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There’s a neat little puzzle popular with people who like to eat. It’s called the Incompatible Food Triad and it goes like this: Can you think of three foods where any two of those items taste good together, but all three combined taste disgusting? (Bear with me: It’s more complicated than it sounds.)
You start by thinking of a couple of foods you like together and then add a third to try and mess the whole thing up — the catch here being that the party-crasher has to be delicious with each of the other two one-on-one.
I’ll go first. I love raspberry jam and cheese. Now, let’s get weird. The problem here is if you mess it up too much — by, say, adding in something exceptionally particular like smoked whitefish — the new item won’t pair with one of the others. Smoked whitefish and cheese? Throw in a bagel and most New Yorkers would call that breakfast. Smoked whitefish and jam? Fuhgeddaboudit. And if you play it soft (pork?), you end up with a triad that skews merely eccentric, not inedible. (One could easily imagine coastal city dwellers clamoring over pork loin tacos topped with cotija cheese and a side of raspberry-tomatillo salsa.)
But if the Incompatible Food Triad remains unsolved, I’ve got good news for you: The fashion version is a cinch. Simply add “a normal human body with all the lumps and bumps an average genetic lottery entails” as Ingredient C. Which is to say, most of us are willing to overlook one unflattering sartorial trait (drop-crotch; silk), but quickly crumble in the face of two (drop-crotch silk pants).
The fact that the Incompatible Fashion Triad is so easily solved is also why I’ve spent the last few years and several hundred dollars several times over in search of a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg, ankle-cropped jeans that wouldn’t make me look like an Oompa Loompa moonlighting as an urban lumberjack. (I like to call this puzzle the Incompatible Fashion Tetrad. Math!) And at long last, I am pleased to finally make my high school algebra teacher proud by directing you to this insanely flattering pair by Madewell.
With a just-the-right-amount-of-saturated deep blue denim and a structured but not constrictive weight, these beauties also come fitted with a pair of magic pockets (my term, not Madewell’s) that act like the world’s chicest girdle — rendering a once-incompatible fashion equation decidedly compatible. Seriously, these pants make you look good.
You do the math.