Spam Box is a monthly section where The Secret Handshake attempts to answer all your rants, hate letters and random questions. In all honesty, there's no such thing as a dumb e-mail, but some are clearly better than others. Note: All letters to The Secret Handshake are on the record unless otherwise specified. Now, on to this month’s pic: ---
Dear Colin, I know how much you hated meggings, so I figured I’d shoot you a quick men’s-fashion question. To start, the guy in the cubicle next to me is a colossal douche and he's constantly half-tucking his jeans into these big floppy, leather boots. I think he looks like big goddamned idiot, but what do I know? Am I wrong in thinking this trend is lazy and unacceptable? Or are my overwhelming feelings towards his douchiness clouding my judgment? Sincerely, Confused and Angry in Lehi
Confused and Angry, Just so you know, I’m the last person you should be getting fashion advice from. But on the other hand, I have a preternatural ability for spotting douche bags -- so I’ll give it my best shot. Based on what I know, it would appear you're 100 percent in the right for feeling this way. I, too, have noticed the growing trend of half-tucked-in pants and jeans and I can say with some certainty that history will not look kindly on the half-tuck. But in order to really understand what’s going on here, we need to look at the big picture.
First of all, this is nothing new. As far as we know, this trend has been around since the first Vatican guard was fired for drinking on the job. It’s a trend spawned from sheer laziness and maybe a little bit of desperation (which also explains why neck beards are on the rise). As long as the man-child exists, this trend is not going away.
Celebrities, like Justin Timberlake, have endorsed it and it’s even gotten to the point where there are actually rules for nonchalantly looking liking like a slob. In a recent New York Times article, fashion editor Madeline Weeks for GQ said, “It’s definitely a good look. But the proportion of the boot and the pants has to be right. You don’t want to the boots to be too short or too tall — say, four to six inches above the ankle, or up to eight if you’re really going to go there.” Daaaaaarrrgh!
Now, let us not confuse our hatred towards half-tucked in pants with fully tucked in pants. The old-fashioned “tuck in the boot” is grounded in practicality. History’s biggest badasses, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, Luke Skywalker and Batman, all sported the full pant-in-the-boot look. It’s a functional way to dress; it also keeps out snakes, ticks and anything that can latch onto your genitals. It’s smart.
But this cavalier, half-tucked mumbo-jumbo is a whole different story. My guess is that your co-worker isn’t a woodsy outdoorsmen, a motorcycle enthusiast or even a man who has accidentally found himself downhill skiing while unfortunately wearing jeans. I bet he’s going for the “I’m not trying while simultaneously trying extra hard to look like I’m not trying ... look.” If this is the case, then you're dealing with an insufferable douche.
You might be asking yourself, “Well, hold up -- what if I pair this look with a black, leather duster?” This an affirmative, hell, yes! Toss a sword in that ensemble and you've got yourself a winning combination. Then again, accessorizing a sword and a duster with any outfit just looks awesome.
So, where does this leave you? Well, it would appear you're screwed. But, look at the bright side -- now that the Bluetooth ear piece is slowly phasing itself out of the genetic cycle, the half-tuck is a surefire way for all of us to properly identify a dingleberry from long distance. In other words, let the hate flow through you.