Expanding my casual side is definitely something I’ve been trying to do lately. If you follow me on Instagram or watch me closely on Male Fashion Advice, you’ll see that it’s been happening slowly but surely. As we get right into the beginning of “real summer”, there’s probably going to be a lot more of these posts since it’s the best way to try new ways to dress down.
Most of the time, my tee shirts and trouser articles tend to be a bit sartorial based. Even tucking the tee shirt into shorts is pretty dressy for most. Even though I’ve liked most of our attempts to break the t-shirt into everyday wear, one in particular stood out to me. It was the one where I looked at a french streetwear designer and tried to emulate the look. I count the post as a failure, but I definitely loved the style. It’s slightly sloppy (untucked shirt and wide but cropped pants) with a minimal color palette to keep things “dressy” in a sense. Plenty of guys out there “rock” baggy pants and a tee shirt, but are missing intent.
More and more, I look at Japanese americana/streetwear for inspiration (Wonder Mountain Irie dominate this area). There’s something about it this look that resonates with me. Perhaps it’s the subtle vintage vibes? Maybe it’s the intentional playfulness with proportions? Or maybe it’s just something incredibly different than what I (and by extension, you, my readers) am used to and I felt like I needed to try it. After reading Put This On’s article on the “baggy pants”, I knew that this was going to happen.
What you’ll notice about the inspiration pictures above, is that “baggy” isn’t necessarily the right term. In fact, I think I’ve talked about this before. The word baggy really means ill fitting and while these trousers are certainly roomier than most, they aren’t ill fitting or pooling at the ankle. Like PTO said, the key to these wide pants is to either crop them or cuff them.
My dillemma then became where to find good wide legged pants. Should I thrift some random pair? Should I keep using the pleated ones from Club Monaco that I used in the “minimal post”? Or should I see what else is out there?
Obviously I’ve seen my hand at some wide pants, thanks to being apart of the subreddit Male Fashion Advice. I’ve seen Helmut Lang, Rick Owens, Engineered Garments, and Eidos touted around, but they really don’t work for my price point. Suddenly I remembered that Uniqlo had a partnership with Lemiare, the French designer. Lemiare makes some cool shit like this and this, but that also was definitely out of reach. Their Uniqlo U collaboration is made in a similar vein, but it sells out in minutes online. Good luck trying to find it in the store.
Oh wait, that’s exactly what I did.
My friend Jeremiah, whom we’ve seen in the Aloha shirt and Dapper Day posts, actually works at Uniqlo. The last time I saw him he was wearing wide legged seersucker pants. I asked him if these were Uniqlo U (the collab with Lemaire) and he said yes! Jeremiah told me that a bunch of these pants were getting returned at stores, so he suggested I check the clearance area for them to see if there were any in my size.
Amazingly, they had a black pair in size 32 waist, which is exactly what I was looking for.
They were also $9.80.
I made this outfit the spiritual summer successor to the failed minimalist outfit a few months back. To make it different, I ditched the clunky sneakers and overcoat and added my trusty espadrilles and a linen tee shirt. The tee is slightly fitted (which isn’t what you want if you’re going for that Japanese look) but I think the contrast works well. It also makes sense for me, since fitted tee shirts and straight leg pants is basically what started this entire series; this particular combo with wide legs is perfect for the 1930’s/40’s.
This entire look is extremely simple and comfy, and I can really see this becoming my casual attire this summer. I know we’ve been tucking in the tee shirt for all the previous posts, but the untucked shirt was an intentional nod to the inspiration photos above. It also makes this a decidedly casual outfit than a sartorial outfit turned casual. Note that thee tan shirt and ivory shoes add just enough desaturated color that is easier on the eye than the stark contrast produced by white. If I wanted a more streetwear edge, a plain white tee and my Stan Smiths would’ve been more appropriate. As you can see, my espadrilles are getting increasingly worn; if you watch my Instagram story, you’ll know that I wear them any time I’m not at work.
I may not plan to wear these trousers all the time, but the uniform’s ideas could be repeated. Pale dad jeans or black skinnies with a high cuff could be done as well. However, nothing will compare to the interesting silhouette that these wide trousers make.
These trousers are pretty much close in dimensions and fit to some 1940’s ones I own. They have a 9″ leg opening with an 12 inch rise. If you guys are wondering where to get new high rise trousers, this may be the place to go!
I will note that they have a long inseam, as many of these Uniqlo pants go, since you typically get them hemmed in-store. I didn’t want to get them hemmed, so I simply rolled them up a few times until I got to the desired length. The lightweight fabric makes it difficult to roll, but I think the slightly sloppy “pseudo-cuff” adds to the look and shows the Japanese cues I took. I ended up rolling the cuff higher after this shoot, but I think it still looks fine here.
The fabric is actually like 70% seersucker and 30% polyester, which was slightly disappointing make makes total sense considering that it’s essentially a cheaper, mass produced version of the original Lemaire pieces. You can see the slight sheen (and feel the “fakeness”) of the polyester but it isn’t a huge deal breaker. The pants are light and slightly drape-y enough to be used in this hot summer. They’re the perfect “whatever” pants.
Linen tee from Gap, Seersucker wide trousers from Uniqlo U, Espadrille Store
This blog is about my persona style journey, whether its my tried and true love of vintage or my budding appreciation and experimentation with Japanese streetwear. The best part is that they both take cues from each other: high rise, perfect hem, and a playful interaction between proportions and fit. Yes, we could have done something more sartorial or sartorial casual like the last few times, but I thought we could change it up! We like to dress down here too you know.
Please remember that this isn’t a typical fashion/menswear blog. I am not saying that you need to follow this or that this is the next big trend for summer style. It’s simply a look that I’ve always wanted to try and I feel that I’ve finally succeeded with it! It goes to show that you can take inspiration from anywhere, not just Laurence Fellow illustrations or the street snaps of The Armoury at Pitt Uomo.
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Spencer O.
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