Posted Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, at 12:00 PM
A confession: When I pass a guy on the street wearing a slim, oxford-cloth button-down I admire, I often compulsively check to see whether it curves up high on the sides and whether it has a box pleat running down its back. If the answers are yes, I think to myself, "Band of Outsiders. Fly." I’m not exactly proud of this, and neither, I expect, are many of the dudes I’ve caught giving shirts of mine the same one-two inspection. And yet there’s also a pleasure in being able to read the signs, to discern at an almost precognitive level a Band of Outsiders oxford from a Uniqlo oxford from a Thom Browne for Supreme oxford, and thus silently claim membership in a club as vain and wobbly confidenced as it is, you know, fly. (No Dior Homme-o.)
I bet that that mixture of pride and shame is somewhere in the thinking of the anonymous blogger behind Fuck Yeah Menswear , a new Tumblr in which the "hot" looks and codes of contemporary men’s fashion are, in one breath, celebrated and sent-up by a narrator as fluent in Odin ’s inventory as he is in hip-hop idioms, and who writes in what you might call free verse. Here he is as a minimalist-store clerk: "Out of your size? My bad, yo. We don’t stock anything. Besides vintage stools and negative space. You want some white paint? Benjamin Moore for Engineered Garments." Here he is, naming his look with an excess of hyphens and faux reluctance: "TT asks, 'Can you define your steelo for the people?’ Never thought about it. And the people don’t mean shit to a playa, but since you asked. …'Neo-classical-Bape- military-prep-Agnelli corpsewear.’ Obviously." (That obviously kills me.) Out-of-date slang like "steelo" is dropped with a wink, as are Swingers -esque superlatives like "crispy" and "next level." Often, the fun in reading FYM is in watching the blogger send his trains of thought into gloriously absurd territory: Here , Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz (working some "portly dork gimp swag" and "spazzin’ on the dancefloor to some old ass Postal Service") teaches a male model the L.A. hip-hop dance known as the " dougie ."
The tone is bitingly satirical, but the satire only works because the FYM blogger (I’m assuming it’s a guy) is genuinely steeped in this stuff, from his " Aldies " to his " Michael Bastys ." Dudes aren’t supposed to care about fashion out loud, but the FYM guy has found a way to both flaunt the extent of his knowledge and mock it — to have his " St. Jeezy knits and white jeggings " and wear them, too.