I’m still reeling from the realization that I am Not as Unique as I Thought I Was. As a style blogger, I am not what I eat (unlike those gluttons, the food bloggers) but rather what I am wearing. As I’ve mentioned before, clothes makes the man. Who am I, if not my bow tie, and monocle, and knickers, and matching Ernest Alexander potato sack-cum-frock coat? For is a man is without his burlap sack formal wear, what kind of man is he?
Trying to find some solace, I turned to He who could Comfort me, who guards the Flock with his very Holiness. Yes, I’m talking about JFK, who happens to have a new book out about how photogenic he and his genetic associates are.
Like how food bloggers love dishes with nonsensical buzzwords like “fresh, simple ingredients”, menswear blogs love JFK’s “fresh, simple style”. Bitches LOVE JFK. This makes sense. Dude is practically a preppy wet dream and was the embodiment of that New England, old money, I’m-on-a-boat style that everyone west of Ralph Lauren is currently obsessed with.
The JFK/Jesus analogy isn’t just limited to my bad jokes. Both of them got taken out at their peaks, supposedly be a shadowy group or groups jealous of his popularity. Both have inspired millions of fanatical followers. Both were rumored to have gotten with hot ladies on the side.
But perhaps more importantly than (gasp) his style, was the man himself. Set aside politics for a second. The guy was President. He presided over a prosperous time in the US, he happened to be alive when the literal dress code for the entire US population was “Mad Men”:
From the Desk of the Bureau of Conformity
1960s Dress Code
1) Matching suit in dark colors
2) Clean, white undergarments
3) White shirt, always buttoned up, even when doing manual labor
4) Dark leather shoes
5) Dark, slim silk tie
6) Hat (optional)
7) Wallet, watch that will be worth thousands one day even though it’s only $5 now, anti-communist pin, keys, keys to nuclear bunker
The thing about JFK was the man. His fancy ass life growing up, his administration, etc. The scary thing for a menswear blogger is that perhaps JFK, like most men of his time, didn’t have a style per se. That is, he didn’t consider for hours what to match with what, or comb through old vintage magazines or Tumblr accounts for “inspiration”. He merely followed the above Dress Code, perhaps with a touch from Jackie, and went out the door to deal with other matters, like a bunch of nuclear weapons pointed at the country. We, in the present, simply confuse the aura of a man in extraordinary circumstances with being a classically dressed fellow. In other words, we take one attribute and confuse it for the other. The worst part for us, then, is that we are faced with the absolute superficiality of our lives. We cannot lead a country, or live in Camelot, so the closet we can get are nicely pressed pants and a striped tie.
Almost makes me want to follow Jesus instead.