It occurs to me that teenagers today probably think the exact same thing about me and my boot-cut pants.
I have noticed recently that when I see boot-cut, flared or wide-legged pants being worn in media from 10-15 years ago, it seems a bit out of place. But, nevertheless, I feel badass in my own boot-cut pants, and frumpy in skinnies. So I keep wearing what makes me feel badass, even if Kids Today might be laughing at it. Flares are scheduled to come back in a few years anyway.
I blogged previously about the recent trend among young women of wearing high-waisted pants with shirts tucked in. I recently found out why they do this: they believe it's slimming because the well-defined waist emphasizes how small their natural waist is. This flabbergasted me because, with my fashion awareness having happened just as the last shirt-tucking trend waned and shirt untucking (with narrow shirts) came into fashion, I think an untucked shirt is more slimming because it creates a smoother line, and a tucked shirt is less slimming because it creates a sausage effect. In one of my journeys down an internet rabbit hole, I landed in a fashion forum populated by young women where people posted comparison pictures to prove that high waists and tucking and belting was more slimming, and I genuinely felt that these pictures demonstrated beyond any doubt that an untucked shirt was more slimming. We're looking at the exact same thing and seeing it as a complete opposite!
I'm not going to link to the examples I saw, because it isn't appropriate to send my adult readership to look at pictures of teens and scrutinize their figures with the general message of "See how these kids think they look slim but they really look lumpen!" So, instead, I'm going to show you two pictures of actress Angie Dickinson from the 1950s:
|Angie Dickinson (right) in a belted bodysuit|
|Angie Dickinson in a non-belted bodysuit|
I think the outfit on the left is less flattering, specifically because of the belt. To my eyes, the belt creates a sausage effect with the soft part of her belly above and below, making her tummy below look sticky-outy, and the fleshy bit above look like a roll of fat. Obviously this effect is very minimal on Ms. Dickinson - it's far more pronounced on a person with a more average figure - but you can see the hint of it here. In contrast, I think the outfit on the right is more flattering because it creates a smoother line without any bulges of flesh.
However, people who choose high waists and tucked-in shirts see the picture on the left as more flattering, because the belt is cinched tightly around her waist, showing just how small her waist can be made to go. They'd see the picture on the right as less flattering, because it doesn't necessarily demonstrate the minimum possible circumference of her waist.
This isn't just an evolution of fashion trends, it's a complete change in what different people perceive when looking at the exact same thing! It will be interesting to see how the fashion choices of the belt = thinner contingent evolve as trends change and, eventually, a high waist and tucked-in shirt once again become signs of frumpiness. I've blogged before about differing generational perceptions of pants length. Maybe in a decade or two, we'll also have differing generational perceptions of waistlines.