves in our hips as we wear them. I don’t think people are conscious of the condition “meralgia paresthetica”, described as: “a numb, pins-and-needles tingling feeling along your thigh…weird burning or itching sensation down your upper leg.” The article goes on to explain that “This condition is caused by constant pressure cutting off the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.” Wait so…we’re cutting off our nerves because of how tight our clothes are? That’s when you know there’s something wrong with what you’re wearing!

Thankfully, in the article I quoted above, it states the higher end brands have been creating more accommodating versions of this denim for men, particularly in the upper thigh and crotch areas. It sounds like the guys can keep wearing their skinny jeans without worrying about their deteriorating lateral femoral cutaneous nerves afterall.

Despite all of my misgivings about this style, a new type of skinny jeans have gotten me intrigued: Yoga Jeans. The article mentions jeans made by “Second Clothing”, the claim being that these jeans are so comfortable that you can perform yoga moves while you wear them. Ever since I read an article on them in the Metro newspaper a couple weeks ago, I’ve decided to set out and review a pair of these jeans for you, my dear reader!

Check back tomorrow for my review and pictures of my purchase. I will also make a follow-up review after a day of walking and running about in them. Let’s hope they stand up to their claims or I won’t have much of a blog post :).

My final word on skinny jeans? Anyone can wear them, as long as they actually “fit” correctly and feel comfortable. My only reservation is when the style is unflattering and a potential medical problem waiting to happen.

– Vic De Zen