Monday, October 25, 2010


All Dudes Learned How to Dress and It Sucks

Uuuuuuuuum, OK. Am I bugging or did a whole lotta dudes in New York suddenly learn how to dress? Sure, there are still square-toed Skechers and Targus laptop carriers and suede car coats and boot-cut date rapist jeans but other than those guys, I feel like people are KILLING IT sartorially and it is the biggest, fattest, suck.

I know it’s fall. And fall is always going to be a bajillion times better than summer’s clingy tees, shrimping man toes, “personality” sunglasses and so. Much. Sebum. But I swear to Christ, whatever happened when the “Urban Woodsman” alpha rolled the Metrosexual and hugged him super tight until they made a beautiful, beautiful baby is seriously doing it for me. I maybe want to make love to this baby. I CANNOT DEAL. Men dressing too well is gross, right? I want SO BADLY to think it’s gross. On one hand I think it’s hella Niles Crane and a little murderer-y to curate a “look” but on the other, I’m seeing purrrrrrrfect slender micro-patterned ties with gingham shirts, the SICKEST olive M-65 parkas, shawl collared cardigans, chambray, twill, toggles, perfect-length Henley plackets, non-dickhead bowties, epaulets, and even slight club collars (GAH) on dudes who up until turning thirty thought it was maybe OK to wear skate shoes. I can’t believe I don’t even know what this new thing is called.

I can’t figure out how old anyone is. I can’t figure out how gay anyone is. On silent subway morning commutes there are no tells. The brogues, desert boots and quickstrike high-tops not only have me manic-fantasy-banging every well-dressed dude on the F BECAUSE IT IS ALL SO GODDAMN GOOD but the fact that so many are suddenly well shod plus the prevalence of hard-bottoms straight CRIPPLES my ability to tell how rich anyone is. And that is fucking my game up major. Aaaaaaaaaand everyone’s watch is now the old timey Timex from J.Crew for $150 so yeah, 360 IDK. Plus, also, seriously, there must have been some clandestine colloquium workshop situation where all the dudes in all the land shucked to skivvies and got sized for their perfect pair of Uniqlo jeans and nobody said "no homo," not even one time, because, Hi, y’all all look fantastic FUCK YOU.

I recently became transfixed by a pair of jeans on a lean dude who was 6’4”. The break was such that the hem fell atop his shoe in beautiful, chiaroscuro’d, raw indigo stacks and the whole thing white-knuckled me into wanting to SMELL HIM so badly that I skooched over and did what I never do on mass transit — talk to a bedbug stranger. I decided (apropos of nothing since I have ZERO idea what dude is who right now) that he was a graphic designer or maybe a tech writer (om nom) and when I discovered he was an actor it was beyond confuselment and then when the google told me that he was engaged to marry someone SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT I was pissed. Yo, when’s the last time I DIDN’T know I was macking above my station? It’s all crazytown.

Look, I know it sounds insane but they’re all obviously in cahoots. They’re all telling each other what works for them and being constructive and honest and the result is just so much more effective/destructive than any Neil Strauss edict ever. The new negging is just dressing so damn well that you make me feel crazy insecure and overwrought about my STUPIDSTUPIDTOTALLYPLAYEDGAMBIT of the little black dress (even though it’s mondo cute and Swedish). The most middling guy will never have to tell me that my haircut works for my broad shoulders ever again because he can just wear the right fish tail parka with the absolutely correct sweater and I’ll think they’re enough out of my league that I’ll spazpanicmakeout with him on GP. I just hope when he dickrolls (rickroll + dickpic) me that his penis is carrying a wee little Filson. I WOULD DIE.

Mary HK Choi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is a senior editor at Complex magazine and writes comics for Marvel. Also, she is the bomb. No dot com. Just bomb. Shut up.

84 Comments / Post A Comment

Chris 

And... adding "dickroll" to my repertoire.

Jolie Kerr


I was making eyes at guy on the subway the other day who was wearing a chunky shawl-collared sweater over a black tee & jeans and felt relieved when I saw his wedding band because seriously? Gross with the men who can dress themselves, but still!

mary hk choi

SUUUUUUUP Joles! Dude, they're all married. It's fucking OVER. I WANT. TO. DIE. Not really. There are still chips.

Jolie Kerr

Mary, I will volunteer to hold you and stroke your hair until you recover. For you I can do that.

mary hk choi

will you also make cookies? *sniff*


Dudes, I married and I buy this shit for my husband, but he only wears it sometimes because everyone in Chicago dresses like they are about to go kayaking. But basically you are living in my j.crew catalog dream world and I'm jealous.


It bodes EXTREMELY WELL for The Hairpin to see Mary show up so quickly.

mary hk choi

It bodes EXTREMELY WELL for The Hairpin to Hairpin HAIRPINLY!


Mary! HK! Choi! [bookmark]


In the midwest, the reverse is true.
It's all plaid, all the time.
You can't tell the lumberjacks from the venture capitalists. Everyone looks like the Brawny Paper-Towel guy.

Art Yucko

I checked J.Crew! That's all they have.

Art Yucko

that, and $1,100 peacoats. (WTF?! Michelle Obama is to blame, Ms. Y tells me.)

mary hk choi

MOM! that sounds dishy as all get out. with the beards too and everything?


Oooh, girl! Full beards, strong eyebrows and bottles of beer (which somehow ring more manly than cans. Especially if they use a bottle opener as a key ring - I'm I alone on this point? Or am I just constantly stuck tearing up my palm on Brooklyn Brown Ale until one of these gents pop up?), short sleeve cotton with pearl buttons in the warm months, solid flannel with wood buttons in the cool from Minneapolis to Austin. It is a nice thing.


The hard-bottoms! The sick tie choices! I can't figure out if my subway crush is gay or what, and I'm really confused about what his job is. It used to be you knew if someone was finance/law or motion graphics/architect/general design, but my mornings are so confused right now. I have no idea what kind of game to work on mentally.


So excited for Mary HK Choi! That is all.


I really need to work out a solution to my ongoing jeans problem. I've finally figured out how to get awesome pairs that look great on my lanky-ass frame, but I cannot find any pairs ever that are the right length at it is KILLING ME.

(Also AAAAAA you just bought a ton of goodwill for this site)

Art Yucko

Don't be a failure like me and let your waist get any wider than 34. That's the end, my friend. "36 waist? Oh, the Levi's are over there. Or you could go to the Gap, I think they have your size?"


I suspect I am wearing "boot-cut date rapist jeans" right now.


That was a cue for SOMEONE to say "don't worry doc, not all boot cut jeans make you look like a date rapist" but noooooooo. FINE! I'm LEAVING and going to the Old Navy where people UNDERSTAND ME.

(Also, wtf am I supposed to do? I am too actually-skinny for skinny jeans.)


Don't guys' jeans come in different lengths? Do you guys have 42 in. inseams or something?

mary hk choi

too skinny for skinny? do cheap monday autostrecke.


Farewell everyone, I am off to try on pants. Thanks Mary!


I just realized that my shirt is on backwards.


just registered to say... win.


send some of this down to Philly, please

Clarence Rosario

My watch is Bertucci, thankyouverymuch.

Art Yucko

my watch is invisible, as of about a year ago.

mary hk choi

That's cause you're a G, boo.

Clarence Rosario

@mary: like! (buttonz iz broke)

Art Yucko

I'm gonna start wearing a mechanic's jumpsuit every day, because fuck all this fashion making people feel bad about themselves.


They're all You think I'm gay don't you but that's because you need to evolve because unlike me you are secretly homophobic and actually I'm more manly than anybody including the gays because I'm straight but I don't care if you think I'm gay and I'm going to flirt with you and make you feel both confused about who I am and insecure about how you look because also I hate/fear women.


Update: My underwear is inside-out. Hang on ...

There. Fixed.


My underwear is my shirt.


ditto bthny; also, Baltimore.


The only clear way to win this battle of sartorial wits is to burn down every single J. Crew and Ralph Lauren in Manhattan, scorched-earth style.


I'll just continue to strike up conversations with any guy playing Angry Birds.


Wish I had something pithy and witty to say about this, but I don't. It's just awesome, that's all.


I'm proud of myself for understanding half of this article. And I really want the writer to approve of my sartorial choices.


I registered to say great article, but please, quit your bitchin'. Would you rather "dudes" dress like the jersey shore freak show? No, that would warrant the same rant. Embrace the boys who shall dress like their grandfathers once did, and maybe step your game up and offer to buy them a drink. You may get a shawl collar cardigan for christmas.


Nothing about hats!? My own is deeply felt.


This never happens in London. Not on the tube. OH NO.


Everything about this is happy happy, joy joy.


I sense a future fashion makeover column by Mary for dudes without knowhow or fundage to support the looks she lusts over.

Chris Conroy

I HEREBY DECLARE MYSELF FIRST CANDIDATE. I'm a gay guy who can't dress! And I work in comics! IT'S PERFECT.


it's true; he can't. me second!

dave bry

This is excellent. This whole website is excellent.


MARY!! You are embarrassing us, again (with your always awesome observations)!! No seriously ... if anyone would know, you would-- but giving credit where credit is due-- Where else but in NYC can you learn how to dress WELL (just by looking around at what everyone else has on) in like a week or two? And, where else can the dudes shop at Bergdorf Goodman Men's store by just walking over there? I can tell you right now that guys in other cities are STILL wearing cargo shorts, some with (wince) pleats, and NO ONE has their trousers rolled up. So enjoy it in NYC, and please please please continue to keep us posted on what you see. It's motivating.

gabba gabba hey

Like the pockets have pleats? Or do pleated cargo shorts actually exist?

If only my teenaged self could have known. Imagine the...comfort? Actually, what do pleats accomplish, besides making Cary Grant+ilk look like a baller?


This reads eerily like some B-roll material edited from "American Psycho". Minus the murdering.


This site is a delight! And this is the funniest thing I've seen yet by MHKC.


oh that's because there aren't any more poor people in Manhattan. or brooklyn. that's why.

Ari Everett@facebook

@eskelcoon best comment


GOD I KNOW. It makes me glad I read smart books. Why yes I'm reading Graham Greene. Of course I am. Do it all the time.


Wow. I've read a lot of pompous and obnoxious things by Brooklyn-based internet writers, but this might take the cake. Mary, I can only hope that NYC's newfound fashion sense leads to you accidentally sleeping with someone poor or otherwise "below your station." Fortunately you wouldn't risk that with me, since I will continue wearing my ratty t-shirt and crappy jeans and praying for the day I finish school so I can move to a city that isn't filled with shallow, status-obsessed a-holes.


this was obviously meant to be funny and satirical, not a stab at dudes who can't dress. How 'bout you buy a sense of humor with all of that $$ you're saving by wearing "ratty t-shirts and crappy jeans," mxplt?

Ari Everett@facebook

@Cris113 ahh the ol' buy-a-sense-of-humor card; shit is maxed out bro. Can't cheapshot the guy who has a perfectly defined response with that junk.

When you write a decently sized article/rant that reads like one long pun, lines blur between don'ttakethisseriously and doesshereallythinkthisway? Like the joke that never ends, perception is reality ya know? Not that she thinks this way directly (maybe she does :-p), but the fact that she's capable of thinking of thinking that way is enough to get a rebuttal from someone who's thinking of thinking the opposite.

And who's to say mxplt wasn't being funny or satirical with his comment? Gots to read betweeeeen the lines broheem. Just because he's on the defensive doesn't mean he doesn't have a sense of humor... he's just never liked the way flesh-toned brogues looked on him (makes his feet look big).

Sorry for the dad preach. Love ya kiddo!


Uuh sorry Mary but we've always known how to dress you're just too self-absorbed and living in Brooklyn to ever notice!!!


Mary, your voice and your wit remind me of another Choi, Annie Choi who wrote the piece "Dear Architects, I am sick of your shit." Any relation?

Jeremy Meyers

God, shut up and do some volunteer work. talk about a non-problem.

Ryan Chester Savage

You think it sucks having almost everyone of the opposite sex dress well? Now you know what it feels like to be a guy, try making fun of us for wandering eyes now.


This always helped me look good http://howtohacklife101.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-tie-tie.html


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