On the Daily: The Emperor's New Khakis
There are many reasons why Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is famous. His coaching skills, his own football career, his “enthusiasm unknown to mankind.” And of course, his iconic khakis.
So it was no surprise that Harbaugh made headlines this weekend for admitting he’d switched from his usual $8 khakis to a new pair of $128 Lululemon pants.
ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington broke the news to fans via Twitter on Friday. According to Darlington, Harbaugh has fully committed to his new fashion.
“I’ll never wear anything else,” Harbaugh told ESPN.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 24, 2017
Though he didn’t speak publicly about the switch until this weekend, an investigation from the Washington Post found evidence that Harbaugh has been wearing Lululemon since the latter half of this year’s season. Some perceptive fans became suspicious of the change as early as this past November.
“Is it just me or has Jim Harbaugh made the upgrade to LuluLemon ABC Pants …?” one fan tweeted.
Is it just me or has Jim Harbaugh made the upgrade to LuluLemon ABC Pants...?
— Case Lawrence (@caselawrence) November 26, 2016
Indeed, television reporter Brad Galli gave Harbaugh his first pair as a gift during an interview in September. Harbaugh told GQ Magazine in an interview earlier last week, before he announced the new pants were from Lululemon, that he wears them for everything, and he loves their versatility.
"I can work out in my khakis," Harbaugh said. "And do … They make me feel good, too. Like I have a uniform. I always liked having a uniform.”
The new pants are noticeably different from his old khakis. Though the color seems to be the same, Harbaugh has traded out pleats and loose ankles for a tighter fit and a reflective inseam that can be seen when the pant legs are rolled up.
Many fans — and even former players — have been receptive to the change, saying he looks great.
— Craig Roh (@craigroh) March 24, 2017
However, some people have been critical. Evan Jankens of CBS Detroit thinks the switch is unfair to Nike, who designed special khakis for Harbaugh at the beginning of last season.
“If you ask me, it’s kind of a slap in the face to Nike who made special khakis for the coach, but who am I to judge?” Jankens wrote.
Nike hasn’t commented on the switch. However, Karl Aaker, Lululemon’s men’s brand director, confirmed to the Washington Post that the company is thrilled Harbaugh likes its pants — though the coach isn’t an official spokesperson.
“We’re pumped,” Aaker said.
Harbaugh’s Khakis— an unofficial fan account on Twitter meant to celebrate his iconic pants— also has yet to comment on the change.