By Michael Karlo Lim
From straight-cut to slim to skinny to super-skinny to painted-on, jeans alone show the evolution of clothing in the past five years into second-skins with an emphasis on skin tight. The trend has also paved the way for the ubiquity of compression wear and, secondarily, the more tasteful use of neoprene and lycra in athleisure. There are support merits to binding cloths and I’m extremely partial to its instantly slimming and lengthening effects given my stumps.
It now seems that we all have wallowed in this sea of skinnies far too long and suffer significant whole body pruning. Shelves have begun stocking oversized items. There are your S, M and L’s in larger proportions, cut away from the standard sizing, dropped shoulders, extended sleeves and hems, etcetera. Oversized is not to be confused with items from the Big & Tall section and wearing clothes that are really five sizes too big as in the heydays of PI hip-hop wear. The silhouette has been played up in the latter half of 2016 with contrasting loose and fitted items. A|W 2017 continues to push the use of more material and Balenciaga went the whole nine yards by using whole nine yards. Per. Item.
Rafe Totengco’s collaboration with Bench features such loose silhouettes. His Judo Pants and Judo Shorts might as well be the sporting uniform in the more street-friendly light denim material. Both feature a structured drop crotch to keep its shape unlike in the styles most identified with Justin Bieber and Gwen Stefani. The partially-gartered waistline, with a cinch belt for good measure, ruches out ever so unnoticeably to clear the hips and go into a straight elephant leg line. Lengths on the pants allow fabric to haphazardly pool at the hems but are best wide-cuffed. Deep mechanic’s patch pockets add useful utilitarian details to the front while squared ones take up the rear. The shorts can also be worn as is or turned up at the hems to turn up the style factor. Loose but nonetheless structured items to pair unify the look.