The most important pants factor of all
Plus miraculous sweatshirts re-upped, sick winter boots, that "Swag A.I. Jesus" flow & more
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— Jonah & Erin
On Tuesday we published our landmark roundup of The Pants of the Year — a Contemporary Trouser Excellence Compendium that will remain accurate and useful into 2026 and beyond, featuring my (Jonah’s) and Erin’s picks, along with selections from an army of Swaggy Illustrious Spyfriends.
It was a smash hit because pants really do be “the binoculars into the soul” and Spy Nation knows it!!
Yes — as I mentioned in that sletter, whereas I once believed shoes offered the single best telltale as far as determining someone’s swag levels, I have over the last ~5 years come to realize (and I’m far from alone in this realization) that a truer telltale is trousers. I think this is because pants occupy the most visual real estate in an outfit (less-common garments like overcoats notwithstanding); because there are so many ways pants can go wrong; and because, while you can wear “bad” shoes in an ironically distanced / détourned way that reads as sauced-out, you simply cannot wear “bad” pants in a way that is popping. The inherent degree of difficulty in Mach 3+ pants-rocking is, as a result, much higher.
A crucial point worth emphasizing, however, is that there’s an even more important element than either pants or shoes when it comes to communicating to others that you smoke too tough, your b*tch (in the gender-agnostic sense of the word) is too bad, and your swag is too different…
We’re talking, of course, about the way your pants interact with your shoes: A vexing, high-stakes “Bermuda Triangle” of drip — as we put it in our still-relevant 2021 Pants Awards — known as the Footwear-Ankle-Pant (F.A.P.) Interface…
Currently we’re living in one of the most forgiving times in modern memory as far as F.A.P. tolerances. Some swag lords are ROLLING their hems, some are CROPPING ‘EM, some are embracing a smidgeon of break and others are going BREAK O.D. and letting their s**ts pool over the shoes to the point of near-total engulfment ….
It’s a time when we can all be a little looser and feel a little more free as far as the F.A.P.. Which is nice. But it also means we might be tempted to let our guards down altogether, which is dangerous. Above right, Swag A.I. Jesus looks phenomenal rocking some extreme computer-generated pool. But Drake, occupying non-virtual space above left, pushed his pool too far and the effect is sloppy!!
As you consult Tuesday’s Pants Guide for years to come — rocking beautiful trousers and looking cool in them as a result — ignore the F.A.P. at yr own risk.
In today’s sletter we’ve got:
Our favorite sweatshirt, a miracle jawn made like none other on the planet, which is back in stock after a long sold-out absence, along with a tight clutch of new pieces from one of our favorite small designers…
including some top-notch new elastic-waist dark denim.
A very handsome trail shoe that’s perfect for wet-weather-winter-fit-getting-off purposes, and whose muted hues are the latest indication that the “ugly shoe” moment of a couple years ago is behind us.
Rare brilliant downtown proto-no-wave DRONES … unearthed & reissued
Let’s get to it —