Ok, I went to college. Sure, it was a shitty college, and the main draw was the low, low price of weed, but it was still a college with a roof and windows and everything. I didn’t learn much, but what I did learn I apply as vigorously to my life as a hipster applies ointment to his love rash.
And one thing that just is dying to be overanalyzed are menswear blog comments. After my little brush with fame, I got a quick reminder that the internet is, in fact, there to call you racial and sexual slurs, and the comments I got were so helpful in this aspect. So I took a look at other, more successful blogs to see what was being bandied about as discourse.
First up: Unabashedly Prep.
Prep posted this picture a few weeks back. Seems classy enough, with just a hint of homoeroticism to make it really special.
But, like the young man’s tousled hair in the afternoon breeze, it didn’t take look for the comments to go a-flying.
First, we had a simple enough comment.
But we can discern something important here: a skepticism towards Justin Bieber. This could either be a localization against the pop star himself (understandable) or it could be aimed at youth culture in general.
Here, we see further skepticism towards youth in the form of skepticism against tight jeans. One man’s tight jeans are another man’s baggy fit, but “trads” in particular seem to get quite testy on this subject of looseness of trousers. This is a subject that will be revisited…
Here is a fine example of PMG’s Internet Rule: Everyone has an damn opinion. Sure, Unabashedly Prep is a professional stylist and photographer, with a discerning eye for detail, but nope better set him straight on the Shirt/Tie issue: “Just make sure the colors contrast.” Thanks, buddy.
A nice return salvo by the blogger, Mr. Castleberry, who generally defends his subject as he is: a college student. And, indeed, “kids these days” do love tight-ass pants and floppy-ass hair.
This gent really opens up the meat of the matter. He at once criticizes lowly H&M fashion vis-a-vis “higher brow fashion”, the subjects hairstyle, and the white jeans as “feminine.” So now we see at play several issues: a skepticism towards youthful styles as feminine, and a fear of a cheapened and weakened look (and, we can read) masculinity because the encroachment of said youthful and feminine styles. Then again, “throwing on a linen blazer” doesn’t strike me as totally masculine, but let’s read on, fellow Scholars.
Will the scars of the War of Northern Aggression never heal?? Mr. Castleberry takes on yet another protected privilege of the “trad”: geography. Trads, as I understand, come from those states that have a lot of town names that end in “-port” and are lampooned in “Family Guy”, but the image in question was taken in Atlanta, and so we there is a disagreement over which part of the country really represents prep, and to what degree a region plays in the authenticity of the look.
As an aside, menswear in particular at this juncture in time/space is obsessed with “authenticity.” GANT didn’t open up a store near Yale on a whim, but because it is trying to capture a bit of that authenticity–or, I would argue, imagined authenticity.
With the above comment…I rest my case. Here, AEV defends the “prep” look, claiming that once you let the tradition slide a little, then you might as well let it slide a lot (I think some Goths somewhere have an opinion on that). He also invokes the regional play (“I know a Southern guy who would never wear that…and he’s so Southern he’s made of fried chicken!”)
So I hope you had some fun picking apart some internet comments. For what it’s worth, the comments on Prep’s blog make YouTube comments seem like the workings of incontinent monkeys. In future posts, I hope to continue to deconstruct the mind of the internet. Until then, remember: If you’re on the internet, you’re already halfway a moron.