The Action Heroes Are in Their ‘Big Pants, Little Cardigans’ Era

Long ago, at the dawn of TikTok, the phenomenon of the big pants-little shirt girl was born. What began as a basic outfit silhouette (as the name suggests: baggy on the legs, tiny on the torso) became something like a persona, with the look connoting a sense of chill, coquettish cuteness. Menswear enthusiasts, of course, may well already be familiar with the big pants-little shirts look: “In some ways, it’s kinda become the look for a bunch of different style tribes,” says Avidan Grossman, my colleague over at GQ Recommends. “In menswear, the tiny shirt/big pants phenomenon is a very online look, too. Think: trucker-hatted fellas in itsy-bitsy Russell hoodies and ginormous Needles cargos or mulleted dudes in cropped bomber jackets and humongo pleated trousers.” 

Now, four-odd years after hitting TikTok, the look has at last made its way to the wearers who just may need it most: the very buff male stars of blockbuster action movies.

Michael B. Jordan

Raymond Hall/Getty Images

This week, Michael B. Jordan arrived to his Creed III press stop at The View in New York City in a delightfully The View-friendly ensemble: a pair of flowy black slacks and a fitted, candy-pink intarsia sweater from Versace. Not long after, Pedro Pascal—whose The Last Of Us hot streak is about to get even hotter as the actor starts promoting the third season of The Mandalorian—hit an event for the Star Wars spinoff series in London wearing a punchy pair of Acne Studios tomato-red trousers with a cropped, slightly meshy brown cardigan, also by Acne. 

Big pants, little sweaters! 

Pedro Pascal

David M. Benett/Getty Images

On the surface, neither outfit seems particularly engineered to entice—and yet, as ensuing social media activity suggested, the gender-neutral allure of wearing big pants with a little shirt persists. Jordan and Pascal’s respective stylists, Jason Bolden and Julie Ragolia, both underscored their clients’ cardigans with simple tank tops, which feels like a palatable toe-dip into wilder waters.

And so it seems that the act of wearing a pair of baggy pants with a small sweater, not unlike owning a book and a film camera, is another one of the sluttiest things a man can do. We’ll continue tracking this urgent story as it develops. In the meantime, you can shop MBJ and Pascal’s picks below:

Acne Studios knitted cardigan

Acne Studios tailored trousers

Versace “Intarsia” knit cardigan

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