I was chatting with one of my favorite girlfriends about this and that today when we stumbled into a strange revelation.I was bemoaning the lack of serious writing on style and she was sharing good TikTok accounts that get into the type of fashion analysis I might find enjoyable. You know, shoot the shit with girlfriends texting. And somehow we stumbled onto how we both became fashion girls. And well I’m just going to share it.
On my way to become a fashion girl I had some awkward phases but none more awkward than when I was quite sure that Express was actually stylish.
And nothing did more to convince me of this than their absolutely iconic Editor Pants. If you are an elder millennial you know this pant. Black and mid-rise with a mostly straight cut, it’s form fitting hug was the definitive silhouette of its era.
Now mind you they were polyester and not terribly high quality. I once set a pair on fire in my dorm room by attempting to try it on a lamp so I didn’t have to go to a fraternity party in damp pants. Couture this was not. But in my teenage head these were the kind of pants that serious professional women wore.
Now this has some consequences for the trajectory of my life. I absolutely thought being an editor was a serious job based on the marketing of these pants. Sure Banana Republic tried to convince us that architect was the sexy creative job. But for me it was the Editor Pant that inspired my imagination. It put the idiotic notion that I could work at a magazine right as magazine publishing culture was at its zenith. I remember standing outside of Condé Nast on a visit to New York and telling myself I’d work there one day.
So yeah fuck those pants. Being an editor is a grueling shitty line of work where you are constantly in financial jeopardy. Thank fuck I god over it when Condé Nast wouldn’t hire me after college. They rightly told me I wasn’t qualified having done something asinine like study economics at Chicago.
And to be fair I had an amazing career in fashion and I owe a lot to those pants. They were a generational staple and Express deserves a place in fashion history for it. I hope someone with actual skills in this space writes something serious about it and published a back catalog of their advertising. Maybe I’ll do it one day. And if you’d like a lovely internet friend my friend is Alexis Hyde. We have similar tastes though she’s much more visually literate than me. She’s an art curator in Los Angeles and if you ever want to buy art look her up.