I’m not sure that I’ve impressed upon you, dear reader, the gravity of the situation that we are facing when it comes to men’s fashion, but after today’s experience I think that the time is now to make it known that the situation is absolutely dire and the stakes high. Now, the Boulevardier prides himself on taking things to the fashion extreme but today, things got a little out of hand. I was exploring the fashion potential of a holiday craft fair, a couple of years ago my friend had innovated the men’s fashion appropriation of women’s holiday sweaters and I was following up on this trend to consider if there was any other fashion relevance to be gleaned from this situation, this is the Boulevardier’s thankless job. After seeing the glitter santa sweaters in full force I have to reiterate my stance that irony is dead dead dead, don’t try to resurrect it! I was however, intrigued by the potential to make recycled shopping bags into useable clothes or accessories. One woman I met was taking plastic bags and ironing them together, making a thick plastic material that she used to make sturdy shopping bags, though it could be used fashionably in more experimental, costume or party looks.
Even in that sea of Christmas broaches and puff paint I was feeling fine, until I wandered away from the craft fair into pure hell. Unbeknownst to me, next to the craft fair was what can only be described as a rodeo for trucks. My first impression was a group of soldiers milling about in fatigues, loading things into some super truck and basically overlooking the fashion bloodbath with glee. There were more cargo pants than you can shake a dick at, and plenty of backwards caps. Every man was in a t-shirt, all with text mostly related to some product – whether it was the nation, a sport team or some beverage made by homophobes or death squads. Just outside the main arena a group of about 30 men were staring for about 20 minutes at a truck perched on a skewed ramp and for every oversized Broncos shirt wearing mother, there were her two young jugalo sons in black ICP shirts, one skinny and the other fat, and both with their hair shaved in all the wrong places. Walking into the main center, I heard a man remark [warning: extreme vulgarity to follow] “Wulp, I’m just surprised my dog ain’t laid a deuce here yet.” And honestly, given the situation, so was I. The rest is hazy, I was in such shock I can only recall trucks so big that I had to look away out of pure shock and awe, that was what they were built for, no? Now, I was raised in a small town in rural Colorado, had plenty of friends that raced dirt bags, or whatever, but this was a too harsh reminder of the harsh reality for mansies.
Which brings me to Naomi Klein. In her theory on disaster capitalism she discusses how free market extremists wait (sometimes) until cities or countries are in shock from natural disasters or wars to implement their policies. I realized at the TruckFest that this is exactly what is happening to men’s fashion. For fashion, masculinity is defined in extreme situations such as war or natural disasters, the army utilizes these situations to engender masculinity with the credo “always be prepared” and this is then implemented across the boards as the only acceptable garb. Poor radical mansies! Even they fall into this game when they dress like they’re in the Indie Army or they are sporting the L.L. Bean’s post apocalypse line. But we don’t need to go out like that, here are a couple of pics that are like baby steps helping our mansies move away from Xtremism, meaning, if you must wear plaid, here are a couple suggestions: (Let’s be clear here, button that shit up! And put on a bow tie, if you’re feeling sassy.)
And here’s a parting fuck you for the unbelievers: