Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I sleep all night and I work all day

The infinite source of fascinating material that is Facebook points me to a story about the "lumbersexual." This phrase that someone is trying to make happen refers to heritage-chic as worn by heterosexual men. It doesn't quite work, because a) the lumberjack look isn't unexpected on a straight or masculine-end-of-the-spectrum man, thus the Lumberjack Song, and b) as someone pointed out on that same Facebook thread, the look is already kind of passé.

So-last-season though it may be, I absolutely gravitate towards the look. Although as I envision it when, ahem, wearing it, it's not so much "lumberjack" as "lumberjack as interpreted by a hip man or woman in Tokyo." This is a look. I know this because of Japanese Instagram, those two weeks in Japan, and the existence of such things as "Shibuya" boots by an American rugged-boot company and Uniqlo flannel. (Also: Muji flannel.) It's a level of cultural appropriation and androgyny I don't think I have the semiotics skills to make sense of, but it's a look, and one that's - unsurprisingly - compatible with living in a muddy, woodsy part of 'merica. I might on some level wish I dressed like a super-chic, ultra-feminine woman in Tokyo or Milan or something, but it just wouldn't work.

On that note, let me announce that I've finally tracked down The Boots. By which I mean brown leather Alpine hiking boots with red laces. Specifically, these are what finally ended up working out. They're all kinds of fabulous, and would probably look that much more so in Japan.


Matt said...

This cracks me up as I happen to actually heat my house with wood and use a chainsaw to accomplish it. Yet I never wear flannel and few people I know do. Even beards aren't all that popular where I live in that 'merica that you described. Now synthetic fibers that actually keep the elements out like gortex, they tend to be more popular around here among the chainsaw yielding, deer hunting and four wheel vehicle driving set.

The article hinted at this fact when it showed the actual lumberjack. I guess it just adds to the irony.

Phoebe said...


Yes, I think that did come through in the article - lumberjack-chic is not what one would actually wear to do any 21st-century chainsawing. I guess where I live falls somewhere on the rustic-ness spectrum between Brooklyn hipsters and wherever it is that you live. When power goes out, I have had to heat my place with firewood, but not to actually chop down trees.

Anyway, more broadly, the hipsters-as-bearers-of-authenticity angle is endlessly fascinating.