WHY was Conan’s wearing of the resurgent jean-looking stretch-pants known as jeggings the funniest thing ever?
When I was eight, I HAD some jeggings. You see, my youthful self found real jeans uncomfortable for some odd reason, and this seemed like a nice compromise.
But even back then, the jeggings didn’t seem ready for the world. I looked at those things through my Sally Jesse Raphael glasses and said to myself, “these’ll never come back.”
I didn’t anticipate our current moment.
Maybe it’s the fact that, at the end of the day, what you’re actually wearing is an artist’s rendering of jeans.
Maybe it’s that jeans were invented for men to work building the freaking railroad back in the day.
Maybe it’s that you look like you’re watching coverage of the first Persian Gulf War on a TV inside a wooden piece of furniture instead of the second Gulf War on a small notebook-sized slabs of metal and minerals. What do we wear when we’re watching this one? Unfortunately, we don’t know.
Maybe it’s the fact that they are like a parody of an iconic pant, American blue jeans took the rest of the world by storm like that syrupy carbonated Kola nut (Africa?) and Cocoa (South America?) drink (the secret ingredient of which isn’t even public knowledge, reports John Pilger):
Maybe its because Conan wore them with a Little Lord Faunteleroy strut like he knew it all.
When Tim Gunn informed Conan that, yes, some men were “out there” who wore jeggings, this prompted total disbelief from Conan.
He was curious about stretch pants like a sociologist. He was going to expose them. And possibly himself.
It brings us to the question: what do stretch pants mean?
If you wanted to get all Harvard semiotics major about it you could also interpret stretch pants as pants that stretch across the globe – as so much of commercial clothing is these days, produced for Americans, by others in countries with lower income, but perhaps in cultural ways, maybe a higher standard of living. And the thing is with figurative and literal stretch jeans, its so hard to hide who you truly are.
Conan said, America: take a good look. At yourself. It’s me in jeggings right now.