Thursday, May 27, 2010

Derek Jeter and the Case of the 'Bloused' Trousers

In a NY Times article earlier this week, Harvey Araton attempted to break down exactly what makes the Yankees the Yankees, and what makes the Mets, well, the Mets.

He interviews Derek Jeter, who says Yankees learn the Yankee way from the first moment they step onto the field in rookie ball. "Every level in the minor leagues, we were taught that the team game first," said Jeter. "There were always a lot of rules. No facial hair. We had to have our pants bloused. Rules a lot of teams don't have."

So...Yankees' pants are bloused. What does that mean? I've never heard the term "bloused" before--and certainly not from a ballplayer. Does bloused refer to the uniform pants, as in, they should be loose, like a blouse? (Blouses are loose, aren't they? And isn't blouse a funny word when you say it a few times? Go ahead, try it.)

Or should the off-the-field pants be bloused?

I checked in with an old friend, the New York fashion designer (and my former East Village roomie) John Bakel, who's prevalent enough in the New York fashion scene to actually have his own Wikipedia entry--and a glowing one at that. John says he too has never heard the term bloused--in all of his years in fashion, in fact. (He's heard the term "fabulous" a lot, but not "bloused".)

"I'd imagine it refers to pleated pants, not straight ones," he says.

Not straight indeed. "It's definitely not a menswear term," he adds. "I mean, what guy would want to buy something that's described as 'bloused'?"

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