From the increasingly well-documented street style scene outside of Pitti Uomo (it’s starting to rival the scene outside any major fashion week venue) to the number of nattily dressed gents we see walking down the street in NYC, there’s no question that dudes have been stepping it up in the personal style department.
There’s even a burgeoning menswear (that’s #menswear if you’re scrolling through Twitter or Tumblr) clique, comprised of editors at print publications like GQ and Complex as well as bloggers at sites like Four Pins and Selectism and Hypebeast. They are the arbiters of men’s style, speakers of the language of #menswear. Yes, they have their own language and we don’t understand it at all. Cop some jawns? That dude is sprezzy? Say what?
We’re not alone. Even editors who are in the thick of it sometimes don’t get it.
“I honestly have no idea what most of the #menswear jargon means, a fact I’ve tried to keep hidden all this time,” Lucky’s John Jannuzzi, who also contributes to Four Pins, told us. “If you pay close attention to my eyes when these terms come up in casual conversation, you will see a fleeting moment of anxiety, confusion and wonder. As I understand it, many of them come from the up-and-coming subculture of hip-hop and/or rap music. Despite my varied cultural pursuits, I have not delved as deeply into this world as I should have. Yet, in efforts to blend in with my surroundings, I often find myself finishing a thought and them simply adding ‘tho,’ or screaming ‘sprezzy’ at old Italians. These appear to be common words among the #menswear tribe. Working them into my vernacular feels odd, exhilarating and adventurous to me, in the way a new pair of underwear would feel to Garth Algar.”
Thankfully, with the publication of Fuck Yeah Menswear: Bespoke Knowledge for the Crispy Gentleman, Lawrence Schlossman and Kevin Burrows’s book based on the duo’s tumblr, which mocks the #menswear scene (read more about it here), we have a glossary. “We break down the terms, stores and brands, style archetypes—so you get the wider context so that the jokes become funnier,” Burrows told us.
We also reached out to some of the #menswear inner circle–J. Crew’s (formerly GQ’s) Sean Hotchkiss, Selectism’s Jeff Carvalho, Complex’s Jian Joseph DeLeon–to update the glossary with the freshest #menswear words and phrases. Because if you’re going to try to speak #menswear, you better be on point.
“Learning how to speak ‘Fuckyeah’ requires weeks if not months of Tumblr and blog trolling to get right,” Carvalho tell us. “The book is like a fucking Cliffs Notes to the madness.” But, he adds, “If you do not find humor in this shit, you are taking the game too seriously.”
Click through for a sampling. We’ll quiz you later. Bonus points if you can use three of the words in a sentence in the comments below.