When Did Menswear Get So Grouchy?
We’ve been getting some weird vibes from the menswear blogodome lately.
It’s a sudden antisocial feeling, an uptick in cold shoulders—and, more recently, a cotton pocket square that says “fuck off.” The days of polite, well-behaved pocket squares are gone now, possibly never to return.
We’re not taking it personally, but it’s hard not to notice: menswear’s gotten a lot grouchier in the last few months. Maybe it was inevitable, given the recent level of swagger in certain corners, but we can’t help thinking something’s gone terribly wrong…
Naturally, we’ve got a few ideas about what it means…
The pocket square in question is from Mr. McNairy—who, to be fair, has always been a bit prickly. But he’s not alone. We’d also point to this APC sweatshirt that just wants to be left alone. (If you had a yacht, you might feel the same way.)
It looks a little jarring spelled out like that, but it’s not so different from the message a fair number of peacocked gentlemen are sending. Style’s about self-definition, and at least some are using it to paint themselves as above it all. It’s not a whole style, just a subtle edge—a little camo snobbery here, an unusually feral opinion on pocket squares there. Oh, and the Jedi.
We’re not on a moral trip here—it’s just a little bit insular and kind of a shame. Turning your wardrobe into an elaborate screw face is just missing the point. Our favorite men of style are the approachable ones: the Newmans, the Clooneys…hell, even the Cucinellis. They dress like someone you’d want to have a beer with, maybe talk about baseball. You want to actually interact with them, not just see them on your dashboard.
If you really wanted to be left alone, you should have just stayed in your pajamas.
(Mr. Schlossman gets a pass.)
- — Russell Brandom