Style·Point of view

These see-through pants and mud-stained jeans leave us begging for basics

A heartfelt message to their creators to just leave pants alone (or at least focus on the real issues).

A heartfelt message to their creators to just leave pants alone (or at least focus on the real issues).


Look, I love spring fashion as much as the next person. Aside from blooming tulips and increasingly later sunsets, trendy tees and breezy trousers are among my favourite things ushered in by the season's slightly warmer weather. It's a time when designers and retailers are finally freed from the shackles of heavyweight fabrics and get to have a little fun. But if this year's spring offerings prove anything, they're having a little too much fun, at least in the pants department.

Earlier this week, TopShop made headlines for unveiling a pair of completely see-through moto pants:

For the price of $100 CAD, you can now embody your grandma's living room furniture AND let everyone know when you're approaching, thanks to the soothing, squeaky sound of plastic brushing up against itself. That is, if you can get rid of that wedgie for long enough to stand up and walk around.

Not to be outdone, Nordstrom quickly made news with another take on clickbait blue jeans, these PRPS mud-stained monstrosities:

A steal at $605 CAD, this machine-washable hunk of denim claims that its "crackled, caked-on muddy coating... shows you're not afraid to get down and dirty." Because that's what we all buy pants for, right? To fill in the gaps left by our personalities?

Though their price points are ridiculous, and neither item is particularly "wearable", these pairs of pants aren't exactly out of the ordinary when it comes to fashion. Apart from being something we all put on our bodies every day, clothing is a form of expression and, in many ways, it's meant to be experimental, even impractical. Also, as someone who once purchased a faux fur fuchsia beret adorned with a large sequined bow thinking it would be a fun and functional winter staple, I personally don't really have legs to stand on when it comes to critiquing frivolous items (even if those legs are covered in a solid, stain-free denim).

What I find truly maddening about these spring arrivals is more of an existential issue: why can't we just leave pants alone?

Pants are FINE. Great, even, sometimes, if the fit and fabric is just right! There's a reason that they've stayed pretty much the same in their construction in the 3,000 years since horseriders first tried them on. They provided women with an alternative to skirts and dresses and allowed them to take on jobs usually reserved for men. They (generally) work just how they're supposed to, shielding our extremities from snow, sun, rain and aggressive air conditioning systems. Mostly, they're not having an identity crisis, so there's no need to outfit them with the sartorial equivalent of a red Ferrari.

Of course, this is not to say that everyone should be sporting the same kind of boring slacks throughout the year. But, we've already created enough variety, haven't we? Between flares, bootcut, skinnies, trousers, joggers, wide-leg, mom, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, cargo, corduroy, distressed, raw, low-rise, high-rise, cropped, khaki and tearaway there's enough styles, colours and patterns to cycle through every season for the rest of time!

And okay, sure, if you absolutely must tinker around with the design, why not start with those minor imperfections that have been haunting an otherwise flawless item of clothing since its inception instead of going for the shameless money grab full of peacocking promises. Need some inspiration? Here are a few fixes to start with:

Wider selection of inseam lengths

Instead of spending money producing all those pairs of mud-stained denim, why not mix in a few more inseam lengths for those who may be taller or shorter than the average? Speaking as someone who is quite short but never has the drive to take anything to the seamstress to be hemmed, I would personally benefit greatly from this endeavor, and I have a lot of long-legged friends who would too!

Pockets that are juuuuust right

They're either too small to fit even the slimmest of cell phones, or they're cavernous wells that fold up inside themselves creating weird bunchy sections underneath each hipbone. There has got to be a better way!

Seams and edges that don't leave painful grooves in your body that last for hours

Just once I'd like to take off a pair of pants without seeing their lasting imprint all over my legs. If we can find a way to cushion our walls from pesky, dent-making doorknobs, a solution for pants that dent our flesh should be right around the corner, yes?

Getting rid of button up flys once and for all

Because you never remember that you wore those pants with the stiff buttons in the place of the zipper until you really, really have to go to the washroom, right?

Upping the general coziness level

Leggings exist for a reason, and while that's another debate for another article, there's a reason they're so popular.

So please, dear, sweet, inventive designers: stop trying to make pants better with the addition of elements found in nature or melted-down water bottles. Until you've got a functional substitute, we're fine with pants just the way are. That is, of course, unless society deems it suitable for us to never wear them again.