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Bieber wears Girly Pants – So?

A couple of days ago, I read an article about Justin Bieber wearing women’s jeans. As a costumer, I just kind of shrugged it off, since costumers dress actors in whatever’s necessary to get the look a designer wants. But then my husband asked me about the difference between men’s and women’s pants, and I was reminded that a lot of people don’t know the history of clothing & how it’s constructed.

First of all, I can’t believe that Bieber admitted that he wears women’s jeans – he MUST know there are haters just waiting to eat him alive for comments like that! As expected, most opinions of this news are that it’s just wrong or that he’s got to be gay. I have my own theory, but first let’s look at some more clothing history.

Fashion has customarily been very gender-based – men wore pants & women wore skirts or dresses, which means trousers of all kinds were originally for men only.

Also, you may have noticed that men’s & women’s shirts button in opposite ways, with men’s shirts closing left over right & women’s closing right over left. Before the 20th century, men commonly dressed themselves, while women usually had assistance with their elaborate undergarments and multiple layers.

Clothing makers believed that it was easier to button a shirt on yourself when it closed left over right, but trying to button a shirt like this for someone else would be difficult because it would be reversed. So, by that logic, the direction of women’s buttons was changed to make it easier for those who were dressing them. (There is something to that logic – have you ever tried to wear a shirt that buttons for the opposite sex? It’s hard when it’s backwards!)

Fast forward to the 20th century with women’s rights accumulating in the unisex fashion of the 1980s. Most basic sweat suits (the ’80s version of the ’70s leisure suit) still look unisex regardless of the tags on the inside! Pants have always been – and still are – fastened as if they are only for men, with only the occasional women’s dress pant buttoning backwards (usually much to the annoyance of the lady wearing them).

I’m sure you’ve heard of modern women raiding the closets of the men in their lives. One day it may not be considered so weird when dudes borrow from a girl’s closet. Skinny jeans? Boyfriend sweaters? Wifebeater tanks? They’ve all traditionally been for one gender but have since appeared on the other’s racks at the mall. And lots of other famous guys (especially in the music world) have learned to view clothing by style and cut before they even glance at the tag. It’s all about the overall look.

So Mr. Bieber found something he likes in the girls’ department that just happens to work as a men’s clothing piece. Not surprising. My theory is that he likes the fit of women’s jeans better because he isn’t wearing them the way a girl would – therefore, they fit him differently.

For some reason, many young men still think they look cool when they wear their pants way too low & much too big – a style known as sagging. (It’s been at least 30 years! Why hasn’t this ridiculous prison trend died yet?!) Bieber seems to be conscious of wanting droopy pants without the side effect of them being too big in the waistband to stay up well. See, females have curvy hips, whereas males are generally straighter. So he probably likes the way women’s jeans are tighter in the waistband but cut bigger in the hips. This would give him the feeling of larger pants without worrying about losing them in front of an adoring fashion-conscious crowd.

How he wears his pants may look silly to some, but at least in his words he’s “comfortable”. So let’s not worry too much about which section of the clothing store he buys his pants. It’s just a tag on the inside!

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8 responses to “Bieber wears Girly Pants – So?

  1. Charles September 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I’ll never forget William Shatner saying that he and Patrick Stewart wore panty hose under their pants in the Nexus while riding those horses. It was to prevent chafing. Ha. Ha. Ha. Semper ubi sub ubi.

  2. Athene September 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    This is a good theory and I think you’re right. He has the right idea in at least getting pants that he doesn’t have to hold up all the time….! I think he’s weird for telling the world this info too, but he likes his fame and he likes people to talk about him! I can admit that some of his songs are a little catchy, but he just seems really cocky to me. He just comes off looking like he is full of himself. I can’t really stand him based on that.

  3. Dustin September 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Firstly, I’m a non-belieber, I can’t stand him, glee, or any other current teen crap. I agree with Athene, he seems too cocky for a 12 year old (yeah, I know he’s really 16 or something).
    Anyhow… I used to work in a jeans shop, and I remember two young guys coming in. They were ‘skaters’ (skate-boarders) and they were were about 13 or 14 years old so they were probably skipping school, and they were looking at the women’s black ‘skinny’ (stove-pipe) jeans. I was surprised, it was so unusual, plus it was a conservative town. I can’t remember exactly why they said they wore women’s jeans but I think it was either because they were SO tiny and skinny that the mens’ jeans were far too big for them, or they weren’t ‘skinny’ enough in the leg. So the women’s size 6 (Australian, which is about a size 2 or 4 U.S.) fit them in the style that they liked. I guess the kids brands didn’t make the right style. Anyway, the guys were really cool about it and showed no sign of embarrassment, and I’m an open-minded person so I was very polite and understanding toward them. Actually I was impressed by their attitude.
    They didn’t end up buying the jeans because they had to go home first and ask their Mothers for some money.

    • Brooke September 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      That’s a great story! And for a couple of years, the skinny pants were only offered in the women’s section – maybe that’s partly why those kids were looking there, aside from smaller sizes. Nowadays, so many of the women’s trends have migrated to the men’s clothing racks (low-rise, skinny, etc) that it’s a little easier to shop in any section.

      I used to have to shop in the little girls’ (pre-teen) section before heels were worn with jeans. I’ve never been big enough to graduate to the actual women’s clothing and I shop in the juniors’ (aka teens), but junior jeans used to be too short for me. As soon as the jeans & heels became so popular, the extra inches I needed were added to juniors’ jeans and now they’re usually too long with sneakers! Crazy fashion trends! =)

      • Dustin September 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

        I had a friend who was very small, and she sometimes shopped in the junior section of our equivalent of Wal-Mart. We were both students at the time, and she worked part time at an ice-cream parlour and had to pay rent! So she was a bargain hunter. No choice.
        She showed up to class one day wearing a bomber jacket with ribbed cuffs and the sleeves ended just below the elbow. I thought it was the style and it looked cool on her, then she told me it was a kids jacket! I’d never heard anything like it before, so now your story sounds very familiar.

  4. john August 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Sometimes women jeans fit and feel better , the stretch they often include in the denim makes it much more accommodating than guy jeans ! I am 32 and I often wear Miss Me brand Jeans . They feel wonderful and fit incredibly well. When I wear them out to a club I often find women must be into it Because i meet and date more women when i wear Miss Me Jeans than if i was wearing plain old stiff levis canvas bag jeans ! Wearing jeans can make you gay ! I love and adore women . And i date way more women than the average guy /

    • Brooke August 29, 2014 at 8:27 am

      As long as a guy isn’t wearing glitter jeans or jeans covered in embroidered flowers, the average person is never going to notice. Good for you for wearing what you like and not worrying about which department something is sold in! Proper fit and confidence go a long way! =)

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