I spend money on jeans. Not like, stupid, bespoke Lebron money, but I will lay a bit more out for quality denim. My preferred pair, the APC New Standard, have hovered around $150 for a decade, and if you wear them constantly, like I do, they're almost a no-brainer.
The only problem: Nice jeans can be treacherous to your bits. It's just a fact. If you're not smart about tucking and distribution, pinching becomes a major hazard, regardless of your proportions where the sun don't shine.
That's why I was kind of intrigued by these jeans from Mugsy, a startup that makes pants that approximate the look of upmarket denim but tout "Extra room in the crotch where guys need it most." Brett Favre has been prattling on for years about "special, U-shaped construction" in the Wrangler jeans he hawks on football Sundays.
But I don't want to wear the jeans Brett Favre wears. I do, however, want to be as comfortable as Brett Favre.
Mugsy jeans are targeted towards nouveau bros, fashionable city dudes who are willing to spend some cash on clothes (they run from $95 to $149) but also want to be able to move around as they drink craft beer and adjust their man buns. That's a smart segment to target: Men who want to look cool and not out of touch but still affirm their masculinity, also known as most men.
But after wearing a pair of Mugsy "You're My Boy Blue" jeans for an hour today, I have to say I was wildly disappointed.
The look of the jeans is fine. From afar, they appear to have the grain and indigo color of dressy raw denim, but up close they look pretty generic. I guess that's sort of the point of startup bro jeans — to turn something subtle, that takes thought and effort, into a uniform.
The problems begin with the quality. The jeans feel terrible, like construction paper. And they itch. Jeans shouldn't itch. Plus, these puppies cost $150! For $150 you can get a pair of APCs, or like five pairs of fast fashion jeans that will feel higher quality.
Most devastatingly, I detected absolutely no more room for my special areas. Prior to trying the jeans on, I thought I did detect a extra convexity to the crotch. But once I had jumped into them, I had all the normal and aggravating pinching and squeezing. In fact, these jeans were significantly less comfortable in the crotch than the jeans I wore to the office, which make no special promise about accommodating one's twig and berries. I felt a strange sense of relief when I changed back.
So what's going on? Maybe my expectations were too high. I imagined a fit that would give my junk complete freedom from contact with the structure of the pants — a world where I could have it all. In retrospect this seems foolish; jeans have been around for a long time and the people who make them have probably figured out the proportions pretty well. If Mugsy altered the crotch more than a little bit they might look bizarre and frightening.
More likely, and my fear with Mugsy jeans, is that the guys who make them are attempting to make the "Magnum condom" of jeans — basically a marketing gimmick that plays into the fact that all men want to think their genitals are too large for the normal world. Statistics say that is unlikely. And, besides, it would probably not be a good business proposition for Mugsy to target the very few men who do fit that description.
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
Contact Joseph Bernstein at email@example.com.
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