Unfashionable baggy pants worn by Chinese security guard inevitably become must-have fashion item


Fashion & Style Correspondent

Heavy: The omni-directional trousers can make any woman look 20 pounds tougher

SHANGHAI (China Daily Show) – What’s blue, baggy and taking the Chinese fashion world by storm? Stability pants, that’s what!

That is the verdict of the Young Amateur Chinese Fashion Review Fifth Annual Readers’ Survey, which this week voted the loose-fitting cargo pantaloons – typically strutted by streetwise security guards – the year’s Most Authoritative Apparel.

Survey respondents roundly agreed that the sight of the terrifying trousers rendered peers “highly likely to stand down, then back the fuck up.” 

Young Amateur chief editor He Yang endorsed the vote, adding: “Navy harem-style rompers are the very essence of security chic.”

The stylish new look has been largely credited to the nation’s slacks-sporting security staff.

“Their nouveau-sheik look not only tells the world, ‘I’ve got a job,’ but also warns passersby, ‘I’m working now,’” the Young Amateur article explained. 

While rarely seen abroad, the blue britches are a regular sight on modern Chinese city streets.

According to nine-year-old fashion guru ‘Awesome’ Meng, the pants can be spotted “wherever you find disinterested young men, protecting modest sums of bulky, low-denomination currency.”

As the 18th Party Congress approaches in November, members of the public are finding the look both comfortable and reassuring.

“Thank God they’re on our side!” breathes Hong Ge, Beijing branch manager at the China Central Bank’s Bank of Central China, pointing at several of his own guards. “Just standing around all day, staring at the walls… you don’t mess with that.” 

Wearers typically accessorize the newly fashionable Sino-stride look with pencil-resistant camouflage vests, and even gently-used military headwear. 

“But this year,” Meng advises, “command maximum respect with a grayish latex stick, casually shaken at customers to let them know the money’s on the way.” 

China has a long history of fashion-dependent social stability. Indeed, this de rigeur blue-cargo ‘baggy’ look is currently “pure recherché,” says Meng. 

“It’s a clear homage to the vintage ‘Hammer Pants,’ which rocked the 1980s Western world during a time of spiraling inflation and widespread student massacres for China.”

Me next? A guard checks out the catwalk before strutting his stuff

In recent years, a loss of confidence in traditional socialist haberdashery has led to a curious array of looks on China’s runways, including grannies sporting zebra-print waistcoats and uncles strutting waist-high trackpants and cowboy hats. 

Yet stability pants are relative newcomers to the Authoritative Apparel category, long dominated by steel-toed Soviet jackboots and an incipient mustache. 

“Khaki is tacky,” explains Boss Hong, who considers himself a state-approved fashion authority. “That’s why I’ve got all my bao’an this year in posh Pacific blue.” 

And Hong disagrees with those who say that China needs urgent fashion reform.

“China is developing and we need stable pants,” Hong says, quipping, “‘The East may be Red’ – but the pants stay blue.”

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Everything you wanted to know about stability pants but were disinclined to really ask:

  • The loose trousers are especially popular with lanky 17-year-old rural men, who often accessorize the garment with pimples, a walkie-talkie and a well-read copy of yesterday’s Beijing Evening News.
  • The pants should properly be worn baggily, with a tight belt, to create a ‘For The Win’ look that says, ‘I just inherited these trousers from an older guy who died.’
  • Incorporate them into beachwear! Pair your stability pants with a Korean-inspired khaki singlet – then flaunt that autumn look at Beidahe. That’s some Gangnam Style!

Get your China fashion tips at… @chinadailyshow on Twitter 


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