Real Men Wear It Snug


Mick Jagger would never wear pantaloons. The scrawny-legged rock star is a totem of masculinity in skin-tight leggings. David Bowie, too, was a big fan of flaunting the twins. But it was really Iggy, our precious Iggy, who made the skintight rocker-jean a joy to behold.

And then—poof!—every crotch-cuppin’ pair of denim disappeared from the market. With the dawn of hip-hop, real men wore big, baggy, where’s-the-beef jeans. Only fattened up country-singing losers like Garth and Clint sucked themselves into some ball-squeezing Wranglers (Southern-style birth control at its finest).

Fast-forward to the millennium. The market is just starting to catch up with the legions of delicate boys, the neo-nouveau masculinity, who are bringing back the rock ‘n’ roll styles of the ’70s and ’80s. But there are still too few shopping options for the skinny-pants fanatic. Lots of boys these days have taken to men’s extensions of originally women’s-only brands, like 7 for All Mankind, that while providing a more flattering shape, still don’t have that peg-legged, heroin-is-my-friend fit of the gods. Reduced to surreptitiously skulking through the ladies’ section for a decent pair (one of our editors suggests Canal Jeans, these denied rocker boys don’t hunger for a chance to hang with Ted Leo or to have a one-night stand with Bjork (although that wouldn’t suck). Just give these poor, denied men one pair of pants without the “roomy thighs.” Down with Dockers, bro.

Forward-thinking A.P.C. has been one of the first to notice the trend. Its new skinny jean for men ($120) doesn’t fall too high or too low, is peg-legged, and comes in two of those treasured A.P.C. raw-denim washes. Steven Alan, in addition to stocking the A.P.C. jean (for $145), also carries a pair of dark-wash Rogans for $220—while not super peg-legged, they definitely have a very slim, straight-leg fit. Nudie, a company out of Sweden, have a cut called the Super Slim Kim, which fall super low, with a skinny leg. They sell at Steven Alan for $160 to $220, depending on the choice of wash: black, raw denim, or indigo. Barneys and Barneys Co-op are also two good places for scouting out a new skinny pair, unlike Diesel, Henry Lehr, or G-Star, who all have yet to catch on. “Tight jeans, like rocker jeans?” the Henry Lehr sales associate asked us. “I would suggest just buying women’s. That’s what most guys do.” Well, in the newly enlightened nut-huggin’ future—it looks like they won’t have to.