GODDAMN SON, HOW LONG IS THIS POST? Here goes…
I appreciate the time you took to answer my query: I must admit that I was hopeful you would provide a comprehensive reply, and consistent with all my expectations that is EXACTLY what happened. Bien.
With regard to NTB, he has been an inspiration to me since day 1 of this menswear malarkey. While I initially dabbled in the self administered lunacy that abounds on Lookbook *shudder* it was Trunzo who quickly provided me with some sound sartorial oversight (cuff length, button stance, all those pleasantries) all the while making me feel like a gigantic herb. I think some of the most important lessons in #menswear have been learned via humiliation, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that your slice of the web doesn’t evoke the nostalgia of belly laughing at NTB’s daily disses all those years ago.
Additionally I’d like to freely admit that I am part of the never ending circle jerk that is #menswear + #hype. I suppose my readiness to join in this collective self-aggrandizing comes from a longing for a sense of community. As a much younger cad I had no interest in sport, organized religion or LAN parties so I was often off on my own doing me. Menswear has been a significant centralising experience for me in that the ‘icons’ (that you yourself have alluded to) who initially inspire us are by and large reachable here within Tumblrworld. How many social niches can claim this phenomena? I’m willing to wager the answer is ‘decidedly few’. Its for this reason that I’ve often - at the certain risk of sounding like a corny bloggah - gotten swept up in hype, promoting the same guys, marching to the same drum, reiterating the same shit. But with that frequency of interaction comes a certain amount of self awareness and so I try my best to do what I can to ‘own’ (through commentary, analysis and opinion) the content that exists in Tumblrland.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you tackled defining DBTI (an acronym which I ironically hope to appropriate from you with little to no due credit XD). Its not the adoption of internet #menswear tropes that is the biggest problem, the issue at large is of people swaggerjacking existing taste makers and reiterating the same trends repeatedly. Which presents us with dire consequences since we have a menswear community that now stuck in a cyclical rut. When one considers the highly individual nature of fashunz as well, it becomes apparent that just because Woostgod wears a bowler hat that does not mean YOU can, much less claim credit from a practice put into the public eye by someone else.
And while you did make the excellent point that comfort (or ease of dress if you would prefer) is central to determining whether a person’s style is genuinely individual, I would make the tenuous connection that people who look like the internet discharged its #menswear vomit payload dress in such a manner simply because they lack individuality. So as a safety measure they steal from someone much more credible/trill/ill/crispy/based/swag than they. I’m ashamed to say I have done it more than once.
It is on that note though that I touch off this correspondence with blatant optimism. I do not regret my saturation in the hype of #menswear, I do not regret my often disastrous and borderline psychotic dalliances with ‘fashunz’. There is a simple reason for this, one for that matter that many of us here in Tumblrland will relate to: youth. Alex Delany has written at length on this subject and how we should find the opportune moment to take chances, its menswear not nuclear fission, we are allowed by virtue of our fallibility to try new things and fail. And while I certainly won’t be trying a day cravat or a goddamn shawl any time soon I think all the chiding I have received from fellow blogger scum (kidding guys, homies out here one and all) has taught me valuable lessons and given me lasting insight. After all: it is just clothes, and if we’re able to laugh off our - hopefully - infrequent fuckups we’re all the better for it, in style and in substance.