Breaking: Men And Women Alike Wear Jeans, T-Shirts

by BILLY GRAY · November 19, 2009

Androgyny is back. Or at least some well-established and watered down version of it is, says the Times. The compelling evidence? Men pairing skinny jeans with their moms' sweatshirts and women in leather jackets and hoodies. And, unfortunately, everyone in cardigans. -

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The article never claims that these trendsters are reinventing the wheel, but more that subtle gender play has entered the fashion mainstream for the first time since the '70s. Still, we're not entirely convinced this merited an article. Below, our argument that the gender-bending described by the Times 1) isn't nearly edgy enough and 2) is old news  through they lyrics of The Replacements 1984 classic, "Androgynous."

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"Here Comes Dick, He's Wearing A Skirt. Here Comes Jane, Y'know She's Sporting A Chain"...

No dice on the skirt! According to the Times, one male subject would "never put on a skirt." But he is open to working "a long drapey shirt with really tight pants." Particularly in downtown New York, who isn't? As for chains, we'll admit they are a longstanding staple of the hipster wardrobe.

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"...Same Hair, Revolution..."

The article describes Chuong Pham "raking his fingers through a sheaf of hair thattumbled in waves past his collarbone." Fair point, but we thought unisex bobs stopped being news with Amelia Earhart (who, to be fair, the Times does mention as an androgyny pioneer) or at least with the late '60s follicular developments of Mia Farrow and The Beatles.

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"...Same Build, Evolution..."

Despite some claims that beer bellies are the new protruding clavicles, we'll admit that the waif look continues to cross the gender line. Especially in Williamsburg, it can be tough work to find a man who wouldn't blow away in a strong East River wind.

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"...Kewpie Dolls And Urine Stalls Will Be Laughed At The Way You're Laughed At Now..."

Ever since David E. Kelly introduced the unisex bathroom to millions of Ally McBeal viewers, the ridiculous "innovation" has made its way into New York restaurants and bars, including Schiller's Liquor Bar. And we are laughing, particularly when confused male patrons mistake communal sinks for the john. Hotly contested fact of life? Yes. But breaking new? No.

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The Times does point out that more avant-garde androgyny can be seen on the runways, with men in "dresses and high-heeled shoes" and model Jenny Shimizu in a "man-tailored suit." But fashion shows also include looks like this and this that are unlikely to be seen on the sidewalk by people not under the influence of hardcore psychedelics.

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We'll pay attention when we see the city's construction workers in poodle skirts. But for now, the androgyny fad has been too understated to grab us by our gender-neutral lapels.