No, no one “needs” these pants. These pants combine two of the most horrific developments in men’s fashion — cargo shorts and “zipper legs” — and attempt to sell them as neo-prep when they’re pure Juggalo.
An oft repeated myth coming from the mouths of professional chatterboxes is that the US “no longer makes things.” Little to do they know, the US is actually the world’s leading manufacturer of finished goods. Here’s the rub, the US is so good at making “things” that they specialize in making highly advanced “things” as efficiently as possible, so while they don’t employ armies of low skilled workers making enough to own the entitlements/trappings of a middle-class life, they do employ a small force of highly skilled people who earn very good wages.
This line appears to cater to this anxiety over American manufacturing, which has me wondering if we’re all economic nationalists now.
As a former Club Monaco shareholder — who dumped his shares in favour of riskier, pre-bubble tech stock [which, for the most part, I don’t regret]) — I think that I can answer this.
When Club Monaco was a publicly traded company, it was under constant shareholder pressure to make money (obviously) and in keeping with the business zeitgeist of the mid-90s, focused on building the value of the brand and controlling manufacturing costs. As a public company, it was quite clear that the plan was to build the brand and the company to point where one of the mega-brand stables would come along to purchase everything, lock, stock and barrel, and perhaps take the company private. That effectively happened when the company was purchased by Polo Ralph Lauren, because while the company is publicly traded, nearly all of the preferred stock is owned by Ralph Lauren himself so he maintains control over the company.
When you’re a publicly traded company, you don’t have anywhere near the amount of leeway to go against the grain than you would as a private one. Telling shareholders that you’re going to experiment with domestic manufacturing at a time when companies are moving production from one country to another just to save two-cents per piece is pretty much an invitation for shareholders to move their money to other investments.
The times and consumer preferences have changed, and businesses now see that there’s a market for premium priced goods that bank on being domestically produced. Sort of like how fools pay extra for “organic” fruit and vegetables.
Here’s an outfit from Club Monaco’s fall men’s collection.
I love everything shown here, with the exceptions of those pants. Somewhere a stylist needs to be fired for thinking that sweatpants 1) could ever be worn with a trench and knit sweater and 2) that it’s acceptable to wear sweatpants in public without feeling even the slightest bit of shame.
Even chinos would be a better choice, just anything other than cuffed, “I’ve given up on life” pants.