What kind of man wears red pants?
First thought that comes to mind is Mickey Mouse. Asterix for sure, and even Pinocchio can not do without it. And that's where the problem is located. That list of red pants wearers conveys the fashion-conscious man: red trousers are not a very seriously important purchase.
To me, the idea of wearing red pants is still shocking. But regardless the age group, whether it is pupils or students next door, hipsters from Berlin or fashion victims in Brit look – on their triumphant way of victory the red pants hardly hold back from any social group.
This is all the more remarkable, when the average German man courageously indulges in something colourful, he usually resorts to colours that oscillate somewhere between a daring gray-blue and a smart pigeon blue. One could philosophize about the German tendency of colour drabness for a long time.
Why is that? Is it the bad weather? Or the melancholic German nature? Or a lack of culture that dismisses colourful and urban styles as something that is superficial and conceited? Provinciality disguised as profundity? In my opinion it's the German contempt for all things metropolitan.
Things are completely different in England. English traditional menswear is influenced by the squirearchy. They never shared the German contempt for all metropolitan - after all, they meanwhile had to rule a world empire. The fact that they have always loved it a bit more colourful is also due to the fact that essential elements of English social life are marked by colours: hunting, polo, the colours of the private schools and regiments, the jackets of the yachting and rowing clubs.
Where is the trend of the red pants rooted?
Answer: Only those who have sailed around the world may wear red pants
But the trend towards red pants is not only rooted in the tradition of the English squirearch and their ironic modification of the Sloanies. The second impulse comes from New England, and therefore from the East Coast of the United States. At the end of the fifties, students at Harvard, Princeton, Yale and other Ivy League universities began to wear the preppy look. Since then, in addition to button-down shirts, colourful jumpers, cardigans, colourful socks and the inevitable penny loafers, Nantucket Reds - shorts in a pale red, which change into pale pink with age. These are produced by "Murray's Toggery Shop" on Nantucket, an island thirty miles south of Cape Cod.
Originally the red pants and blue blazers were part of the official outfit of the legendary "New York Yacht Club", which won the America's Cup with the schooner "America" in 1851, the America's Cup - later named after the winning ship. That probably is the environment where the legend that only those who crossed the Atlantic are allowed to wear red pants - and not on board of an airplane but by sailing a ship.
In the eighties, the English peer and gentry fashion with its colourful tendency finally experienced an amazing revival with the so-called "Sloane Ranger". The "Sloanies", named after London's Sloane Square, were mostly London's upper-middle-class youth and brought in hunting jackets, tweed and wellies as well as colourful corduroy or moleskin pants in the city. Interestingly, the Sloane look got never extinct. On the contrary, it has left a lasting mark on what is now considered a Brit look from Tokyo to Madrid. The omnipresent wax jacket is only a testimony to it.