The Man of Summer 2009…

…Looks an awful lot like a lost Beach Boy. beach boys

Seriously. The skinny ankle-skimming jeans, the boat shoes, the stripped/plaid shirt tucked in behind a slim belt, the floppy hair — the whole look is there. The only things he’s missing is a surf board (not practical in NYC) and his little deuce coupe. I was crossing at the corner of 74th and Madison this morning, when two guys, in their mid-twenties, both dressed in the uniform described above approached from the opposite corner. They were moving like they had just run away from their barbershop quartet rehearsal. Yes, men in the city have a new uniform, and it’s no longer the powersuit.

Hipster men have killed the plaid. Have emasculated it and made it so ubiquitous that its lost its appealing campy quality. Plaid used to have a statement. It used to be associated with an outdoorsy lifestyle, and all-Americaness. Now… it’s urban and hipster.

(I’d just like to say, that I was on the plaid band-wagon before there ever was a plaid bandwagon. It’s because I’m part Canadian. Plaid is in my blood)

This is the problem with hipsters in general. They colonize trends and render subcultures that had meaning meaningless. There was a piece in the Times today about men and their hair. It said that once upon a time a man’s hairstyle was a mark of particular associations. In 1969, long wavy hair with a beard to match meant the fella probably listened to Hendrix and was antiwar. Today, a hairstyle says nothing about the man that wears it, perhaps only that he’s a freethinker? While I’m not crazy about the Adam Lambert/Flock of Seagulls coifs, I’m glad fuller hair is back in for men. It’s our turn for us ladies to have something we can run our fingers through.

The general theme of today’s Times Style section was New York men and their clothes. I think it’s time to accept that fashions for men are pretty standard, and in no season are the more standardized than in summer. Jeans, sandals and a white tee have been the go-to warm weather ware for men since Levi Strauss stepped on the scene. You know fashion writers have run out of trends to talk about then they start calling a pot-belly the latest trend in men’s wear. Seriously, couldn’t the explanation for the exceedingly number of bulging bellies in Brooklyn simply be that there are only 3 chain gyms in all of Brooklyn… and that none of them are in the hipster parts of town?

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