Larry David’s “Pants Tent”

Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm (Episode 1.01: “The Pants Tent”)

Vitals

Larry David as himself, a neurotic comedy writer

Los Angeles, Fall 2000

Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Episode: “The Pants Tent” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: October 15, 2000
Director: Robert B. Weide
Creator: Larry David
Costume Designer: Wendy Range Rao

Background

Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t a show often celebrated for its sartorial style, but the trouser-centric faux pas that drives the plot of its first episode makes Larry David the perfect subject for BAMF Style’s annual April Fool’s Day post this year.

What’d He Wear?

Is it a bad thing? Maybe it’s not such a bad thing, you know?

Larry David lets us know exactly the sort of show we’re in for as the opening shot of Curb Your Enthusiasm is a close-up of his crotch as he aggressively tests the bounds of the corduroy bunched up above his groin.

"I have never seen a bunch-up like this in my life... This is like a five-inch bunch-up I got here."

“I have never seen a bunch-up like this in my life… this is like a five-inch bunch-up I got here.”

Larry deems this trouser phenomenon his “pants tent”, though it’s surprising that this would only be the first occurrence for a man who makes such a habit of wearing baggy clothing. These particular light brown corduroys are even baggier due to their double reverse pleats, providing ample material to pitch a pants tent.

With their excess size, Larry’s pants are almost certainly held up with a belt that remains unseen under his shirt. The bottoms are plain-hemmed, but Larry wears them cuffed them up about an inch.

Racked article from April 2016 that asked its readers “is Larry David the style icon we need?” (he isn’t) described “LD’s signature look, a mix of layers in desert mountain tones, all slate gray and brown and navy blues.”

Larry establishes this look from the outset, wearing a soft gray-blue long-sleeve polo shirt layered over a black cotton crew-neck t-shirt with his “pants tent” corduroys. Like all of his clothing, the polo shirt is a few sizes too big, and he has rolled back the elasticized cuffs over his wrists. He leaves the top of the three buttons undone.

The polo shirt is almost definitely Pima cotton, an ultra soft and durable fabric that would be a comfortable option for Larry’s days either in the office or on the golf course.

Although to suggest that Larry David is ever comfortable shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about his character.

Although to suggest that Larry David is ever comfortable shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about his character.

Larry dons an extra layer for the movie theater, an extremely oversized dark olive suede jacket with wide notch lapels, a two-button single-breasted front, patch pockets on the left breast and hips, plain cuffs, and ventless back. It appears not to the be the 3-button jacket that he wears the next day, as this has no pocket on the right breast.

As Larry would later describe it: "I think your friend Nancy thinks she got me aroused in the movie... because of the tent in the pants, and, when she looked down... she thought that there was some garbage there."

As Larry would later describe it: “I think your friend Nancy thinks she got me aroused in the movie… because of the tent in the pants, and, when she looked down… she thought that there was some garbage there.”

This episode was filmed and aired in 2000, evidently somewhere between the real Larry David’s preference for Nike Jordans while working on Seinfeld in the ’90s and before he adopted his now-trademark sustainable sneakers by Simple.

Larry’s white sneakers get some prominent screen time, as do their rubber outsoles with white toe caps and black accents on a wide gray center strip. What appears to be a black “B” is centered on the outsole, perhaps indicating the sneaker brand.

Do Larry's outsoles look familiar?

Do Larry’s outsoles look familiar?

Larry wears a pair of tight beige socks, possibly a cotton and elastane blend.

Larry’s signature gold-framed eyeglasses have been identified as Oliver Peoples MP-3, a style discontinued in the late ’80s but has remained on his face in the three decades since. The rounded lenses are rimmed with a thin tortoise eye wire. As Larry himself explained:

I can’t find another pair of glasses… I just like them. And now it’s too late to change, even if I didn’t like them. It would be like getting a tou­pee. It feels like a big step.

How to Get the Look

Larry David puts softness before style when dressing, although his soft cotton ensemble creates more problems than it’s worth…

  • Dark olive suede single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, patch breast and hip pockets, plain cuffs, and ventless back
  • Gray-blue soft Pima cotton long-sleeve polo shirt with 3-button collar and elasticized cuffs
  • Black cotton crew-neck short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Light brown double reverse-pleated trousers with belt loops, slanted side pockets, jetted back pockets, and self-cuffed bottoms
  • White sneakers with white toe caps and black-accented gray-striped rubber outsoles
  • Beige cotton/elastane socks
  • Gold-framed vintage eyeglasses with thin tortoise eye wires and round lenses

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the series, and start with the first season.

The Quote

I got a tent.

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