STATEMENT CUFFING IS A THING

And I love it, duh.

The men’s fashion issue of T is out now, or soon? I’m not sure which. I’ll be on the lookout. I always love Jason Rider’s work, but this season I fell hardest for this denim story styled by Carlos Nazario.

Photos © Oliver Hadlee Pearch / T magazine

Also can’t wait to read this incredible looking profile of Pablo Bronstein. Swoon! 

TURN UP FOR TURTLENECKS

This is the “really cute sweater” I mentioned the other week. It’s a ladies’ drop shoulder, asymmetrical side-split seam turtleneck from Sincerely, Tommy. Serving hella WASP mom vibes in it with my white jeans.

Photos © Sean Santiago

P.S. You can see me some other turtlenecks here, if you go in for that sort of thing. 

SINCERELY, TOMMY

 

Photos © Backyard Bill
My friend and I were out on the town the other night being young and just generally awesome so of course I pulled out my phone and was like, “Have you seen this girl on Instagram?” Which is actually, I feel, a step up from my usual, “Have you seen this baby on Instagram?” Growth, people.
Anyway, that girl is Kai Avent-deLeon, and she makes me question why I bother getting dressed every morning and presenting myself to other human beings because it’s just like, not really worth the effort. But then for some people it is, apparently? Here’s Kai wearing incredible wide-legged pants with mustard socks and oxblood loafers:

While hanging out with Celia Smith and Pop Africana’s Oroma Elewa, who once took this fitting room selfie:

Which is ALL I’VE EVER WANTED TO LOOK LIKE AND I’M DYING.

Anyway, Avent-deLeon runs Bed Stuy boutique Sincerely, Tommy and I bought a really cute sweater there the other week. Kai has amaaazing taste but prices are still really reasonable and most everything is made in Japan, w00t. Here’s the store interior, it’s gorgeous:

And be sure to check out their Instagram and ~very cool~ Tumblr

A PRIMER ON WHITE DENIM

http://jakandjil.com/archives/7643

I bought white lady jeans this past weekend and I’m literally obsessed with them. They look/fit a good bit like the pair on Ms. Thing, above—medium rise and cropped to show some ankle. There aren’t any moose knuckle issues, as you can see in the photo below. (Ed note: that’s always a tricky thing to ask about. I usually end up pointing to that whole region and even kind of gesticulating toward the back with longer, circular motions to avoid directly calling out ‘weird shit my junk is doing’ to random sales clerks.)

Anyway, as I said, there are no such issues and I’m totally on board with these once spring rolls around. It’s been awhile since I last had a white pair of jeans (almost ten years ago!) so I made this handy dandy infographic to illustrate how I’m approaching my White Jeans Game this time around:

My new pair is Acne’s Pop White. I tried them on in store with these shoes and this sweater and I loved everything, then did the math and realized the whole look would set me back over $1k, before taxes. I’m not married to Beyoncé so I shut that down pretty quickly, but not before taking note of these simple and sexy! tips:

01 Definitely go sans belt in white jeans. I think it’s fresher, plus a belt would cut you weirdly in half, as kindly illustrated by ’06 Sean. Though I guess that brown leather belt is making some weird nod to the brown tones in my Rainbow flip-flops?
02 Wear a cool loafer or chunky/heavy oxford/blucher/cap toe with the white jeans, socks totally optional. DO NOT wear motherfucking Rainbow flip-flops unless you want to look like a gay virgin from suburban Virginia.
03 Keep the color palette nice and subdued. Think navy, deep plums, black, maybe throw in some camel, get some army fatigue action going on, etc. DON’T wear some bright-ass Polo Outlet yuppie bullshit in noxious cerulean. Brights in general with white jeans…just steer away from that. You want to look French, not Floridian.

Here are a few more people, mostly Emmanuelle Alt, wearing white denim in inspiring ways:

I feel like these are all really good looks for when the weather gets up to like, 40 degrees and my wardrobe needs to be “transitional”. I put together a kind of boring but not offensively bad outfit, below, in the hopes that you will click on some things and I will make money. Transparency! Top photo Tommy Ton, click for source; men’s white denim photos via The Sartorialist, left and right; Emmanuelle Alt photos.

Clockwise from top-left: J.CrewSaint LaurentSandroMismoUniform Wares (this watch is actually hella sick and I want it so bad), Marni (also hella sick, duh) 

HOW TO WEAR A TURTLENECK

I don’t mean to toot my own taste horn, but I told you turtlenecks were going to be hot this season and—according to the moodboard I just made—they so totally are. Don’t just take my word for it—Glenn O’Brien agrees! (In an article from like, 2005, but whatever.) A more recent testament to their hotness would be Details’ editorial Ready To Wear, in which hottie-with-a-body Clément Chabernaud wears a Balenciaga turtleneck and makes dudes be like, “Where my manties at?” They’re on the floor, drenched in sensational f*cking style, that’s where they are.
(Clockwise from top: suit + turtleneck c/o Alder New York; ph. John Kim // Clément Chabernaud in Balenciaga; ph. Tetsuhara Kubota, styling Eugene Tong for Details // The Sartorialist // Dapper Lou // Steve McQueen)
What I’m trying to say is that turtlenecks are wicked sweet, even though you may think they’re kinda nerdy in a Steve Jobs way—or, worse: in a Steve Jobs as played by Ashton Kutcher sort of way. Maybe you think they’re stylistically on par with bellbottoms and polyester point-collared shirts, but I’ve got news for you: ok, 1) bellbottoms are amazing and 2) so are turtlenecks. Polyester shirts are literally the worst, so I can’t fault you there.

Ph. McArthur Joseph // turtleneck American Apparel // sportcoat A.P.C. // pants Marc by Marc Jacobs // shoes Rachel Comey // pocket square vintage // reading Monocle

01 Turtlenecks look great with a suit/suiting elements, aka I’m telling you to wear them with a sportcoat and nice pants and not dad jeans to avoid the aforementioned Kutcher/Jobs comparisons. You’re welcome.
02 Since you’ll be going sans tie, consider a pocket square to snazz up your chest region.
03 I feel like keeping your color palette simple—two to three hues in the same family—is ideal, but this is just a personal preference. But, I mean, how great does the dark gray on gray with brown look? And the denim with the dark blue with the black belt? These don’t even really sound like color combos, but they totally are because turtlenecks.
04 Accessorizing with Monocle magazine is just so next level.
05 That’s all I got. How you feelin’ about t-necks? T-nexx? #tnex #kleenex 

THREE THOUGHTS FOR #AW13

Smalltown Boy | The Lab Magazine

Smalltown Boy | The Lab MagazineSmalltown Boy | The Lab Magazine

Really love the photography here, very Alasdair McLellan-y. Thoughts for fall (which is just around the friggin’ corner, holy shite!): pattern mixing, turtlenecks and chelsea boots. And it would seem leather snapbacks are seasonless… Photography Tomas Falmer; styling Nicole Walker, via The Lab Magazine. 

PRIDE & THE PROBLEM WITH “NORMAL”

man in dress holding flower

I’ve blogged it before, but this Tim Walker shot is just so money.

DOMA was just overturned and we’re headed into Pride weekend here in New York, which means it’s time for some #deepthoughts and a healthy dose of swearing…

Conventional. Traditional. Normal. These words stand diametrically opposed to my understanding of queer identity. Not because queer people are walking around wondering to themselves, “How can I be more oUtRagEoUs?!” but because straight people have more or less always been like, “You frighten us, now we shall stone you to death!” Clothing and other facets of self-presentation have always been an important component of identity to queer peoples, either for purposes of more fulfilling self-expression or as a form of discreet coding to let other “deviants” know you were of a kind. Because I process everything in my world through the lens of (men’s) fashion, I wanted to start this off by parsing through some reactions to the recent menswear shows and their wider implications.

slideshow of street style snapshots from the men’s shows brought forth a goldmine of assholes (and not in a good way) on popular, hetero-geared style blog, Hypebeast. “I hate it when men act and dress like women,” said one commenter. “‘Men’s Fashion Week’ yet there’s 4 slides with purses,” said another. Two commenters called the subjects “clowns” and one praised David Gandy for being the only guy to give us, “classic menswear.” It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been—someone had the good sense to chime in, “fuck man, it’s 2013…get over it,” and another said, “How do you usually like your men to act?” But I do think, regardless of the dire state of blog commenting at this point in the game, that the opinions voiced by these few readers are representative of a good chunk of what you might call the “menswear community.” They like their men in tailored suits and jerk off to pocket squares and vintage Aston Martins, all the better if you can get both in one shot, preferably in an Italian label’s lookbook (sponsored by a Whiskey brand.)

The weird divide this dialogue creates—”Classic” vs. “Clown”—immediately brought to mind a great piece from Susie (actually two pieces, here and here), in which she decries this kind of outcry as “joyless” and “patronising.” She had to suffer it during the men’s collections in London, which showcase the work of some of men’s fashion’s most conceptual and boundary-burning auteurs, and she wasn’t too happy about it:

Is it physically/spiritually getting in the way of your day that these designers are creating these collections? Can you be 100% sure that there is no man in the entire world that would wear this? Is it not much better that someone is out there creating such clothes so that elusive ‘man’ does have the option to wear halter-neck tops/lace onesies/floral tracksuit bottoms should he choose to do so?

To quote one of our good men in the Hypebeast thread, “Fuck, man…it’s 2013. Get over it.”

Susie’s use of the word “patronising” hits the nail on the head for me, as it taps into the idea that these feelings of revulsion being voiced by the “Classic” crowd are coming from a place that’s all too eager to demean and lessen a designer’s artistic output for its “silliness.” These men daren’t condescend to that kind of “feminine” frivolousness. Their angst is rooted in misogyny: the “Clown” camp is an affront to the comfort they take in traditional masculinity and conventional gender roles. I mean, just a theory.

men in avant-garde fashions

Two “daring” looks from London label Meadham Kirchhoff’s SS13 collection.

The Independent’s Alex Fury wrote a great piece after seeing the above mentioned Mr. Gandy, a “Classic” dude himself, denigrate the apparent frippery of British designers on national TV. (Of note: Gandy is on the council for London’s mens shows.) “I can’t help but bemoan the fact that a suited, booted and hatted gentleman is still our stereotypical image of menswear,” said Fury. “How reactionary. How antiquated. How downright dull.” Serenade me!

I started this blog because I felt like my relationship to my clothes was different than that being discussed by a lot of male style bloggers, gay or straight. It’s an emotional connection we have, my duds and I. I love these ladies. They love me back. They know I roll deep—that’s right perfect tee, I’m buying you in every color—and that I’ll drop a couple bills on ’em if they get ratchet, instead of chucking them out like they’re some jumpsuit from last season’s Rihanna collection. Does this pair of shoes fit? No? Sort of? Huh. Can I physically get it on my foot without dying? That’s a start. ‘Cuz I love this shoe, and we’re gonna make it. And not like at the end of Titanic when Kate tells Leo she loves him and then is like, “Bye, bitch!” and let’s him drop to the ocean floor. No, no. This is Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally and she’s faking an orgasm and everyone’s looking at her and in the end all Billy Crystal can do is smile and then some old lady is like, “I’ll have what she’s having,” not because I’m particularly great at faking an orgasm, but because I’m pretty into orthopedic-looking shoes.

Did that make sense? I don’t know. I’m just too emotional. My point is that fashion should be fun and you shouldn’t be taking it too damn seriously. Your closet is a breeding ground for creativity, not conformity. Who wants to open up an armoire and think to himself, “How can I look like everyone else today?” or “Which outfit will my peers approve of?” Jesus, is this middle school? Who are you trying to please? I pulled two block quotes from a lengthy piece by Charlie Porter that speak to this point pretty damn eloquently:

The young menswear designers who have shown at MAN and LC:M since 2005 are restoring a broken link to the radical fashion halted in the 1980s…with their designs, they are allowing for all that is diverse, different, complex and often unsaid. Sometimes the work is uncomfortable or challenging. Often it is celebratory. But it creates a dialogue, and promotes further freedom and creativity. It’s these things which show the importance of fashion as a bellwether, not of superficial trends, but of actual societal change.

There will be gay men of the right wing reading this thinking, oh shut up. What they crave is masculine normality through tailoring and what is deemed as conventional clothing. Probably because aping normality was the only way for them to gain acceptance and approval from their family, and from their peers, as they grew up in the 80s or 90s.

Me in some skirts.

And this gorgeously brings us to the problem of queer identity in fashion/menswear (but can we take a minute to appreciate Porter’s cutting use of the word, “aping”? Nice one, brah.) The trappings of masculinity seem to have created a new cult of getting off on fitting in. Do gay men, accustomed to internalizing self-loathing from a very early age (thanks, society!), seek out “straight acting” men because, oh man, aren’t straight guys just so sexy? A Queerty article from a few years back entitled, “Is Our Obsession With ‘Straight-Acting’ Guys Perverse (And Really Harmful)?” touches on the phenomenon of “discreet” sexual encounters between gay men:

The word ‘discreet’ comes up in over one thousand postings. It is the new ‘straight-acting.’ There are two spellings of the word ‘discreet.’ The other spelling, ‘discrete,’ means distinct, separate, and individual. That is the antithesis of what these Craigslisters want in a man. Discrete’s double-E’d sister is marked by modesty and prudence—two of my least favorite words.

Is there a fetishization of “normal” going on here? Feelings of repression and self-hatred (seeing yourself as inferior and/or emasculated by society) bubble to the surface as a hunt for “masc” fuck buddies. Writer Matt Siegel nicely brings us back around to the idea of downplaying your differences and trying to “fit in,” but the idea of normal, normalcy, etc. is itself anti-queer, or at least un-queer. We’re part of a subculture—by birth, by choice, whatever—that deviates from the norm in a fairly fundamental way. To act like “normal” is some sort of newly attainable goal that everyone wants to hop on board with—we can get married! we’re just like you!—is the complete opposite of progress, something HuffPost Gay Voices editor Noah Michelson discusses in this video. He describes feeling normal as a “privilege” fought for by, “faggots, dykes and gender non-conforming people.” “‘I just happen to be gay’…that’s not something you could say twenty years ago.”

And let’s not forget that, because “normal” really isn’t the point, people. Take, for example, the fight for marriage. It isn’t about us conforming to their standard, it’s about us being equal citizens who are constitutionally granted equal rights. And equal does not mean the same.

 

CALIFORNIA SON

skateboarding inspired style

Why go for “sexy” when you can go for “sk8er boi golf attire”?


skateboarding inspired styleskateboarding inspired style

As you can see, I’m still all about that socks for summer look, and I’m not apologizing for it. I also got really into filters this time around?

I love the print on this shirt—it’s rather Marni-esque and super versatile. This exact one seems to have vanished from Uniqlo’s site (I get the impression they move through these styles pretty quickly), but if you’re in the market you can see some other printed short-sleeve options here. Thrifted Keds, Assembly shorts. Photos McArthur Joseph.

 

THE SHORTS SUIT

 

Knee high socks, longer(ish) shorts, and sexy sneaks. And ya done! Shorts Assembly New York (seen here), sneakers Y-3 from Tokio 7 (seen here). See more alterna-suiting options here and here.

 

OHK + LEAF BOWTIE GIVEAWAY!

This week I’ve teamed up with McArthur of Daily Mister to show two different ways to put a personal spin on spring neckwear from Ohk + Leaf. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Ohk + Leaf was founded by brothers Caleb and Ethan with the help of their mother, a fourth-generation seamstress. Caleb cites Nick Wooster and Michael Bastian as inspirations, as well as Gene Kelly and Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria. “My moodboard is a mix of pure Americana and genre-bending, gender-defying individuals wearing classically powerful clothing,” Caleb told me.
I paired my bright orange bow with a shirt from In God We Trust, a thrifted windbreaker and my Cheap Monday skinnies. The #supercute shoes are c/o Florsheim by Duckie Brown (You may remember I  ‘grammed their spring offerings here and here.)

While I embraced pops of color, McArthur took his bow in a more butch direction. He wears a vintage hat from the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, pants from Gap, a denim jacket from American Eagle Outfitters and boots by Dr. Scholls. To enter our giveaway, simply drop by the *fruitpunch Facebook page and ‘like’ the post pinned to the top (It says “Giveaway!” You can’t miss it.) Two winners will be chosen at random and sent an Ohk + Leaf bowtie! Get social with Ohk + Leaf on Facebook and Twitter. 

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