What the hell are those? I mean, really. What the hell? Was there a societal need for Zubaz? Is that something that we as a people were calling out for? "We demand the ugliest patterned pants known to mankind!" said the imaginary mob at the fake presidential rally that didn’t exist. In what universe did a sports merchandiser look at one of the worst things to ever happen to fashion – not just fashion, but all clothing as a whole over the entirety of recorded time – and think "That is a style of clothing that needs to be resurrected. Yes indeedy, bringing back Zubaz will make me a QUADRILLIONAIRE!" But someone did think that. (Or an approximation of that.) So here we are.
A cursory visit to the Zubaz Wikipedia page tells me that Zubaz were originally developed as weightlifting pants in the late 80s and became popular in the early 90s thanks to a professional wrestling duo known as the Road Warriors. Given that they were professional wrestlers, I’m guessing they got laid despite the ugliness of their pants. Average men were fooled – they would go out into the world to resolutely not get laid while wearing these pants.
(Image via FansEdge.com)
The Zubaz signature is their patterned print. It’s zebra like, with thin alternating stripes of two different colors (most often white and another color) stacked on top of each other at an angle. The stripes aren’t uniform – they vary in thickness, giving the pattern a very hand drawn, haphazard look. While that is by far the most noticeable and detestable thing about any Zubaz product, each one has something special to hate. A Zubaz product is like the ugliest snowflake you’ve ever seen.
The pants are staggeringly unflattering. The elastic waist shouts to friends and passersby "BUTTONS AND ZIPPERS ARE TOO FANCY FOR ME!" Or, perhaps "I LIKE THE RISK OF BEING PANTSED IN PUBLIC AT ANY TIME!" And even "I HAVE SO MUCH ROOM IN MY PANTS QUICK SOMEONE GET ME A WATERMELON!" The legs of the pants are wide at the top and then taper down at the ankle. So you have a small foot opening that helps anchor the pants at your ankle, and extra fabric up by your thighs that’s free to billow around. So your thighs... have room to breathe and graze and roam as cattle do? Whatever the reason, you can’t deny that is an attractive look right there. Attractive and classy. Who hasn’t read something like this in a romance novel? "His zebra pants undulated in the breeze, waving me forward in a sultry ‘come hither’ motion. I was powerless to stop myself and we embraced, his pants fabric gently wrapping around my legs in the wind. Now I couldn’t get away – even if I wanted to." I mean, that’s a scene out of every classic early 90s movie. Or it’s not, because Zubaz were ugly and stupid even when they were actually of the time. The Zubaz pants come in red and white and maroon and white, but they have no Phillies insignia on them. They could be used to "support" other teams with that color scheme.
(Image via FansEdge.com)
Because it’s not enough to just ruin pants, the Zubaz people have started putting their insufferable, eye crossing pattern on other things, most notably hats. Zubaz sells four different varieties of Phillies hats. Four. Each one aggressively ugly in its own way. They ruin the whole throwback concept with this hat which incorporates the powder blue, maroon, and white throwback color scheme. The pattern is on the brim and the body of the hat is maroon with the shiny throwback logo front and center. Similar is this hat which features the current Phillies logo on a red hat with a red, white, and blue Zubaz pattern on the brim. Those two hats are the least offensive of the bunch. This hat has a lot of white and red – big red stripes accompanied by thin blue outlines with large white stripes in between. The red looks more washed out than the reds used on the other hats, and instead of being completely covered in the pattern, there’s a white panel in front of the hat with the Phillies logo in red. And lastly, there’s this cap, which you can see in the photo above. It’s completely covered in the red, white, and blue Zubaz pattern – the blue stripes are thick and outlined in red with thinner white stripes in between. It’s perfect for when you want people to think your brain has thrown up on your head.
So who should you buy these items for this holiday season? Your college buddy. Well, at this point he’s your college "buddy." You don’t really know what to do with him anymore. You think he could be a hipster, or perhaps he was once, long long ago, when he still had human emotions. And when the term "hipster" still had some kind of recognizable meaning. Whatever he was, now he’s taken it to a whole other level. To the point that he can’t really be normal around you… or anyone else, really. It started out pretty innocently. He did a term paper on irony, but he’d never tell you what it was specifically about. "You’ve never heard of it, I promise you." You humored him through his inexplicable Baja Men phase. "Oh man THOSE DOGS ARE SO OUT WHAT A GREAT SONG!" he’d shout out the dorm window, laughing maniacally. And you dealt with it when he started using those early 90s Bart Simpson catchphrases, inserting "Don’t have a cow, man!" into every single conversation he had. The RA really appreciated hearing that when his cat died. You tolerated the three months when he’d only eat Hungry Man frozen dinners. "It’s more authentically ironic to eat them while they’re still frozen." he said, his breath whistling annoyingly through the front tooth he chipped last week on the pot roast. You were pretty sure he had no idea what irony was. After college, he went vegan but decided to work in a butcher shop. "I'm the first ironic butcher!" he told you, though you were sure he wouldn't be the first butcher eventually admitted to an insane asylum. You had to stop hanging out with him when he decided to get the lyrics from the Alanis Morissette song "Ironic" tattooed on his back. "Don’t you see!? The song is called ‘Ironic’ but it’s not ironic at all, and I got it tattooed ironically because it isn’t actually about irony but it thinks it is! I’m through the rabbit hole! I’m so close to irony nirvana!" Inviting him to your wedding was a stupid thing to do, you thought to yourself as the ushers dragged him shouting down the aisle and out into the vestibule. These days, he’s been showing up at the bar wearing clothes from a combination of eras – yesterday, he looked like a Renaissance era Egyptian pharaoh by way of Starfleet. With a little Abe Lincoln thrown in for good measure. "I’m discovering new meanings of irony! My thesis is going to change the world!" You’d been thinking about changing your phone number and email address, but you really want to see what he does with those Zubaz. (Pants: $29.99, Throwback Hat: $26.99, Red, White & Blue Hat: $26.99, Red & White Hat: $24.99, Patterned Hat: $35.99)