Though classic menswear has experienced something of a revival in recent years, and The Sartorialist (and his army of imitators) have made the street style world terra cognita, no one, to our knowledge, has yet undertaken a proper taxonomy of menswear bloggers. Consider this our attempt.
Remember when NYMag, in their profile of Andy and Kate Spade, joked that “so many men in this city have been wandering around in flannel shirts and Red Wing boots, taking their meals in restaurants with walls covered in a mishmash of antlers and art?” Yeah. Those are these guys.
While this corner of the menswear community has been much maligned as a gang of Life photo archive-combing eccentrics, they do serve an important place in the menswear ecosystem. They host amazing flea markets. They single-handedly keep the Red Wing company in business. And, to be fair, they dig up come of the most amazing pieces of Americana available on the Internet — A Continuous Lean’s vintage catalog finds are alone worth regular visits.
Likes: Vintage postcards, racecars, Arctic explorers, flannel (obviously)
Dislikes: Silk, shaving
The Trad (actually a Manhattan insurance broker; formerly an Army paratrooper and park ranger) has a motto that aptly expresses the philosophy of these menswear grognards: “Not as good as it was. Better than it will be.”
Trads have a direct connection to the classic, anglophilic world of American WASP style, and their preference in dress shows it: heathery Scottish colors, natural shoulders, and a healthy regard for surcingle belts (like The Trad’s, pictured right). But the Trad viewpoint on clothing is really a prism through which all aspects of life can be viewed. Like that Barbour jacket, do you? Well, you’d better marry a girl like that — quotidian, homely, and dependable. Brooks Brothers doesn’t make lapelled tattersall vests any more? I guess they just went away. Like your youth will someday. Sigh.
Likes: Oxford shirts (preferably from Brooks or J. Press before their acquisition by vaguely unpalatable foreigners), 12-year whiskys, the United States Armed Forces
Dislikes: People who think “Oxford” is a cut or a material (It’s a weave, you louts.)
The followers of “classic menswear” are easy to identify. They’re obsessed with breaking down clothing by type, they abhor the use of man-made materials, and they all — all – have read every one of Alan Flusser‘s books.
Perhaps the best way to understand the Flussites is through the cloth subscription clubs organized on the Ask Andy forums. A group of devotees will decide on the exact specifications of a fabric, pool their resources, commissions a mill in Italy or Scotland to make it for them, and will then split it up and show off how, exactly, they have made use of it. Obsession, crystallized!
Likes: Matched patterns, foulards, back issues of Apparel Arts
Dislikes: Denim (a declasse fabric suitable only for poor agricultural laborers), athletic shoes, back vents