Posted by
• 09.29.14 11:18 am


I’m man enough to admit when I need help. It takes more courage to reach out your hand than to ball up a fist. As The Who said, “A man is a man when – he can drop to the floor / he can weep / we won’t ask the price.” I have been working very hard to make it work for the past year but it’s time to change directions. I just don’t know where to go. 


My look for the past year has been “Grumpy Casual.” It is loosely based on The Specials second album. Other terms for it include “scruffy mod” or “homeless millionaire.” This album cover sums it up best. You’re like a mod who has grown older and doesn’t care as much as he used to. Besides, you’re on vacation so you didn’t bring all your gear with you. I felt it was a vast improvement on my short-lived Jaws look.



However, the beta male millennials AKA “Generation Wuss” ruined this look. Mods were working class kids who dared to be patriotic right through the heat of the Falklands when the entire world was crapping on Thatcher. While the punks told England to fuck off, Paul Weller sang love ballads to his “English Rose.” Sid Vicious tried to beat up Weller for claiming “Holidays in the Sun” was stolen from “In the City.” Paul knocked him out. It was.

Today, a cardigan and desert boots says, “I don’t want any trouble.” Fred Perry can look tough and scary if you’re young and skinny but half the time I wear one I see a guy in a Best Buy uniform who stuck a laurel over his name tag. This look is no longer for me. So where do I go? 

It’s getting colder so whatever the look is should include boots, ideally Red Wings. The way I see it, that leaves us with two options: biker or bootlegger.

The best example of the latter look is Tom Hardy in Lawless (minus the gigantic fedora). You’d match your Red Wings with some dark denim and a big Carhartt jacket. I’m not sure about the collarless shirts and I’d occasionally replace the cardigans with a sweatshirt but it’d basically be rural criminal during prohibition. I wouldn’t feel like a poser because I spend half my time upstate fixing stuff and fraternizing with the lower classes.

One problem: Tom Hardy is built like a brick shithouse. I have the upper body of Grover. If I wore a Carhartt, there’d be a basketball-sized pocket of air from my shoulders to the inside corner of the jacket.Those things take at least a year to break in and Brooklyn union guys laugh at you when you wear a brand new one. Another problem is the hairdo. Moonshiners cut their fade so close on the sides, you’re basically bald for two thirds of your head. This looks great if you’re healthy and sober but when you get to this age, people wonder if you’re undergoing chemotherapy.

Which brings us to this look.



Wes Lang has been the overlord of this look for many years now and it personifies the outlaw culture that made this country great. I have a motorbike but I only ride it once a month and if I’m on a major highway, I spend half the time shitting my pants. I also have three kids so “outlaw” has become things like checking retweets while on the john for longer than the actual poo takes. Besides, a big part of this look is a vest. I look like Ratso Rizzo’s coke dealer in a vest. Wes pulls it off but he looks like Chewbacca dipped in Nair. I’d feel like a total poser dressed like this.

You know what? You just made my decision for me. I’m going bootlegger because it’s my only option. I’m glad we had this talk. Thanks.



  1. raymi says:

    Do it. Lawless bro is a total smoke show but the collarless shirts can look crouching tiger hidden dragon if you’re not careful.

  2. RED says:

    Don’t not buy a Carhartt jacket because they take too long to break in. Drag it behind your car for half a mile along a dirt road and it’s instantly a year old.

  3. “Fades” are too George Orwell/ration book, even if you’re young and skinny.

    But I’m still wearing 25 year old Chucks so what do I know.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Collarless shirts died with prohibition. Today they are for middle class blacks at awards ceremonies. Stick with collars.

  5. BJ McFrisky says:

    Y’know, Gavin, now that you brought it up, you and Hardy actually resemble one another. Also, you can get away with any look you want—you’re Gavin Fucking McInnes!

  6. Uncle Pee Pee says:

    You do need help. Keep your hands in and protect your gut and chest more with your elbows. A feint and a good straight power punch will have you slurping soup all week. 😉

  7. Columbo says:

    Let’s not ignore the real problem here.

  8. smully says:

    Tom Hardy…sigh.

  9. whew says:

    Glad you’ve quit trying to talk about politics and are back to talking about your hair and your pants. Stick with what you know.

  10. thepulloutking says:

    the close crop fade is a bit too new order/adolph hitler. spending this much time on crafting a cohesive stylistic universe in which to inhabit is for chicks. you’ve been in NYC too long. hanging with the proles in krumville won’t cure that … they snicker behind your back.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Whew, don’t forget Gavin’s scathing critiques of women’s footwear. That’s his real bread-and-butter.
    I think you can pull-off a good “working man’s” outfit for well under $300, shoes included.

  12. […] Today, a cardigan and desert boots says, “I don’t want any trouble.” Fred Perry can look tough and scary if you’re young and skinny but half the time I wear one I see a guy in a Best Buy uniform who stuck a laurel over his name tag. This look is no longer for me. So where do I go? […]

  13. Teehee says:

    Jaws all summer, mod fall/early spring, bootleg winter (granddad shirt is a must).

  14. Doug says:

    Gavin, I am so glad you dropped that silly macho manly manliness nonsense you’re always bangin on about and have gone back to being the “do I look fat in this?” beta-male fashion victim. It feels good to be true to yourself right?

  15. bared bored says:

    go rockabilly. I remember a couple of scooter enthusiasts rocked a great hybrid of skin and rockabilly.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Just run the Carhartt over with a car a few times and then it will look normal.

  17. Surin says:

    Seriously, collared shirt unless you want to 1890’s it up. Y’all forgot about Dickies. That’s where Roy found pants that fit.

  18. Charlie's love-child Afro Sheen says:

    Get up to your country estate with your new Carhartt, sized for a flatter bellied you.
    And your Red Wings if you want them roughed up a bit.

    Buy work gloves. Rent a gas powered hydraulically actuated log splitter. Order a cord of cut but not split firewood. Start splitting your cord. When you work up a sweat take off Carhartt Jacket throwing it upon your freshly halved and quartered logs. Drag the jacket out of the pile. Bury it again. Repeat.
    (One throws and does not place said lumber)

    Carhartt no longer new, belly less fat. Call your neighbors and tell them you rented the machine for the weekend, week, whichever and they are welcome to use it for their wood so long as your Carhartt gets abused but not overly so.
    They will still know you are a city slicker but won’t think you a douche bag.

    In the city be a man. Wear a suit. Lead from the front. Cary Grant knew how. Any decade but for you… look at Grant’s suits 20s, 30s. Mid century is not leading.

    Also Jessus look at Grant’s hair. Any decade.

  19. just a fan of your fabric says:

    this is great

  20. Rule Dude says:

    Why do you need to reference anything? What’s with this olde timey shit? Can’t you just wear shit that fits and doesn’t make you look too much like a twat?

  21. STINKY says:

    Shorts and collared Polos and Sperry Top-Siders with no socks for life #floridaforever

  22. the roller says:

    “You can bury me a Mod”.

    -Paul Weller

  23. ivell says:

    If you’re gonna wear a collarless shirt you have to roll up the sleaves or it looks too stuffy, especially if you have the top button done up. You also have to make sure it’s made of a heavy, hard wearing cotton – the sort of material you’d expect to see a working man in. Anyhing else and it ends up looking like an over-refined, mandarin style chinese number, and as someone already said, that look is reserved exclusively for 80s black guys.

  24. ivell says:

    Another thing about collarless shirts I forgot to add – stick to traditional solid colors: whites, light greys and light blues. Stay away from pinstripe or it looks too steam punk.

  25. Mac says:

    track pants and a wife beater would suit you

  26. Anonymous says:

    as an adult man, the range narrows as it should. you shouldn’t be spending that much time thinking about clothes. rules are there are no rules! but you should follow these rules. wear clothes that fit. no extreme measures taken unless you’re malcolm mclaren. solid themes are lumberjack, fisherman, steel worker, retiree, and surprisingly, 10 year old boy from the 70’s. mix and match for variety. good luck out there. it’s a young person’s world.

  27. thisiswhatnamesdo says:

    One assumes you’ve perused Filson catalogs …

  28. Alec Leamas says:

    I was thinking that Gavin would be a good candidate for the aristocratic adventurer/sportsman look with safari jackets and whatnot.

  29. Snoop Gogg says:

    Get old man. I mead “old”, not “older”. Dress and act like old fucks. Because you are.

  30. I saw this 52-second clip in a documentary when I was a teenager and it affected my life.

    I bet half the people here can guess what it is without clicking:

  31. Seriously though can you really go wrong with the West Side Story look?

    (I mean the Jets obviously.)

  32. Sammy says:

    Consideration of any “look” to this level is very insecure.

  33. Boris says:

    I believe in you, because no matter how lost you might be, I’m most certainly more then you.

  34. SputnikHQ says:

    Isn’t Weller…

  35. The token ethnic says:


    Kudos to the chane in focus. But, I have four Fred Perry polos now. Should I stick with it? I’m 33 and a “minority” so I look younger. I don’t want to look like the fuckin’ best buy geek squad, vato.

  36. TWalsh2 says:

    Once you take off the vagina costume you’re wearing the rest will fall into place, i.e. 1)grown men wear whatever the fuck they want, and 2) they don’t ask what “look” they should go with. If you’re still having trouble deciding after that, maybe your wife can dress you. Friendly advice from atop a bar stool.

  37. Stan Winston says:

    Was this supposed to be about something?

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