To be clear: the skinny jean in its original black guise has a rightful place in the history of men's fashion, the kind championed by Hedi Slimane during his time at Dior Homme, and later at Saint Laurent. The kind worn by tall, skinny, Rizla-rolling types since at least 2009.
But, there's an unholy modern mutation of the skinny jean that we need to talk about. One lurking in the back of the provincial nightclub and in the changing room of a thousand branches of Fitness First; being forced on after another MASSIVE leg day. Denim sausage casings covering the waxed quads of a million guys who have their white coupes on finance and still call every other male in a bar "Fella." Possibly "Big Fella," if you're quite big.
We are of course talking about the super skinny (preferably ripped) jean, a trend, if we can call it that, that has been brought screeching back to our attention thanks to trash TV obsession of the millisecond Love Island.
Fucking Love Island.
Now we're not going to pretend that we watch ITV's latest saviour 'ironically' or that it's a piece of 'no brow' culture that deserves coy appraisal in usually sneering intelligentsia circles... it's not. It's the Mail Online 'sidebar of shame' played out IRL. It's for people who want to see people shag on TV without actually admitting that they want to see people shag on TV. It's Big Brother with abs, and it's awful.
But we're not here to talk about Love Island, we're here to talk about the state of the jeans worn by the men on Love Island, and what that says about the reluctant progress of men's style in this grey-skied and fearful slab of land bobbing in the North Sea.
Like Britain's Worst Style Crime before it, the super skinny jean represents a nadir in our nation's taste in clothing, a cockroach of a fad that seems to cling on just when you thought that its days were numbered (they even come in white now: white?!). But while the epidemic of square-toed pleather shoes show British men at our most slobbish, the super skinny jean shows us at our most excruciatingly vain.
Scan the floor the next time you're in any mid-sized town or city bar and you'll notice, if you haven't already, the gym-going uniform of the Watford Gap Warrior: tight white shirt, skiiiiiiiny jeans, no socks and brown loafers. A million tanned Dans trying their best to peacock while, of course, all looking exactly the same.
Men have never had so much choice when it comes to trousers and jeans: wide-leg, cropped, high-waisted and, yes, skinny are all being utilised by stylish guys near and far. The problem comes when your trousers are worn solely for drawing attention to your massive pumped quads. Because honestly: how else can you explain the logic behind these jeans that look bad and feel awful to wear?
Your trousers should form one part of a cohesive outfit, the (usually) understated, dignified plinth upon which your look is built. Not a cling-filmed signpost to the fact that yes, you go to the fucking gym.
No one cares you go to the gym. But trust us: they are sick and tired of seeing every pumped crevice of your over-worked bottom half.