Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#Menswear #Movement

Last week there was a bit of heated discussion over the current state of #menswear. Is it a circle-jerk of “top lists” and coppable gear, or has this become the evolution of the subculture, dictated by media demand and web platform?

Perhaps it is just a circle-jerk where we’re all redefining what jawnz are. It could be just that, and there’s a rational explanation for it. Any small group of similarly interested people will inevitably reinforce their own beliefs. The more you surround yourself with extremists, the more compounded your own views become. #Menswear nerds like clothes, and a lot of us like the same ones.We pay attention to fashion, we follow what we like, and we become involved in those worlds. But I like to think I started reading Four Pins because I liked their content, not because their content dictated what was “cool.” 

There’s tons of blogs out there, and I can only read so much in a day. Four Pins made the list. At some point though, my relationship to the site probably became less based on my interests (I like rap and clothes, Four Pins caters to that, I’ll read them), and more based on cyclical, self-fulfilling prophecies (I read Four Pins, they know what’s tight, I’ll like THIS rap and THOSE clothes). 

I do think there’s credence in the idea the #menswear is a circle-jerk. But circle-jerks can be fun, and eventually everyone embodies one in a way. My father eventually had to stop partying, grow up, and get a real job. Now he hangs out with other boring old farts who like fishing and C-SPAN. If that’s what he likes, he’ll hang out with others like him, and eventually that’s all they’ll talk about. 

The same has happened to us, but it likely can’t be avoided. My point is, so what? Yes so we all like the same things and we all congratulate ourselves over Twitter on snagging a pair of 1947 LVCs at huge discount on Vente Privee. There’s still a healthy amount of comment, criticism, sarcasm and snark that keeps us grounded in reality (or at least enough that our heads aren’t totally up our own asses). We’re nerds, but we know it. 

As for the point about slideshows and lists, that’s a reflection of the business, bro. I now write for a magazine (that hopefully makes it to print). They want lists. Under 500 words.  Original content still exists, and it exists on the web. It’s just hard to find, because you have to search past those major websites (that admittedly most people visit, and most people rehash their content because it seems “cool.” See above). Tons of small bloggers still write when they’re passionate or angry or any other adjective-ed enough to type out a longform missive. Major media chanced on a gold mine when they discovered #mensear nerds wanting to buy the $1000 sport coats and $600 shoes that most average joes found to be too expensive. And so major media took advantage of that. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t those nerds of us still out there, chatting on StyleForum or commenting on blogs, keeping the #movement alive.

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