Now I’m not one to rally against the stupidities of fashion (the other day I was tempted to buy a pair of white skinny jeans. I didn’t, student money worries are holding me back at the minute), but Topman seems to be taking it a bit too far at the moment.
When going through a brief ‘emo’ phase at the age of 16, Topman was my secret little haven. Brightly coloured t-shirts and scarves that looked like they’d been made out of my Nan’s dishtowel made me feel like I was rebelling against the chav culture in their Sergio Tacchini tracksuits. I bought my first pair of skinny jeans from that shop (sadly, they died last year on an impromptu drunken trip on a bouncy castle. Even mum’s sewing couldn’t fix them), and up until last summer, Topman was the best shop in the world for me.
That was before the invention of the ridiculous style of jeans called ‘carrot’. Or to the untrained observer, the jeans that make the wearer look like they’ve just passed an anvil from their backside. For people who don’t generally shop at Topman or River Island, carrot jeans, if we start from the bottom up, begin rather well. They have skinny legs, would go well with a pair of boots if that’s your style, or if not, wouldn’t look out of place sitting atop a pair of pumps. Then the problems start. The seat of the jeans (or the bum, for most of us) hangs about 6 inches below the crotch. They do, in essence, look like a carrot. Which just makes the wearer look like they’ve been caught short and opted to poo themselves instead of making the dash for the little boy’s room. This is not stylish. You look like a tool. Especially the people who wear carrot jeans with elasticated ankles. When I grew up I decided it was time to stop wearing clothing with elasticated ankles. Obviously trendsetters do not want to let me do this.
But Topman’s crimes to the religion of jeans do not stop there. The other day when walking into Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre, I was tempted to see if the store had shipped in any good new clothing. Riding up the escalator, the tension increased. Would I be rewarded for my loyalty after Carrotgate? Could they redeem themselves in my eyes? All that was needed was a 32 regular pair of skinnies, and Topman would be forgiven for its vegetable inspired sins.
Instead of exonerating the clothing giants, I was greeted instead by a hideous sight. More carrot jeans?
No. Much, much worse.
Wikipedia, the fount of all knowledge whether it is correct or not, defines an arc as ‘a closed segment of a differentiable curve in the two-dimensional plane; for example, a circular arc is a segment of the circumference of a circle.’ First they decide to base my jeans on vegetables, and now on slices of geometric shapes! The main complaint with arc jeans though, is that they look the wearer look like they’ve suffered from rickets since a child. Hanging there on the coat hanger, my first thought was that if my legs looked like that, I’d never be able to play football again for fear of being nutmegged thirty times in a match. At least.
My second was that at least I’d be able to get a job as a bridge somewhere. No need to warn the lorries that they won’t make it through, plenty of room through my deformed, bow legged, arc jeans wearing legs.
There is a silver lining to this story however. Whilst faffing around with inventing new jean styles to make the wearer look continually stupid, at least Topman have not succumbed to naming their jeans. Not names like ‘skinny’, ‘slim’, or ‘bootcut’. Rather the famous people who have worn those styles in the past. Like ‘Sid’, ‘James’, and ‘Kurt’. I saw you do it River Island. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever. Fire the guy with the earring and the Chinese tattoo on his inner arm in marketing.
Just give me a pair of decent skinny jeans. Both of you.