New York can see the other side. Unlike other parts of the US, where coronavirus infections remain terrifyingly high, nature is returning to the Empire State. They're even allowing indoor dining at the end of the month, at a 25 per cent capacity. Brunch, guys! And, from the ashes, emerges a new sort of style: one that acknowledges the comfort required for months upon months of decreasing Netflix quality (Marriage Story can so quickly bleed into Selling Sunset), but also one that doesn't forget style entirely. Not all sweatsuits are created equal.
In the middle of this Deliveroo-fuelled Venn diagram sits Jacob Elordi. Without the usual schedule of red carpets and red carpets and TV appearances and red carpets, the Euphoria star has, like most of man, silently railed against tailored regalia and considered left-fieldism (which he's very good at in non-plague times, by the way). Instead, we've got comfies. But rather than settle for old elasticated shorts with all the structure of a wooden shack in Chernobyl, there's a loose semblance of shape. There's brand awareness. There is even a tiny bit of polish in this recent strain of La-Z-Boy cool.
First, the baseball cap. New York Yankees: infallible. It covers a long hair that hasn't been cut in a long time, but its very presence indicates that some effort has been made. Because you're covering up the bad bits with something a bit better. Pride hasn't been killed off just yet, and this sort of laissez-faire baseball cap is a strong way to make effort without looking like you've made an effort. That's very important, reader.
And look to the Nike shorts. Baggy and sportswear-y, they're high on menswear's agenda as T-shirts are tucked in and white socks are pulled high. We're not just copying dads on a jog in the Eighties. We are dads on a jog in the Eighties – and you don't even to need to be active to enjoy the pros of activewear. Like Patagonia's baggies, and the high and tight inseams that get TikTok hot and bothered, navy Nike shorts sit on the cooler side of comfort.
Granted, this is not just an easy win abetted by big brands. There's a Harley Davidson T-shirt. And yes, you're thinking "bit Robot Wars". Though paired with the right accessories – chiefly, that of a Patagonia cross-boy bag – and naff Americana becomes ironic, better Americana. Indeed, failures of fashion past are riding high again, as Apple's doomed 1986 clothing line pops up on Instpiration feeds the internet over, and the likes of Orville Peck and Lil Nas X soup up the cowboy for 2020. A Harley Davidson T-shirt is a quiet way of fitting into this tradition for revival.
Of course, this well-curated form of veg out dressing has been eclipsed by Elordi's love life. He's not with Zendaya anymore, he's with Kaia Gerber and he was with Kaia Gerber before and that's just not cool, says Twitter. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. But at least the internet is united on one thing. As New York opens up, its unique spot in menswear geography is on the rise again – and it's never been more comfortable.
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