Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"What they created was greater than art because you live your life in it"

I don't really know how to handle a stylish man. I live at the intersection of Izods, madras shorts, and deck shoes and trucker hats, T-shirts with wildlife themes, and Levis. My father has a closet full of lawyerly Oxford shirts and loafers, light blue Wranglers from the 80s, and a captain's hat he wears at every opportunity. The man in my life, although adorable, wears interchangeable blue jeans, khaki shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flips year-round, with little thought for trends or personal flair or tailoring. Hell, I buy most of his clothes, and as long as they fit and aren't red, orange, or brown, he's good. The only fashionable guy I've ever dated looked like Rob Lowe and wore pink Polos and Ray Bans and checked himself out in every available reflection. I'm pretty sure he used a hair dryer. It was obviously never going to work between us. My gay brother is the only man in my life who is stylish: he is impeccably and expensively dressed at all times, his clothes are always tailored and pressed and coordinated, and he has the best accessories, including an impressive and chic eyewear collection. I once spent a delightful few minutes gently stroking the lapel of his Chanel suit.

So it's understandable that, given my background, it took me a while to realize that the author of Getting Beat Like You Stole Something is a straight man. This says nothing about the author (except that he neglected to have an about page) and everything about my expectations for male behavior. Because here is a boy with a fashion blog. A straight boy. No, really.

For a fashion blog (oh, he says it's a "fashion, food, design, art, and culture in general" blog, but it leans heavily on the fashion bit), the design is rather stark. I like minimalism (did anyone see that episode of Absolutely Fabulous where Edina and Patsy visit their friends' ultra white home? No?), and you definitely don't want to over-design your blog when you're featuring so many pictures, but a little pizazz wouldn't hurt. Get a groovy banner, roll up your archives and your categories, and add a punch of color. Make your design more personal: we can't all be The Sartorialist. Consider using tabs; you can easily put "my stuff," "stuff for your girl," and "steez biting" on their own pages. And you need an about page. Who the heck are you, and why should we care what you think?

Greenjeans is an urban hipster, as I understand them, but classy and tailored with a retro-chic vibe. So hip is he, in fact, that I had to urban dictionary the hell out of some things. "Co-sign"? "Dopeshow"? Really? Why did people ever stop saying "radical"? I felt a bit like I needed to wrangle Rassles in on this review, for translation purposes. The author is a pretentious little git, which doesn't mean I don't like him. I'd just spend a lot of time calling him a pretentious little git.

Aside from being a pretentious urban hipster, Greenjeans has his good points. He knows who Nancy Kwan is, for one, and mentions her often. He's got a healthy appreciation for those who've come before, and his writing is spare but evocative.

She seems like the girl you met during that semester abroad in Paris. You were supposed to study international finance and the effects of globalization but instead you marveled at how she smoked endless cigarettes and drank really strong coffee. That and the way she dressed made you feel like you were in a movie.
A good tie is a like a good gun, it won't let you down and is apropos in nearly any situation.
His offers quick, well-written observations and longer, equally well-written commentary. I like his style and his voice, and it was a nice diversion to browse back through his short but consistent history of posts and linger a while.

I have no complaints about your writing, Greenjeans. Your blog isn't expository or personal or even a showcase for your craft; it's a collection of tips, opinions, and observations. And though I generally prefer the former, there's nothing wrong with the latter. It's possible you're lucky you got me for a reviewer, because I'm the one with a hefty subscription to fashion blogs on my feed reader. And congratulations, you just joined them.

59 comments:

  1. Well, I for one, am entirely intimidated.

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  2. Wow. I just...I mean...he seems to represent everything I am not. I know people like him. Lots of them. The pursuit of fashion and cool...it's totally, completely not me.

    He's a wispy writer, but totally not my thing.

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  3. The fact that you say co-sign implies a certain amount of cultural overlap, at least. I had to look shit up!

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  4. I bet me, him, and Boomer could create a Triumvirate of Hipsterosity, though, with the geek, fashion, and soulless bases covered.

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  5. A'ight bet.

    I just channeled 1995.

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  6. Could someone show me an example of an aging hipster? I don't think I'm one, but I'd like to codify myself in whatever ways possible.

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  7. Anyone who is Elvis Costello's age and trying to look like Elvis Costello.

    Including Elvis Costello.

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  8. Although, Elvis Costello is a little too mainstream for the hipsters. In some circles.

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  9. Then I can scratch "aging hipster" off my list of self-identifiers.

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  10. I like Elvis Costello and now will be singing Watching the Detectives and (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding in my head (and possibly out loud) all day.

    I also like this blog. Dammit to hell. My reader overfloweth.

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  11. Rass - are you saying I have soulless covered?

    I mean, I'm okay with that, I just need to know which of the three points of converged hipster I represent.

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  12. Of course.

    I guess in the end we're both a pretty good combo of geek and soulless.

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  13. Right on. If there is anything I can handle being, it's a soulless geek.

    I used to have a handle on the fashion too, but as I got older I give very little of a shit about it.

    Just my hair, because I want to be a soulless geek with good hair.

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  14. I'm pretty sure that having seen me you would not suspect I love fashion. I'm all incognito with that shit.

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  15. Well I'm not sure what category my camo pants and chuck taylors put me today.

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  16. I'm gonna go with hardcore fierce for that category, Booms.

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  17. Whatever happened to black tees and blue jeans? The fanciest piece of clothing is this blazer I've worn twice. I love living in a village.

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  18. I am kind of shamefully obsessed with all the sites where people post what they're wearing that day.

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  19. I also just realized that every article of clothing I've got on today, except for undergarments and shoes, I bought at Goodwill. I rock this recession, bitches.

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  20. You recession rocking, bitch, you.

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  21. An informal survey: Do you know stylish, fashion-conscious men?

    I think Ghost counts because he rocks the sneaks.

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  22. My husband used to be.

    And other than that? Uh, I know a few others and the rest that I know are gay.

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  23. I have not worn the same pair of socks twice in the last 10 months.

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  24. I just want to know two things:
    1) Can Mr. Greenjeans come up with a quote about a fashion accessory and crow bars that is like the one about ties and guns?
    2) Am I going to hell or anything because I'm in a current state of refusing to look things up in the Urban Dictionary?

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  25. Oh, and I baked a massive batch of pumpkin muffins last night. Unfortunately, there were a couple of uptight people here who had absolutely no appreciation for my suggestion to go into the front yard, rip their clothing off, and slather their pumpkin muffin all over their nekkid bodies.
    Fuckin' prudes.

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  26. You won't go to hell, you'll just not know what people mean when they say things like "steez." Which is probably not a bad thing at all.

    I would murder a pumpkin muffin right now, slathered nakedly or not.

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  27. Yeah, Cal. I'm pretty much on my way to some kind of Oktoberfest rehab due to the number of pumpkin muffins I've eaten in the last 24 hours.

    And, steez? I've got to believe I've got such crazy good steez that maybe I won't need the Urban Dictionary ever again.

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  28. I know 2 fashion conscious men, neither of whom live in my town in the warm sweaty taint of the U.S.

    Maybe it's a regional thing.

    Also, Fermentation Lounge on Friday, Cal? There is a chance we might see fashionable men.

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  29. No can do, LB. Will be out of town, remember? But you're right: that place is probably full of fashionable men.

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  30. I guess I just wonder if I know any straight men who would read/be advised by this blog. And I'm thinking I don't.

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  31. Vivian VonDoom6/16/2009 2:42 PM

    I wanna go to the Fermentation with you, LB.

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  32. Why Cal, thank you for your vote.

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  33. This guy, though? Has way more time on his hands than I.

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  34. Time? Is that what you call what is all over your hands, Ghost?

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  35. I'd prefer to call it 'genetic perfection'.

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  36. Ghost, that's good. I had just realized that I had "time on my side" and was a little concerned after I found out you had some on your hands.

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  37. Yeah, it's hard to wash off, huh?

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  38. Ghost - Yeah, it was. I'm thinking maybe a little food coloring should be added so you know all the places it lands.

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  39. Wow. Thanks for the review. I was terrified of getting the abercrombie one.

    dare I say co-sign on getting a better template and header?

    Thanks again for reviewing and thanks to everyone for checking it out.

    I do have too much time on my hands...

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  40. Green, you really don't want to use that last phrase around here.

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  41. Green, I read your entire blog and you never once mentioned shitty, overpriced, mall-standard brands. And you never liked something because it was a particular brand or status in some way. You just seemed to like what you liked because of fit, artistry, or quality. So no way was I going to give you the poseur rating.

    Now if I could just curb this overwhelming desire to go thrift shopping this evening, all would be well.

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  42. I stepped in a small puddle of "time" last week. So I had time on my feet.

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  43. Confession:

    I'm sexist; I'm totally annoyed with men that care about fashion, or are in any way high maintenance. Women only annoy me when they are the extreme in this regard.

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  44. Bluestreak, quit being an ass.

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  45. Blues, I could confess the same. A high maintenance metrosexual is not high on my list of beefcake. In fact, it's not even on the addendum to that list.

    Although for what it's worth, Green seems like a dude who doesn't spend a lot of time primping.

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  46. I stepped in a small puddle of ass.

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  47. Chris, at least it was a small puddle and not, like, an ass manhole.

    The opportunities for punning in the above sentence are approximately limitless.

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  48. I used to date a guy that stared at himself in the mirror all the time. I would sit back and just sort of laugh at him. He was extremely beautiful and vain. But I felt very embarassed for him when he would look at himself in the mirror like that and raise up an eyebrow just so. What a douche.

    I need a man who is oblivious to the grease stain on his T-shirt, facial hair, an untweezed unibrow and authentically messy hair, which actually describes the person I married.

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  49. That damn Bluestreak really is quite an ass.

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  50. That was exactly the douche I dated with the pink Polos and Ray Bans. He was all Narcissus and shit, staring at himself all the time and adjusting his hair and being all Blue Steel. Plus, he had a small wang. Beauty really isn't everything.

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  51. I would not like to be with a man who is prettier that me. I am a jeans & tee shirt girl..but always take care of my hair, fingers, & toes. Yeah to pedicures!

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  52. I stepped in a small puddle of "time" last week. So I had time on my feet.

    Please. You got some "time" in your bed and wallowed around in it.

    And frankly, I see nothing wrong with it.

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  53. Manscaping bitches!

    My secret shame.

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  54. LB: No, I really did step in it. I did the other you mentioned, too. But I did step in it. Barefooted. It wasn't horrible. Squelchy.

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  55. Chris, a dude's gotta trim at least, but I don't want, like, topiary.

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  56. I have a lightning bolt shaved in there

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  57. How about a landing strip..

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Grow a pair.