The codpiece, a horsehair cup covering and enlarging the bulge of the male genitals. But it’s not just a footnote from the Renaissance: GQ Magazine apparently thinks the codpiece is making a comeback. The internet is puzzled.
According to men’s ‘style bible’ GQ this weekend, the “codpiece remains one of menswear’s most essential accessories.” Maybe so in the Florentine palaces of the 15th century, or in the court of Henry VIII, but when was the last time you saw a pair of men’s pants sporting a decorative, dome-shaped bulge?
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) December 14, 2019
If you answered ‘never’ you’re not alone, and didn’t miss the comeback of the codpiece, because it never happened. Twitter commentators were equally bemused at the article, and jumped in to slate the magazine and mock the codpiece.
“Would you stop making sh*t up. There was a time when I looked to @GQMagazine for the lastest [sic] trends in menswear,” one wrote. “Not anymore.”
"Codpiece." "Essential." Mate, it's a purse for your ballsack 🤷♂️ https://t.co/hmVyIemoaR
— Chris JK (@ChrisJKenworthy) December 14, 2019
I never leave the house without my codpiece and anyone who does is a peasant https://t.co/oWDahJxKb8
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) December 14, 2019
This is how I imagine all of my Twitter trolls are dressed. https://t.co/yBPa2hv7dA
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) December 14, 2019
Behind the clickbait headline, GQ’s article is more of a discussion of the history of the codpiece and its depictions in art and fashion than a preview of next spring’s hot new fashion trend. However, it does devote considerable space to a fashion designer, Thom Browne, who incorporates the Renaissance classic into his runway collections, albeit without the woven horsehair of yesteryear.
It also notes that the codpiece was historically intended to suggest “that the penis, and everything that clusters about it, is enormous in proportion. And is tremendously potent.” In an era where even men’s magazines like GQ opine about “toxic masculinity,” few are calling for its return to mainstream fashion.
Women everywhere: Can we please just have pockets on dresses?
Fashion designers: Let’s spend our time bringing back the codpiece! https://t.co/nNGX1Lj5Qq
— Courtney Ranstrom (@courtranstrom) December 14, 2019
But perhaps GQ missed the mark, and the codpiece is actually poised to make a comeback? After all, eco-conscious designers are already suggesting we drink from hollowed-out gourds instead of paper cups. Why not complete the ‘Medieval Dandy’ look with a doublet, a pair of linen hose, and a thumping great codpiece underneath, shielding and accentuating the wedding vegetables for all to see?
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