Nice pants...what gives?
June 18, 2006 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Why are pin-striped pants so...hotter?

in this instance i'm interested in the aesthetic appeal, as in "is there some visual effect of pin-stripes that accentuate certain lines/profiles/curves thereby increasing human appeal?" but that's just a crazy hypothesis, and kind of presumes that pin-stripes are consistently thought to be hotter across the planet (are they really?) and that some effect created by those curvy verticle lines is the key. there could perfectly well be other reasons the pin-stripes work (e.g., a la hazelshade & ruelle's points re: association with a previous social class populated by the wealthy/powerful). any other ideas or opinions for the increased 'appeal'? (and how widely held is it?)
posted by garfy3 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you mean hot temperature or hot sexy?
posted by dual_action at 10:15 AM on June 18, 2006

I'm assuming the OP means "hotter" in the sexy/stylish sense, because of the "nice pants" in the post title.

I think they're hot because they evoke the past: when men were men and women wore dames and everyone wore hats. (Why don't people wear hats anymore? We should bring that back.)

Basically they're sorta old-school, and cool in that respect. To my mind, at least. Whenever I see a guy in pinstripe pants I think back to certain scenes of Citizen Kane, where Orson Welles rocks a pin-striped suit and looks mighty fine doing it. Mmm, tasty pinstriped genius.
posted by hazelshade at 10:37 AM on June 18, 2006

Haha, sorry: that should read "when men were men and women WERE dames." Not *wore* them. That would be another type of comment entirely.
posted by hazelshade at 10:38 AM on June 18, 2006

Apparently the formula for success is "Look Irish, Dress British and Think Yiddish".

This comment was brought to you by a lazy Sunday afternoon reading of the Financial Times.
posted by ruelle at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2006

pinstripes also make legs look longer and thinner == hotter.
posted by muddgirl at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2006

Pinstripes also call attention to the shape (and therefore the stylishness) of the pants themselves. Without them you probably wouldn't take (as) much notice of whether a pair of black pants are the cheapest thing the department store had or the work of a fine tailor.
posted by winston at 11:17 AM on June 18, 2006

When you see someone wearing tight-fitting black pants, there are two lines that define the shape of the wearer: The left and right borders of the pant material. With pinstripes, you get 20 times as many lines and thus, the definition of the pinstriped person's body is much more clear. It's all about resolution.
posted by nomad at 11:21 AM on June 18, 2006

According to this article clothing with vertical stripes helps to elongate the body, making it look taller and slimmer.
posted by concourse at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2006

To stripe a surface serves to distinguish it, to point it out, to oppose it or associate it with another surface, and thus to classify it, to keep an eye on it, to verify it, even to censor it.

In The Devil's Cloth
A History of Stripes and Striped Fabric,
Michel Pastoureau makes some interesting connections between the transgressive nature of striped clothing in history and the 'hot, bad' nature of stripes today. You might find this article interesting, too.
posted by maryh at 12:31 PM on June 18, 2006

Note that — for the desired effect — the stripes must be vertical.
posted by rob511 at 3:51 PM on June 18, 2006

damn you rob511!
posted by garfy3 at 5:34 PM on June 18, 2006

hazelshade, I can't believe I'm commenting on this but supposedly hats are "back" - fedoras for men, according to random celebrity magazines.
posted by tozturk at 8:56 PM on June 18, 2006

I just returned from London, and very sharp looking pinstripe suits were everywhere. I don't know if that is the norm, or I just don't see a lot here in small town Florida. As a female I love pinstripe trousers. I think they make a person look thinner, and taller. I wore a pair to death, so I need to shop for another pair.
posted by LoriFLA at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2006

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