This company sells jeans designed to make it look like you wet yourself
"Wet look, dry feel," Wet Pants Denim promises. Yes, the look will cost you.
Leslie KatzFormer Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Ever spilled something on your pants while out in public? Ever thought to yourself, "Sure, it might seem like I peed myself, but my pants actually look kind of cool now. I'm just gonna own this." Then maybe Wet Pants Denim is for you. If what it says is on the level, the company sells jeans designed to make it seem like you lost a battle with your bladder.
Its pants bear what appears to be a wet spot front and center, as if to scream to the wondering world: Had to go, didn't have time.
"Wet look, dry feel," the company promises. "Our jeans are designed to mimic the aesthetic of urinary incontinence without the commonly associated discomfort."
The founder of Wet Pants Denim -- a 20-something Manhattanite who won't share his name or company sales figures -- assures me the company's products are "100% real," and a reporter from Mel Magazine confirms this after ordering a pair to see for himself.
"Believe it or not, there are people who actually do enjoy the 'wet look,'" the company's creator tells me via email, sharing this photo to prove the point. "It's unclear to us if this is meant as a sexual fetish or for pure shock value, though it doesn't really matter either way."
But (as the unnamed clothier reminds anyone who's ever spilled on themselves) wet pants aren't comfortable, and the wet spot eventually dries up. His product, therefore, "aims to bridge a gap in the market for individuals who urinate their pants in search of a specific aesthetic."
That aesthetic no doubt will have some fashionistas crying tears of bewilderment onto their totally dry jeans.
The hand-stained jeans from Wet Pants Denim are individually made for each order, the site says. Choose from blue denim with a dark blue splotch; light gray denim with a dark gray spot; or white with yellow dye for that extra drop of realism. The company calls this style its "summer-inspired urinary incontinence jean," which might come across as shocking, or even offensive, to those who struggle with real urinary incontinence.
"You could make a case that these pants are bringing more attention and awareness to the issue," the creator counters. A questionable claim, but the company website includes a link to a YouTube video from a urologist explaining the causes and symptoms of urinary incontinence, as well as treatment options.
Patrons of the pee jeans can purchase them online for $75 (about £53, AU$97), which includes shipping, or they can send in their own pants and have them dyed in a strategic spot for less. The company promises customers will have their new garb within three to five business days. It takes payment via PayPal, or curiously, its own digital currency called PissCoin.
"Really good quality," a TikTok user named Lauren, who has 48,000 followers, says in the below unboxing video of Wet Pants Denim shorts. "I love the pattern. It's kind of subtle ... enough to wear in public, but you're going to be turning a few heads. I like how there's a product for people like me who want people to think that they peed themselves but actually didn't."
Surprisingly, the company, founded in 2018, precedes last year's TikTok Pee Your Pants Challenge, which saw people doing just that and posting the results on the video sharing platform.
The challenge appears to have started in April of last year at the height of the coronavirus lockdown. Comedian Liam Weyer posted a video of himself peeing his pants and decided to see how far his prank would flow if he urged others to follow suit. Dozens of people did, with the videos attached to the #peeyourpantschallenge hashtag garnering more than 17 million views to date.
"I am surprised to see that people on the internet will pee themselves if you call it a challenge and add a hashtag," Weyer told The Insider.
In addition to a website, Wet Pants Denim has Twitter, Instagram and TikTok accounts, the latter with more than 5,500 followers. Nonetheless, it's still hard to believe the whole thing isn't a joke along the lines of SNL's three-legged jeans.
To find out whether Wet Pants Denim is real, Calvin Kasulke, the Mel Magazine reporter, ordered a pair. Actual pants arrived, though the "WPD" written inside the waistband using what appeared to be a black Sharpie made it clear he hadn't ordered clothes from a mass manufacturer.
Under the WPD, the number 003 appeared. "As in, the third pair of jeans they've distributed," Kasulke wrote. "Some real hypebeast shit (or rather, piss)."
Photos of the pants snapped more recently reveal the label has moved beyond the Sharpie stage, though you probably won't be seeing the apparel at H&M or Old Navy anytime soon. "The pants themselves were pretty comfortable, if I recall, but for the obvious psychic weight of looking like you pissed yourself," Kasulke tells me. "Can't say I've worn them since."
Fortunately the company says it doesn't intend to offer clothing featuring spots the color of other bodily emissions.