Today, the New York Times “Styles” section identifies a cultural shift in America that has been a meme of this blog since its inception a little over a year ago: hot men are meant to be ogled. Increasingly, men are dressing in such a way as to lure the female gaze in their direction, particularly their lower half. Whereas American men once wore pants with a seat that could sail a boat, they now gravitate toward a slimmer cut that they once thought was purely European. The new pant is neither tight nor baggy, but just right, as illustrated here by hottie of the moment, Hugh Jackman.
But since all that really matters is the economy these days, let’s take a look at how the New Tight Pant has driven sales. New York–based Bonobos advertises its New Tight Pant in simple straight-dude speak as “awesome fitting trousers.” The Times has the company’s backstory:
Three years ago, Brian Spaly was just another guy at Stanford Graduate School of Business, who in his spare time altered his saggy, baggy pants on his girlfriend’s sewing machine to fit better. (You know, like we all did.) He made and sold a few pair to friends, several of whom came back for more. A school friend, Andy Dunn, saw business potential, and in 2007, the company went online.
The pants range from $110 to $310 and come in lightweight wool, corduroy, and cashmere but fit like jeans thanks to “a novel curved waistband, a medium rise, a narrow-cut thigh and a couple of well-placed darts above each cheek,” the Times explains. But back to the economy: While most retailers ate it this last holiday season, Bonobos made a small killing. Sales increased each month from $163,000 in August to $270,000 in December, with the average customer purchasing four pairs. So, flailing retailers, you want to get shoppers back into stores? Stock up on tight man pants. May as well up-sell mirdles while you’ve got their attention.
A New Angle on Trousers [NYT]