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We knew it was bad, but we didn’t realize it had gotten this bad.

Then we saw it with our own eyes: dozens upon dozens of guys caught on Instagram, walking around in the exact same gingham shirt.

The Instagram account @thatjcrewginghamshirt is not even a month old and it’s already documented over 40 guys in New York wearing one shirt: J.Crew’s Secret Wash in a magnified navy gingham. And it would seem that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As arbiters of style, at first we weren’t sure whether to be amused or troubled by this revelation—or even a bit proud to see such a strong majority of guys dressing a little better this summer—but ultimately there’s a lesson to be learned here.

It’s the perfect example of how something even as simple and timeless as a gingham shirt can fall into the trap of trendiness (squared to the power of J.Crew). And yet, while the gingham shirt is experiencing a moment of overexposure in 2014, that doesn’t mean the warm-weather staple is going anywhere for the countless summers to come. In other words, you don’t have to throw yours out, just know that you’re running the risk of looking unfashionable—which isn’t always a bad thing—for the foreseeable future (probably until J.Crew starts doubling down on popovers). But that’s the way trend cycles work; sometimes you unexpectedly find yourself on the wrong side of them. (Or even on the right side, ahem, Jerry Seinfeld.)

Though we wouldn’t hold it against you if you hung up the gingham early this year.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Kempt Staff