What We Understand of 'Menswear:' An A-to-Z Guide

An unofficial reference glossary for the uninitiated.
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An unofficial reference glossary for the uninitiated.
Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

With New York Fashion Week: Men's coming back for its second season early next month, the Fashionista team is preparing by leaning heavily into the menswear curve. On Monday, actual menswear writer Jian Deleon broke down the biggest streetwear brands of the moment for us. One day later, inspired by our own murky understanding of the buzzwords and obsessions that make men's fashion writing the opaque Internet force that it is (and seeing as how this is a little out of date), we're diving right in with The Practical, Arbitrary Fashionista Menswear Glossary: As Far As We Understand the Subject, 2016 Edition. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, consider us Matt Damon. (At least we think that's the right metaphor. Eliza only saw part of that movie.)

Let's begin.

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

A is for ass grooming, which provided a unique opportunity for Eliza and her male friend, [Redacted], to bond over the trials and triumphs of waxing one's nether regions.

B is for tonal beige, a core color of the Yeezy collections. (Though there was precedent.)

C is for compression tights, a favorite garment of non-athletes Kanye and Justin Bieber.

Also: copping, which is another word for buying. Also: Copping, Peter, a man who makes beautiful ball gowns.

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

D is for Dad. An aesthetic, the sartorial equivalent of dad jokes. Not to be confused with normcore, which is more self conscious. Iconic Dads include Joe Biden (Cool Dad) and Ben Affleck (Sad Dad).

Also: DJ Khaled. They didn't want us to include him, but he's a major key.

E is for Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, who apparently has decent taste.

F is for fit, or a clothing ensemble. Does it have to fit well to qualify as a "fit," Chantal wonders? Shouldn't it always?

Also: fuccbois — "Annoying, perverted, irrelevant men."

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

G is Glenn O'Brien, Style Guy emeritus and Maxim's newest editor at large.

H is for Hedi Slimane and the great Twitter panic of 2016.

I is for Sir Ian McKellen.

J is for Jawns, which was too confusing, so we phoned a friend. This from a menswear editor who preferred to remain anonymous, which is understandable, frankly: "Jawns (also known as jawnz): highly desirable garments that warm your soul and strike envy in the hearts of all your haters."

K is for Kanye West, whose life is dope and does dope shit. He is the object of every menswear editor's desire. Blood feud with Cathy Horyn. Husband of mobile tech entrepreneur Kim Kardashian.

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

L is for Lucky Blue Smith. How did a 17-year-old Mormon kid become the biggest male model of our day? Better question: With that moody, expressive face and perfectly sculpt-able platinum hair, how could he not?

M is for male models, Margiela and menstruation. All come from mysterious origins and may cause alarm and insecurity at first, but are phenomena that should be accepted and even celebrated. [Ed note: Menstruation in fact has little to do with menswear, but any opportunity is a good opportunity to encourage non-moon cyclers and the MTA to get down with it.]

N is for Nike, the biggest brand this side of the Milky Way, no matter what Kanye says. It makes sneakers, which are quite popular.

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

O is for Owens, Rick, the dark lord of menswear and a second thirst object of men's fashion editors.

P is for Gucci peacocks and Pitti Uomo, which is like Coachella for menswear guys.

Q is for Quincy Jones, the "Joan Didion of men's wear." Father of Rashida. (See: "Dad.")

R is for reselling: the commercialization of thirst via secondary underground and online markets, and the reason Supreme X and Yeezy Boosts end up costing roughly $10 trillion dollars on eBay.

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

S is for Saint West, he who shall inherit the menswear throne and rule alongside Queen North.

T is for Timberlands, a workwear shoe that reached cultural icon status when embraced by Biggie, Tupac and many more rap and hip-hop artists. The brand cemented the connection over the years through streetwear collaborations and has recently been "rediscovered" by mainstream fashion.

U is for uppers. Sneaker uppers, Chantal clarified to Eliza, who is highly suggestible.

V is for Vêtements. It means clothes in French. Also, it is the uber cool brand whose head designer, Demna Gvasalia, has been copped (is that the correct usage?) by Balenciaga, making him, in GQ's words, "the coolest man in fashion right now."

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Men on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

W is for Wallabees, the world's ugliest shoes that were cool in the '90s. Wallabies are cute, furry herbivores from Australia.

X is a tough one. Xanax? Everyone likes Xanax.

Y is for Yeezy (every season), the hottest ticket at New York Fashion Week.

Z is for Ermenegildo Zegna, about which we receive a lot of press blasts. Zegna suits are a favorite of male actors; Idris Elba and Liam Hemsworth, for instance, wear them to great effect.

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree

Man on the street wearing menswear. Photo: Imaxtree