WHEN I went to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I knew I would be exposed to a plethora of bedazzled warm-up suits and ill-fitting glamour, but of all the gaudy attire, one thing burned into my retinas: a young man wearing a pair of skinny jeans.

I saw the emo kid while I was waiting at baggage claim, a dreamcatcher-like woven bag slung over his shoulder. His Jared Leto haircut brushed his brow with "I'm so cool" charm. But it was his super slim-fitting jeans that mesmerized me — not in a good way.

When the reincarnation of skinny jeans hit the female market, I thought it was adorable. Seeing Audrey Hepburn in those Gap commercials was delightful.

But when men started to jump on this bandwagon, I started to get cynical.

In my imaginary fashion world, skinny jeans were made by accident.

One day, a designer wanted to make a pair of jeans. When he started making them, he got the measurements of the fabric wrong, which resulted in a pair of form-fitting pants. He slapped them on a popular socialite and they became a trend for women. Decades later, they were all the rage for men.

In a more logical explanation, the financial crisis of the country, believe it or not, has had an impact on the world of fashion.

Based on the runway shows at the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, nearly everything was dark, fitted, short and cropped. From this, I have come to the conclusion that fabric and color are scarce. As a result, things are smaller, which explains the widespread skinny jean epidemic.

I have many pairs of slim fit pants, but the fabric isn't leeching on to my legs like latex.

During one of my monthly shopping trips to Barneys New York in San Francisco, I decided to suspend my doubt and try on a pair of A.P.C. skinny jeans.

On the rack, the jeans didn't look too constricting. The finish of the denim was immaculate and the tailoring was top notch, but then I tried them on. The fit of the waist was fine, but trying to ease into the pants was like forcing my legs into sausage casings.

When I finally got them on, I looked in the mirror. They were tight — really tight. I laughed and took them off immediately. There is a thin line between a finely fitted pair of jeans and a pair of pants that could be mistaken for spandex. I crossed that line and then some.

A man has to have a slender, waif-like build in order to don a pair of skinny jeans. I discovered I don't have that type of body — neither did the emo kid at the airport. Let's just say that his faded gray jeans were hugging him in all the wrong places.

The one man that who has pulled off the skinny jean look effortlessly is Euro-pop sensation Mika.

With his Freddie Mercury-esque voice and his peacock strut, he has been seen in skinny jeans in various colors of the Crayola box.

As for the herds of emo bands, I accept the fact that each man has a pair of skinny jeans for every day of the week. Besides, we are too distracted by their eye liner and emotionally hardcore lyrics to notice that their pants are painted on to their legs.

When it comes down to it, it's all about personal taste. If you like to be bound by denim, more power to you.

Personally, I prefer to avoid the risk of infertility.

'Runway' reversal

Totally off topic, my last column stated that the folks at "Project Runway" snubbed me from their runway show when I went to New York last week. I totally take that back.

The wonderful people ended up inviting me to their show. The people at Bravo/NBC Universal definitely know how to make dreams come true.

Reach Dino-Ray Ramos at 925-945-4713 or

dramos@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read more of his fashion commentary at http://www.ibabuzz.com/fashion.