Last week, I penned an article discussing an outfit which every male has worn at one point or another in their life. The “postgrad aesthetic” is a state of mind. It’s an attitude. But it’s also represented perfectly in one very simple outfit: the button down and jeans.
I thought I made my point crystal clear. There is nothing wrong with the button down and jeans. I wear that outfit out sometimes if I’ve got no other options or I’m just feeling really lazy. The issue with the outfit is that it’s unoriginal. It plagues bars and clubs in cities all over this fine country of ours, and all I was trying to do with that piece last week was see people succeed. You’re not going to turn any heads wearing that combination and that’s probably why it’s so popular. Some people don’t like to deviate from the norm and that’s fine.
The article struck a chord with a lot people. That’s what I wanted it to do and it clearly hit a little too close to home with some in-house writers at PGP – but that is not the reason I’m writing a response to Barrett’s article. I’m writing this because there are some pretty repulsive allegations in his retort that I just can’t abide by. Let’s take a quick look.
Duda practices what we call “peacocking,” made famous in the 2005 how-to-pick-up-chicks book, The Game, by Neil Strauss. From the get-go, I knew that his outrageous style choices were meant to be shocking. When he came in the office with sweatpants tucked into Ugg boots, I knew that was meant to incite a reaction from people. I understood that wearing wool socks with Birkenstocks in the middle of our dreadfully hot summer was intentionally done to elicit those WTF snaps from the rest of the team. I get it: Build the Brand, but I had hoped that Duda really did just have a unique sense of what he thought looked cool, even if being noticed by girls was a by-product of it. Hearing him admit that it’s just a gimmick to Engage in the Chase was disappointing.
Before yesterday when Barrett’s article got published, I had never heard of this book The Game. I was 13 years old in 2005 and I can’t say I’ve ever felt the need to peruse bookstores for self-help books on how to trick women into sleeping with me. I can get shut down by a girl without using tactics like “negging” just fine, thank you very much.
The Birkenstocks with wool socks? That’s a look that I wear because my feet sweat very badly (but it definitely helps that a pair of sick woolies and a brown Arizona ‘stock looks amazing). Birkenstocks cost upwards of $150/pair, and I wear the wool socks to preserve the integrity of the sole. I’ve said as much in articles of yore.
And yeah, I wore a pair of Uggs into the office on more than one occasion because 1. They’re comfortable 2. They were sent to me for free from a dear friend and 3. I genuinely like how they look with a pair of shorts with a 5” inseam. Did I tuck them into a pair of sweatpants a couple of times because I saw Shia Labeouf do the same thing? You’re goddamn right I did.
Shia is someone I draw inspiration from for outfits, and to get accused of dressing the way I do as part of a gimmick for an ongoing series is just flat out insulting. Birkenstocks, Uggs, Tevas – these are all brands that I wear because I think they look fucking cool.
My outfits aren’t designed with the sole intention of getting shock value from people. I wear what I wear because I like it, not to get a rise out of some asshole that still rocks Sperry Top-Siders and quotes Old School.
Demna Gvasalia, the transcendent creative director at Vetements and Balenciaga, is currently trolling the entire fashion industry by making clothes that are absurdly proportioned, completely unwearable, and criminally expensive. It’s a cultural statement. Wearing a goofy-ass ensemble for a night out just to have a conversation starter with girls, on the other hand, is a little transparent.
Oh man, where do I begin with this gem of a paragraph? For one thing, how long do you think it took Barrett to google “vetements balenciaga fashion head”? He threw out some obscure name from two really popular menswear brands and knew that people would take whatever he was saying in the next sentence at face value. I mean really, nobody knows who Demna Gvasalia is. C’mon, man. Having said all of that, Barrett isn’t all wrong with this take. No one that isn’t named Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, or Future is wearing Balenciaga or Vetements.
The stuff that those brands make is patently ridiculous and is made for the runway, not the street. Barrett’s argument falls apart when he says that I wear clothing like this just to get girls. He has clearly never heard the phrase “look good, feel good, play good.”
I wear the shit that I wear because I think it looks fly, which in turn gives me confidence. You don’t need to read The Game to figure out that confidence is attractive to women. The outfits I wear are a by-product of my personality, although I don’t think the same can be said for someone who wears a one hundred dollar “The Life of Pablo” t-shirt to the office the day after seeing Kanye in concert. Does that concert t-shirt really encapsulate you as a person? For a hundred bucks, I really hope so.
I just thought it was a little taboo to wear something like that the day after a show. I think even when Barrett pulled that move he regretted it after a few hours. And look, I like Barrett Dudley. I experiment and I’ve worn things out that don’t work just as Barrett no doubt has. I didn’t want to write a response like this because frankly, it’s a little beneath me. I’m not in the habit of making enemies, but when I get attacked as voraciously as I did yesterday about my personal style (which is very important to me) I don’t really have a choice in the matter.
I like the button down and jeans look, just not as frequently as others. This whole thing has gotten blown way out of proportion and for that I apologize. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this response it’s not the slight jabs I’ve taken at Mr. Dudley it’s this: Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good. Wear whatever the hell you want, just don’t come at my neck spreading lies, rumors, and hearsay. .