Dear Justin Bieber,
I know you’ve tried. You at least deserve credit for your youthful tenacity. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not happening. For the past year, my little pop chipmunk, you’ve been trying to make those drop-crotch, droopy-drawer pants catch on. But it’s time to take off that spiked, canary-yellow trucker hat and take a look around. No one is buying what you’re selling.
Some members of the public — minus your most ardent fans, of course, who will try to drown me in hate tweets after reading this — have been telling you those pants are not flattering. In essence, they’ve been telling you to burn those pants, encase the ashes in concrete, put the concrete in a steel box, and then bury it in some nuclear waste.
Are you aware that there are online photo galleries devoted to the voluminous fabric flaps that dangle between your legs? One of them even warns readers that “these ill-fitting styles are so horrid, so repugnant, they might just make you vom.” You don’t want to make us vom, do you? Not sure if you’ve heard, but one of the most cutting analogies possible is being hurled at you to describe your wardrobe choice: You wear MC Hammer pants.
We’ve all made our share of fashion mistakes as teenagers searching for a personal style. I once proudly strolled the mall with my hair styled into a Kentucky waterfall while wearing a Canadian tuxedo. It wasn’t pretty. I endured hateful barbs for my ill-advised clothing. Although in my case the detractors were probably jealous that they couldn’t carry off acid wash and a pair of LA Gear high tops with such finesse.
So think of me as a slightly older and wiser brother when I tell you that I understand. You’re simply a victim of a bad fad. In this case, the fad makes you look like you’re wearing a diaper that needs to be changed. You already look young enough Justin, no need to underscore your youth with Pampers pants that you’ve purchased in leather, as sweats, and sometimes in fabric that looks as if it was recycled from a pair of Hulk Hogan's Zubaz.
Stop giving in to peer pressure from fellow crotch-droppers Chris Brown, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, and Orlando Bloom. Just remember that both a Kardashian and the “Gangnam Style” dude have been spotted in a drop crotch. Isn’t that incentive enough to put those pants away?
You (or a misinformed stylist) probably saw these problematic slacks on the runway a couple of years ago. The drop-crotch monstrosities had a moment, and designers such as Duckie Brown, Rick Owens, and Y-3 tried to trick men into thinking that a billowy pant constructed with enough fabric to parachute into Uruguay would look good. I have a secret for you, Biebs: Many fashion designers send kooky things down the runway for attention. They don’t expect people to wear them.
You will not see men wearing the one-piece, black lace bodysuit that Versace recently sent down the runway. You also will not see men wearing the bold print sarongs that Alexander McQueen showed last month in London. Dolce & Gabbana was pushing the cape as the must-have wardrobe essential at its Fall/Winter 2013 show. I suggest you only wear a cape if you’re offered a part in a “Phantom of the Opera” revival.
Since you just turned 19 last week (next time pull up your pants when you celebrate — that too is a serious problem), think of this advice as a late birthday present, and probably one of the most valuable you’ll receive aside from the macaroni portrait you were likely sent by an 11-year-old fan from South Carolina. Sell the pants on eBay, give the proceeds to charity, and start over. So don’t stress, don’t cry, you don’t need no wings to fly. . . just change your pants.
globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.