by Christopher M. Halleron
I have the fashion sense of a 72-year old Irish pig farmer. I know this because I stood next to one once and I recall admiring his boots. They looked comfy.
In fact, comfort has always been a common thread among my lifelong fashion decisions. While some men prefer the sleek, audacious style of a Karl Lagerfeld, I’m more of a Carl Spackler kind of guy—it’s a uniquely utilitarian look, composed primarily of a good pair of boots, some sturdy pants and a cozy shirt. It’s a look I’ve more or less cultivated since my formative days growing up in the greater Syracuse area. Up there we never considered it trendy couture, we just called it “putting on clothes.” The climate up there sort of lends itself to such an ensemble.
When I moved to Hoboken in the late ‘90s, I brought those same clothes with me. The results were… um… mixed. I’d say there were times when rocking the plaid flannel did me no favors at the velvet rope, and I’m sure I’ve scared off one or two ladies who had no interest whatsoever in getting into my grubby cargo pants—their loss, obviously.
By and large I’ve been ambivalent to the ebbs and flows of fashion—until I heard about this new “lumbersexual” trend. Basically, hipsters are now paying top dollar for all the stuff I used to wear in high school. The very same clothes that kept me from being trendy have now themselves become a trend. In fact, the boots I’ve worn day-in/day-out for an eternity—boots that look remarkably similar to those of my aforementioned elderly agrarian Irish friend—are now disappearing from shelves.
Why do I care?
I have an ongoing beef with Hipsterdom—primarily because it’s ruining a lot of good stuff. In their flailing quest for ironic self-identity, Hipsters have already taken the cheap canned beer out of my hands… now they’re taking the shirt off my back.
So it’s time to go “Full Spackler.”
You see, one cannot simply saunter on down to American Apparel and purchase a Spacklersexual ensemble. You do most of your clothes shopping at local hardware stores. You wear Carhartt bib coveralls in the winter not to look cool, but for a reason. If you live in a city like Hoboken or NYC, that reason is typically to help push some noodle-armed halfwit’s car out of a snowbank, because he doesn’t want to get rock salt on his skinny jeans.
The Spacklersexual takes time and dedication to cultivate his look. The wear must be genuine, the tear must have a story and the stains—well, the stains are the pièce de résistance of Spacklersexual chic.
We’re talking great, green gobs of greasy-grimy gopher guts, paired with jug wine and highlighted by a cross of Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensimilla.
You don’t get rid of clothes—you lose them over time like fallen comrades in the great battle of life (or via intervention from an overzealous significant other).
You see, the Spacklersexual trend isn’t just a phase; it’s a way of life.
How do I know this? Because I’ve been dressing like a $#!+kicker since before it was cool.
“So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice…”