I find myself wedged between two very interesting parts of the internet.
The first is the world of #menswear. It’s full of men who will devote thousands of hours and even more money to clothing and appearance. Many will get into heated arguments about differences that only affect our little world – things like the superiority of a Florentine silhouette vs one from London, the proper length of a tie, and whether the execution of a three-patterned ensemble is gauche or expertly crafted. I have my own opinions on these matters but find the debate interesting.
Most of the men in this part of the Internet can be found in white-collar environments. They have soft hands, hate violence, and typically lean left. They prefer large vocabularies, even larger universities, and never question the benefits of a secular, post-Christian Western culture.
The second is the world of the manosphere. It’s a rabbit-hole that can be overwhelming to fall into. There are myriad factions of men within this world – PUA’s, MRA’s, traditionalists, nihilists, fascists, and nearly every other “controversial” ideology you can come up with. Many will get into heated arguments about differences in how to approach the world – things like whether it’s masculine or suicidal to pursue a traditional family, the proper approach to dating, and whether a given approach to life or happiness is beta or alpha. I have my own opinions on these matters but find the debate interesting.
The men in this part of the Internet can be found everywhere, some in blue-collar jobs, others in offices, some are losers in their parents’ basements and others travel the world running their own successful businesses. They also prefer large vocabularies but hate large universities, and question the benefits (and durability) of a secular, post-Christian Western culture.
For the most part these worlds don’t overlap. The majority of men who focus on style see traditional masculinity as outmoded, oppressive, and dangerous. The majority of men who focus on masculinity, and its role in the modern world, see a focus on clothing as effeminate, shallow, and silly.
What many from the manosphere have accused me of doing is attempting to combine these two worlds. They assume I want everyone on the alt-right to dress as if they were attending NYFW or Pitti Uomo, or that I believe a man has to dress like I do in order to be truly masculine.
Which brings us to my favorite insult of the online world of men. I rarely read or hear it when discussions are had about me or my site. I know my presence in this part of the world isn’t massive and I’m not controversial enough to be worth talking about. However, I do hear it 90% of the time those who are in favor of traditional masculinity discuss those who oppose it.
He’s a skinny jean wearing….
They think their skinny jeans….
Pay attention to it. Listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, and read some posts. Inevitably, an insult for the modern man includes his clothing.
I love it because it proves what I’m attempting to do with Masculine Style. I don’t advocate that all men wear suits, nor that they all adopt skinny jeans. I also don’t believe that a tighter pair of pants automatically disqualifies a male from being traditionally masculine.
What I do believe and teach is that clothing matters. Even if you say it doesn’t matter to you, you use clothing to define your enemies. It’s a way for both of these large, messy, discombobulated tribes to identify who’s in and who’s out.
The more I hear it the more I love it. And the more I hear it, the more I realize how true it is.
There isn’t a uniform for being a man. One tribe’s skirt is another tribe’s kilt. What can be deemed effeminate or weak in one culture can be a sign of strength and virility in another.
However, the consistent thread is always there – men use clothing to signal their status, fitness, and value to their tribe. Period. End Post. Full stop.