Codpiece thrusts its way back into fashion
January 2, 2020 5:18 AM   Subscribe

 
This style would probably be less ridiculous-looking if it didn't remind me of a poorly placed fanny pack.
posted by pangolin party at 5:25 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


We can only hope that Clockwork Orange doesn't continue being so damn prescient.
posted by fairmettle at 5:44 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


I dunno. None of the examples n that article seemed to actually be a codpiece (barring Henry VIII’s), which was a functional fly in one’s hose (although they became less functional as they grew more padded). Putting a standard bit of Leather paraphernalia over one’s trousers makes it less a codpiece than in a standard Leather setting (where it serves the same purpose of convenience and display as in the Renaissance), and Jackson’s outfit is more Superman than codpiece.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:46 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


"Let's go with the Black Russian, it always terrifies the clergy."
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:48 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


I won't start worrying until people turn up wearing them in my local supermarket on a Saturday morning.

Michele's whole show is here. Slide #47 is another I wouldn't expect to take off any time soon. (It only takes one influencer, of course.)
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:48 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I think I speak for at least myself when I say that the leading photo is the dumbest piece of “fashion” I’ve seen all year. I was trying to work “in the name of cod” in somehow, but I couldn’t work up the outrage to make it plausible. Oh well, maybe next decade.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:09 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


We should have taken the gray sweatpants challenge as a warning...
posted by mittens at 6:25 AM on January 2


Ok socio-cultural fashionista experts, what's with the blindfolds in that show? (oh and I have come close to 47, but not as a fashion statement, and luckily stopped before I left the house)
posted by sammyo at 6:27 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I won't start worrying until people turn up wearing them in my local supermarket on a Saturday morning.

Why? By then it’ll be way too late to do anything about it!
posted by thejoshu at 6:27 AM on January 2


The Piece of Cod that passeth all understanding.
posted by Segundus at 6:27 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


Ahem. It has been 34 years since the video for “Word Up!”

Larry Blackmon should be recognized as a pioneer.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:36 AM on January 2 [13 favorites]


all i can say is it's about damned time
posted by kokaku at 6:38 AM on January 2


In the early medieval period men (and women) in most of Europe wore ankle-length tunics as their primary outer garment, with socks to protect the feet. Over time, men's hemlines rose to allow more freedom of movement, which necessitated that socks turn into stockings and then finally tightly fitted hose (essentially leggings).

Once the hemline reached the waist, however, there was the problem of what to do about the fact that the tightly fitted hose left little to the imagination. Enter the codpiece. Originally the codpiece was meant to obscure, giving a modicum of modesty to the wearer. But the patriarchy being what it is, someone quickly realized what having a larger codpiece might imply about its contents, and so they quickly turned into padded, stuffed, and shaped ornamentations.

(And I'll note that at every stage of this evolution in men's fashion there were moralists who decried the rising hemlines and the codpiece.)

I could see the return of the codpiece if men's leggings became fashionable, although it might be in the form of underwear rather than part of the leggings or a separate piece. You can see a faint echo of the codpiece in certain men's underwear that features a structured front. Some are meant to obscure, basically a Ken doll oval, but some are definitely meant to accentuate or insinuate.
posted by jedicus at 6:40 AM on January 2 [26 favorites]


TBH anytime I look at fashion runway stuff I feel like it's a very elaborate practical joke. I mean, I'm all for people getting their style on and dressing as extra as they want, but the fact that this is an industry and people take this seriously boggles my mind.

That said... is 57 a Dolly Parton by way of Andy Warhol screen? I'd probably buy that design on a sweatshirt for one of my friends who really adores Dolly. (I do too, but my signature look is cat shirts. So.)
posted by jzb at 6:41 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


These models all have a hollow, beat-down look that says to me "this is what my life has become."
posted by adamrice at 6:54 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


If this becomes commonplace, collegiate Shakespeare troupes will have to resort to spittle and lewd hand gestures to show us how edgy the bard can be.
posted by condour75 at 7:13 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


That first model in the article doesn’t seem to be embracing it so much.
posted by drivingmenuts at 7:26 AM on January 2


In linguistic relativeness, some kinds of codfish are currently endangered by overfishing. If the cod becomes extinct, will they have to rename the fashion to "turbotpiece"???
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:02 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


Insert reference to “a nice piece of fish” ...

12-year-old me is still confused.
posted by drivingmenuts at 8:14 AM on January 2


Less codpieces, more capes and cloaks!
posted by loquacious at 8:17 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


"turbotpiece"?

Patagonian Toothpiece
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:29 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


If this was a different site, I’d upvote you so hard right now.

Preferably by cod-tapping the keyboard.

That image is now in your head.
posted by drivingmenuts at 8:43 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Michele's whole show is here.
These models all have a hollow, beat-down look


Those are some grim, grim, grim looking people.
posted by doctornemo at 8:49 AM on January 2




That first model in the article doesn’t seem to be embracing it so much.

much of that show could be described as "Irony gone too far"
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:08 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Remember "Cleavers?"
posted by Marky at 9:23 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


This seems like it would increase sweating in a place you don't want to sweat more and also complicate bathroom visits but fashion on, my dudes. Fashion on.
posted by emjaybee at 9:23 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


“I think that they were intended to induce awe,” he said

You know, "awe" was not my first response to this particular fashion trend.
posted by holborne at 9:30 AM on January 2




Oh, for cod's sake
posted by potrzebie at 9:44 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I would find this a lot more interesting if women were wearing the codpieces.
posted by medusa at 10:11 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


In linguistic relativeness, some kinds of codfish are currently endangered by overfishing. If the cod becomes extinct, will they have to rename the fashion to "turbotpiece"???

Complete pollocks!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:19 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


I've smiled at so many of the comments & I certainly wouldn't want my husband to sport one. I probably wouldn't feel all that comfortable standing next to someone on the train wearing a visible codpiece. But I think they can look absolutely beautiful. (It's possible that I'm fooling myself & I really mean 'codpieces can look absolutely beautiful in elegant and safely distant Renaissance paintings...')
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:43 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Thanks CheeseDigestsAll - for making gleet my first new word of the decade.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:59 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


The incentive to "sport" in public has been dulled a bit, I guess, by Dodge's product line, but with climate change, men will need a more eco, up-front way of asserting their dominance insecurity. It's actually pretty convenient though because you can basically transfer their brands directly to a line of codpieces. Introducing...

THE CHALLENGER
THE CHARGER
THE RAM

Yep, it's a HSemi!
posted by klanawa at 2:19 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


> 12-year-old me is still confused.

I must have come across references to codpieces in some historical fiction or other (maybe this) at about that age.

I was totally confused about what this could be and more important, why?

I tried to look things up but didn't get far in the pre-internet days.

I figured from the descriptions given that they must look pretty much as they actually do--though that was not 100% confirmed until decades later.

But I never could even scratch the surface of why?

And maybe still can't . . .
posted by flug at 3:10 PM on January 2


jedicus helpfully mentions the origin of the codpiece--basically to conceal the genital bulge beneath someone's tights. Some practical advice: if you have a penis and you want to wear yoga pants, just get a pair of athletic short shorts of the same color made of thin material (swim trunks or such) and put them on over the top. It maintains the look as well as one's modesty.
posted by Sterros at 9:00 PM on January 2


I've always been skeptical of codpieces - doubly moreso after having worn athletic supports (jock straps), gaffs (hiding the fellas'), and observed the use of dancing belts in adult an adolescent ballet.

As armour, sure, it's a helmet for the other head. But any slices that it might deflect usually direct the slicing blow to a femoral artery unless there's lots of chain, but then that hides the codpiece.

As a jockstrap playing rugby, it certainly prevented lacerations but didn't do much against impact blows. Still felt like getting kicked in the balls.

For protection, there must be a better way of protecting the testicles while holding the penis out of harms way too, without jamming it up.

In the case of gaffs, I've given up on them and go for layering over the area.
posted by porpoise at 9:02 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


These things spring up everywhere.
Shopping Essentials
Where: Papua New Guinea, Pacific
What’s in store: Tribal strap on to cover a man’s modesty made from an orchid chord and decorated with tassels and shells
Bag a bargain: Highly decorative tourist versions made of modern textiles like tubes of toothpaste make a novel souvenir

posted by waving at 9:54 AM on January 3


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