Posted in Opinions and Thoughts

A Plea for Some Male Sartorial Sense

Once upon a time, women wore their pants on their waists and men wore their pants on their hips. In recent years, however, the craze for low-rise pants struck both women and men. Women’s fashion now includes pants and skirts that sit on one’s hips as well as styles that sit on one’s waist.

Since men’s pants already sit on the hips, there really was no place for the low-rise craze to go. Or so one might think.

Not to be outdone by the women’s sinking waistband, males began wearing their pants lower on the hips. And even lower. And now, you’ll see boys (I deliberately use “boys” here because I don’t think that any man in his right mind would dress like this) who wear their pants below their butt cheeks so that their boxer shorts are visible.

The “style” has gone from super-baggy pants to slim-fit pants but the results remain the same – ridiculous. It is made even more ridiculous when the visible boxer shorts don’t match the shirt. And even more ridiculous that that is if the boy is wearing a belt with that pair of pants. What’s the purpose of that belt? To keep the pants cinched underneath those boxer-covered butt cheeks?

What makes these boys think that anyone wants to see their underwear? And if they really think that someone wants to see their underwear, then why bother wearing pants that just cover their legs? Why not just go out in their boxer shorts and tube socks? I suppose one positive of this “style” is that these boys need to make sure they have clean underwear. I hope so, at any rate!

I can’t even go into how this silly “style” affects one’s stride and gait. This “style” certainly makes it easier for police to win foot chases. Although I’ve noticed that this silly “style” is gaining traction in work pants as well as dress pants.

It really can’t be comfortable for the boys who wear their pants this way. I can’t imagine that constantly adjusting and tugging on the pants to make sure that they don’t just fall off completely would be a comfortable way to spend the day.

So here’s my plea – please, please, please, boys, pull your pants back up to your hips. At least. I don’t want to see your underwear. No one but your mother and your significant other wants to see your underwear or your butt cheeks (boxer-covered or not). There’s an appropriate place and time for that and in public is not that place and time.

I’d like to take my plea one step further and ask for long-sleeve button-down shirts with ties (very sexy, in my opinion) but I know that’s too much to expect. So for now, please just pull your pants up, boys!

The thought processor churns on . . .

Posted in Running

Running Fashion – VPL

I received the February 2011 issue of Runner’s World on Monday and was intrigued at the thought of an article reviewing underwear. That’s right. An entire article – complete with pictures and tester testimonials – about underwear. I’ve read articles reviewing running shoes, cold weather running gear, sports bras, hydration gear, energy gels, and energy bars. But I’ve never read an article that reviewed running underwear.

Color me naive but I had no idea that there was special underwear for running. Underwear is underwear, isn’t it? Grab the nearest clean pair and you’re good to go, right?

Apparently not! There’s underwear that helps wick sweat away, underwear made with silver fiber to help reduce odor-causing bacteria, underwear made out of wool to keep everything toasty, and more. Who knew that underwear was such an important consideration when getting ready for a run?

The reviews on women’s underwear made me chuckle at first. However, as I thought a bit more about it, I cringed because one thing that all the reviews contained was whether the undies gave the user a visible panty line (or VPL for those that enjoy acronyms). And I thought, “Really?! When a woman goes out for a run, does she really think about whether she has VPL or not?”

I’ve always thought that runners are pretty unassuming and down-to-earth people. The kind of people who throw on their running clothes, grab their electronic gadgets, and go. People who are more concerned with comfort than sartorial splendor. People who are more worried about chafing than chic-ness. No stopping at the full-length mirror on the way out the door. No preening. No wondering if the running outfit makes them look fat. No worrying about whether their panty lines are showing.

But then I remembered the whole shorts versus skort debate that raged a couple of years ago and realized that to some runners, fashion is part of their running identity. For some runners, a good run includes looking good while they’re running. For some runners, wearing a color-matched outfit is as important as fueling properly before, during, and after a run. I know that when I feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, it makes a difference in my performance – whether I’m running or at the office.

At the end of the day, the important thing isn’t what you wore for your run, it’s that you went for your run. So, if you’ve been putting off running because you’re worried about VPL in your running tights, you no longer have an excuse.

Happy running!