Monday, March 22, 2010

Debate: "The Age Of Monocle Man"

My buddy AC tipped me off to a pretty interesting piece exploring what MENSWEAR dubs "the age of the Monocle man."  I'll be honest, I never really considered this current "movement" of menswear on par with such tomfoolery as metrosexual-sim, and while I still don't, this article does make a decent point.  Is this all just a tad more authentic metrosexual movement? Thoughts?


[Editor's note: In case you were wondering "Po-faced" means someone who has a face like a toilet.] 


  1. There's always some bit of truth in any critique. I'm old enough to have lived through the "preppy" trend of early 80s and I rolled up my pants from 85 to early 1990, so I have no desire to do so again. But I've also been waiting for gingham and cardigans to come back so I can buy some decent fitting versions.

    Every trend (and yes, it's a trend) is based on an existing style. Those styles existed before the trend and exist after the trend dies. Yes, a lot of readers of this blog and others like it were into denim, oxford shirts, waxed cotton, etc. And most will still be into it 5 years from now when it's not in every other store.

    There will always be people who find it easier to complain rather than try to understand. And there are always people who always wear the latest trend and then move on. But I've learned that as you grow up and become secure in your own style, other people's opinions don't matter as much.

  2. This article strikes me as the kind of knee-jerk contrarianism of those who've scented that nothing lasts foreer and want to get a leg up on the new thing so as not to appear behind the times, when the whole point of the heritage movement (and hopefully the part that retains some currency after the trendier elements blow over) is a rejection of the pointless and wasteful speed of the fashion cycle.

    There's always going to be somebody who sets up a straw man so he can knock him down, in this case the reduction of a broad and diverse movement in menswear to a short set of signifiers that he can brand annoying. Incidentally, who the hell wants to be "saved" from good coffee?

    There is a good point to be made in there about oversaturation and encroaching conseratism of taste, and he concedes the good points about craft, sourcing, and durability, but the overall tone of that post is way more smug and annoying than anything he wants to criticize. I'll keep reading Inventory, thanks.

  3. I think it's good that someone's talking about this stuff though.

    You can see my response to the Mononle man article in the post I wrote last week here:

  4. There's an interesting aspect about it (which the MENSWEAR article fails to see imho) - the very idea of this fashion is to be anti-fashion. So, now that it in fact has become the "hot new thing", it is easier to criticize than other fashions that don't claim to be anything else than fashion.

    We wearers of Daiki Suzuki's product are kind of on an implied high horse because we act like we're above fashion, but at the same time many of us (I am looking at the Inventory guys) fail to take it easy and fall back into the same huffin and puffin that annoys us so much about what we think is the "fashion industry".

    Long story short - I don't want to read an "inside" story about Daiki Suzuki or Yuketen, I only want to buy clothes that work for me and what I am. Sure, Engineered Garments makes Madras blazers and Pork Pie hats, but that doesn't mean you must embrace them.

    When I read the article, I immediately had to think "this is about Ry'ON' - it's those kind of people that ruin the look, wearing a EGxBeams+ Safari jacket you got from Japan to grab a coffee downtown will never be cool. Dress for the occasion.

    Then again, look at Suzuki himself - the way he wears his clothes is the way to go. Because he dresses for the occasion and that'll never be "fashionable". To be identified as "fashionable" one must either over- oder underdress. If you hit the middle, you'll always be golden.

  5. I'm glad to see that the look has a name.

  6. To an extent, it strikes me as a reaction against metrosexualism. Things got too ornate, decorated, and delicate, so there's a reaction going towards rugged looking clothing. It seems like an attempt to reclaim a sense of masculinity that has been overlooked in recent years.

    I don't consider myself a Monocle man though. I have read it, but I found it aimed at somebody much richer than I am, somebody who hasn't actually been out chopping down trees or raising cattle (I've done both).

    To me, it's also about nostalgia. I grew up with Maine made shoes and flannel. It's how my father dressed every day.