The "Man Suit"

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There comes a time in history that we, as a people, need to band together and stop something. My grandparents generation had the Axis. My parents had Communism. Our generation has the "Man-Suit" clones.

What is the "Man Suit"? 100405.jpg
Well as you can see in the picture, it begins with a striped shirt button down, untucked. Add a pinch of dressy jeans (Diesel, Seven, Citizens of Humanity) and a dash of snappy shoes. Make sure you bust out the "Growing Up Gotti" hair gel to achieve that chickenhead look and...viola! You have the Man Suit.

Since we, in Hoboken, are the bastard half children of J. Crew and Abercrombie it only makes this look a trillion times worse. Go to Madison's, Trinity or Nine and you will see packs of men, dressed in the Man Suit, like a pack of hyenas.

Women. I implore you to stop your man from dressing this way. Guys, really, the look has hit its peak. It was once good to dress this way, and now it has come time to put the look down like a feral dog.

I liked striped shirts. I own a few. I like stylish jeans. I happen to own Diesel. I like dress shoes, when worn with certain pants. The three combined just make us all look like clones. Or clowns. A cloned clown.

I don't claim to be Mr. Fashion. My fashion mistakes are legendary. I could be the first snowboarder to hit Cervinia in a day-glo yellow / orange outfit in 1993. I also tried to pair fire with jeans during my insane years at Villanova. I learned from my brother's mistakes when he decided to join "The Revolution" in 1984 and get a perm. Well, that mistake was not hiding the polaroid picture of him better, this would be worth thousands in bribe money today.

But I do claim to be a very good observer. I notice trends, and know there is a big difference between a trend and trendy. The Man Suit isn't trendy, it's pathetic. My suggestions is to have everyone check out Thecobrasnake to get some ideas on how to bust out some individuality.

I know some of you are unconvinced, so here are some other male fashion fopahs over the years, and I think you will agree with me:

1. The Cowboy Shirt: It hit its peak with Urban Cowboy. This also includes any cowboy hats - unless you are riding a horse, leave the cowboy hat at home.
2. The Hawaiian Shirt: It hit its peak with Magnum PI.
3. The Flannel Shirt: It hit its peak with Singles.
4. The Bowling Shirt: It hit its peak with The Big Lebowski.
5. The Puffy Shirt: It didn't have a peak, but that Seinfeld episode was hilarious: "I don't wanna be a pirate!"

Please, join me in destroying this look. I don't know what the next look will be, maybe tuxedos will make a comeback. In about a year or two, you will all look back on those pictures of you doing Yagerbomb shots at City Bistro and say - "What was I thinking? I should have listened to Furey!"

Added bonus, these are a few looks that I see on women that irritate me, for some unknown reason:

1. Funky rain galoshes
2. Boho hippy peasant skirt
3. Super sized sun glasses
4. Silky/shiny nightgown teddy shirt

Edited to add:

Looks like The New York Times has deconstructed this trend also!


No comments on the Man Suit, other than that I agree with it's passing. However, your bonus section interests me. I've been waiting for a forum to vent this on: Please add on to the list of things women should not wear (and I'm not saying the look has passed, I'm saying it should have never started) STOP WEARING THOSE BIG OVERSIZED CAVEMAN BOOTS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY'RE MADE OUT OF SHEEPSKIN!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY UGLY!!!!!!! And while I'm at it, the body length triple phat goose jackets have had their brief moment, although I believe they, too, should never have started. Furey, I'd like to bar hop one night with you so we can judge everyone, it'll make me feel better. Let me know.

Oh the Uggs are what you are talking about. Agreed with you there. I'm in for the night out, I will take pictures of the hilarity of the hobokenites...

The Man Suit is the standard metrosexual outfit. Doesn't work for me. I like my men to be men ;).

Uggs are the most comfortable boots ever. They feel like you are wearing slippers. I have been wearing them for 16 years, since my first trip surfing in Australia.

I am disagreeing with your stance on this, and the reasons you state you don't like it.

You didn't mention one tangible explanation: Things like "Gotti Hair Gel" implies that you plainly don't like the "GUIDO" look, which will always be GUIDO regardless of what the current shirt trend is.

I can understand you reference to "cloned", as it does look rather ubiquitous when all guys in a group/bar/club all have *similarly* striped shirts they bought at Chess King. However, there is a difference between mass-produced "striped because we feel the need to be "in"" type shirts and a quality shirt. You just can't seem to differentiate the subtle differences. But that's ok, generalization and assumption happens to people who vaguely label others.

Now I personally, never paid $ for a striped shirt, although I own maybe 8. But those were bought with comp dollars at the Borgata, and I would never pay $175 for a shirt that is "trendy". But they're top-notch craftsmanship. However, I'd challenge you to find anyone with the same exact shirt. Not gonna happen.

The best thing is, now that this trend is obviously over, you can still wear a striped shirt afterward, provided it's not a cheesy Chess King version. Because guess what? Striped shirts were around before the cheesy guidos wore them en masse, and they will be around after as well. You just have to be a classy about it. I guess it always looks generally stupid when the entire group of guys is wearing the same thing. That is why this got negative press. And wearing them with jeans or black boots is not a faux pas, as you say. What you SHOULD be saying is: DRESSING EXACTLY LIKE ALL MY FRIENDS AT THE SAME TIME IS A FAUX PAS. I suppose the ´┐ŻEagles Jersey´┐Ż look can be lumped right into it. Why all wear Jerseys? Why not just a black shirt and maybe, say, an Eagles headband, or cap, or whatever. You love the Eagles so much. Get a giant tattoo on your arm! f-the jerseys!

You also mentioned all these shirts that can never be acceptable to wear again! I guess black will never make that list.

Lastly, you link that website. Let me give you the other side of the coin. When you go to a beatnik place (i.e., Maxwells, DC's) and everyone is struggling for the "individuality" (i.e., odd retro shirts, each with unique logos, or jabs, or anti-government slogans, etc), plus their anti-establishment sloppy appearance (unshaved, disheveled, ripped) YOU CAN GROUP THEM ALL TOGETHER JUST AS WELL! Just because 4 guys all wearing vaguely similar retro crap and smell like patchouli is along the same line of 4 guys in a man suit. You just fail to realize that.

What is almost even worse, is a relatively straight-laced member of society (say someone who has a corporate job, lives in hoboken, and is generally pretty down the middle) WHO GOES OUT OF THEIR WAY TRYING TO BE "DIFFERENT" with these retarded T-shirts and funny "individual" looks. It actually looks forced and un-like them. What, you need attention? Trying to be "cool"? Either way, it's pretty obvious.

Bottom line is, go with what works best for you. Your body. Your shape. And what your soul consists of. You may like one trend or another. But try to understand why they happen, and whether you even have a valid opinion about why you dislike them.

I personally think the guidos ruined it for everyone. :)


Everyone gets fixated on the idea of striped shirts. I'm not anti-striped shirts. It is the untucked, striped shirts with jeans and shoes look - it becomes like a uniform "look" that I call "The Man Suit".

Wear your striped shirts with pride...

This saddens me because I fall into two catagories of the women part. I do own 2 shiny nightie looking shirt and I own several hippie skirts.

Damn this post was funny before I got to the bottom!

It "saddens you" because you fall into two categories Furey is "irritated" by? That in it's own right is sad.

I have one peasant skirt -and got nice comments when I wear it. No shiny teddy shirts- and NO BIG sunglasses --tacky!!

never really notice the striped shirts - I don't usually give a second look to those types of guys to even care!


It's called sarcasm.

I kinda like that the average Joe in Hoboken wears the man suit. Helps separate the masses from the "alt" people. I've got my uniform too though...jeans, sneakers, am I guilty of following the anti-man suit trend? Probably. I wear it because it's comfortable, and because I'm a cheap bastard. I'll buy a few pair of Levis for what a pair of designer jeans cost. and I'm never going to impress anybody with my fashion sense or style. Just to prove it...I think that kilts will be the next big trend. Once Maxim and Cargo pick up on it, look for guys in kilts waiting in line at Greenrock.

Boots, I agree. Even after writing this and reading FKI's comments - I think we all fall into our looks. The Man Suit is no different than the jeans, t-shirt, sneaker look (The Average Joe Suit?). I guess I just find it funny that every time I walk by Lana, Trinity, Madisons or City Bistro that 75% of the guys have the same exact look.

Also now I keep getting grief anytime I wear a shirt with a hint of a stripe on it, "Ooh! You have the MAN SUIT!", people will cluck.

No, it wasn't about striped shirts. It was untucked, striped shirts, with jeans and black shoes.

Heck, if someone mixed it up and wore cowboy boots or cargo pants - that would be interesting to me.


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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on October 4, 2005 12:00 AM.

Week 4: Never Say Die was the previous entry in this blog.

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