Why are Men Terrible Dressers?
From Trump’s enormous leg skirts to Jim Davidson’s below-waist bungalow curtains, our Style Director investigates why it is that the world’s most awful men have such universally atrocious taste in trousers.
IT WAS RECENTLY pointed out to me by one of the more eagle-eyed editors on the GQ features desk that many of the world’s most terrible men wear utterly appalling, flappy-as-you-like (and crappy-as-you-don’t) trousers.
My colleague’s observation was proved true when an image of seaside variety performer and famed bigot Jim Davidson surfaced last week. In the shot he’s pictured unveiling a crudely painted portrait of Nigel Farage while wearing what can only be described as below-the-waist bungalow curtains, cut from a high-shine form of flame-retardant flannel.
Digging a little further, we quickly realised that Davidson, as my colleague suspected, was not the sole culprit at large. There are plenty more megalomaniacal men who also favour trousers that could easily fit a family of four within each leg.
In pretty much every picture of Donald Trump, for instance, he can be seen wearing navy suit trousers with such wide births and deep breaks that you’d be forgiven for mistaking them for stretches of the Suez Canal. Likewise, arch-pig Harvey Weinstein, who was recently pictured wearing trousers so deeply puddled around his shoes they looked as though he’d dropped them to go about his business (the lack of pot plants in shot quickly put paid to that misreading).
And then there’s Kim Jong-un. Though the cuddly despot’s Mao jackets are actually surprisingly flattering in their simplicity, the unnervingly stiff, inexplicably capacious trousers are cut less like drainpipes, more like the water slides at the Guildford Spectrum.
Flappy fabric connective tissue between the men identified, the more pressing question is why they all choose to wear such massive trousers in the first place. Are their enormous slacks the secret handshake equivalent for the society of massive globally destructive thunderc*nts? Or are they simply an indicator that these men, as suspected, give absolutely no mind to anyone but themselves. According to Ethan Sweet, head of bespoke at London-based tailoring house Thom Sweeney, it’s more about consistency of message.
“In my experience, when dressing more powerful figures, they tend to have very clear rules on what they like and how they see themselves dressing,” says Sweet. “The men you mention have very particular ideas of what they believe their image should consistently look like and that most likely hasn’t changed for decades. Consistency is key.”
But why such wide trousers specifically? “I'd say the tailor, if there is one, has absolutely no input in what is happening here other than producing their desired garment,” says Sweet. “Perhaps these men have extremely large feet and require excessively wide trousers so they don't get stuck when pulling them on – though, that’s probably not it,” he muses. “The only common thread here is they all seem to be slightly overweight, requiring a roomier fit in the waist and leg.”
That being said, it could just be about laziness. It’s not as if these any of these guys can’t afford the time or money to employ a good tailor. And, let’s face it, they’re the kind of men who clearly care very little about how they look in a vanity sense – Trump’s, um, hair (?) being a good follicular case study. It’s a point which suggests that their trousers might just be their final two inflated, inverse fingers up to the slim-cut good taste demonstrated by the self-reflexive lefty liberals Trump and co so love to hate (Obama looked just peachy in those tapered olive chinos last week, didn’t he?)
Or perhaps it’s just an age thing. Tubular blankies which you can wear around your legs all day must provide some level of comfort when you’re a corpulent septuagenarian with a heart of stone, one imagines.
“I really don’t believe we all eventually fall into this ‘giving-up age’ trap,” says Sweet. “Whatever age you are, you still have the opportunity to choose what you like – if you care, that is. But I guess most old dictators or men of power don’t really care,” he continues. “Most commonly people wear particular styles repetitively because it's simply what they are used to, like Trump Sellotaping his tie down. Old habits clearly die hard.”