Oh wow, it's that time of the day again? The bit where you're allowed outside? Great! Let's walk to the shop and stock up on another six bottles of red and the sort of food that'd keep Henry VIII in the high risk category. No, you don't have to get changed. You won't see anyone. Well, you will if you're Timothée Chalamet. Plague or no plague, paparazzi still need to make their ducats stalking one of the world's most famous up-and-coming young actors. But for a man that's worn Louis Vuitton harnesses and painterly Alexander McQueen suits, Chalamet looks... remarkably like the rest of us during These Unprecedented Times. But more remarkably, he looks... good.
Presenting to you: the power, and art, of scruffatura! First pioneered by the scumbro boys (menswear's fluoro tinged, caterpillar-lipped acid trip a few summers back), the pandemic has accelerated our retreat into absolute comfort. We're panicked, we're tired, we're exhausted, and we want clothes that fit the mood. But combinations that once didn't make sense now do. And it's quieter than the Amiri/Palm Angels strain of LA lounge lizard. Gone are the flames, and rippling torsos. It's far too chilly for that anyway.
Know that this isn't just a zero sum game of throwing anything and everything at the wall. It's quality old faithfuls working in tandem. So like Chalamet, recently pictured on a bike ride around New York, that means Adidas tracksuit bottoms (reliable), a grey hoody (reliable) and a shearling jacket (reliable, reliable, reliable, ding ding ding!)
The pot luck wins big. Switch the rotation for a sweatsuit – matching colours, naturally – with a big tailored overcoat, and again, you've scored three cherries. Beanie, hoody, big wide tailored trousers: win. Jogging bottoms, gilet, blazer: win. Look, you get the picture, and it's a wider painting in which you'll find Euphoria's Jacob Elordi, and the accidental hype-dog walker Hugh Jackman. They're also proof that baseball caps are now an essential worker.
Just as grey sweatpants became the sexy thirst talisman of Twitter over lockdown, high-low get-ups are just as prevalent. That's not a rebuke to the Old Way of doing things: not all classicists will agree with scruffatura. In fact, they probably really hate it. And they are absolutely entitled to their opinion. Suits are special. Suits make you feel good. But in the past, our less cerebral, less thought-out menswear has been made to 'feel bad': you shouldn't look so comfortable. These things weren't meant for the outdoors. And, granted, a RowSoc hoody of a former flatmate scorched with perfect full moons from the one and only time in which he tried a joint isn't what we're talking about here. It's the stuff in your wardrobe, with the comfies that are tried-and-tested. Even Brunello Cucinelli – the Italian king of really, really, really fine menswear – makes luxury sweatpants now. We want to see the good stuff made comfortable: a slightly elevated Sunday best that was once solely confined to the 11am Sunday Eucharist of fresh orange juice, Haribo and a scotch egg at Tesco Express.
Covid-19, though not the great leveller many assumed, has proven itself to be the great accelerator. The gradual dressing down of menswear has hastened. You might not like scruffatura, but lots of people do. So grab another bottle of merlot, reach for that Oxford shirt with baseball cap and trackie bottoms. This won't last forever, but for the foreseeable, comfort is king – and so are you.
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