Saturday, 28 February 2015

A Man Walks into a Cafe....

It sounds like the beginning of joke.  A man walks into a cafe and....
but the punchline isn't punchy.  I look at the man as I sip my coffee and grin to myself as I think "aha, you are a lumbersexual".  What the heck is a lumbersexual?  I would have asked that same question about a week ago but I read so I am wise.  There are many of them where I live so I don't know if it is easy to tell which are deliberate and which are just a case of dressing for your environment.  After all I live in the land of normcore too but I doubt any of them are doing it ironically or as a statement.  Many people in my part of the world dress like they are about to go on a hike or tree planting or like they have just come back from such activities.  Tree planters are an extreme though, and real ones are generally only seen in the summer.  Loggers and fishers (yes that is the new gender neutral term) abound here and I am sure their clothing choices are largely practical.  Then there are the environmental types.  This is a variant of hippie and I have been a borderline environmental type myself.  My ex husband has such leanings and I was going in that direction too though my illness made hiking and camping and saving the creek activities I could not sustain so there is no need for me to shop at Mountain Equipment Co-op though still like their non-hiking hippie environmentally aware person clothes from brands such as Timberland and Patagonia. Oh my goodness that was a bloody long run-on sentence.  I think I will leave it just like that and call it an artistic statement.

 Oh how I want these boots.

                             Timberland  Earthkeeper's Boot  Source

                              I'm always going to be a sucker for a hemp dress.
                                                  Source



Now back to those men!


Tree planters might look like this, and when they come into town they don't look much differently.

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Fishers might look like this and there are plenty of commercial fishers living here.  These guys are further north, up the coast in Alaska.

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Loggers might look like this.

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All of these men are now style inspiration.

The idea of the lumbersexual uniform is a form of male dress (and forgive me if I am leaving out the female form of it, which I have no doubt exists but I am uncertain if the same term is used) that is meant to suggest rugged manliness even if the man is more of a computer wrangler than a salmon wrangler.  More likely to grow dahlias than to cut down trees,  he may or may not have employment which requires different dress of him, but on his own time at least, he tends to favour hiking boots or work boots, high tech materials known to wick away sweat or trap in body heat, and if he is really slumming it, grey woolen socks and a tartan jacket are likely attire.  When I was growing up, these jackets, known at least here as a Mac Jacket which is apparently short for Mackinaw, were the preferred attire of the rough kids.  

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These jackets were available for purchase at any work wear store but it seemed to be best to get your hands on an old one and then to cut it up.  Girls liked to wear theirs cropped.  For summer attire boys cut the sleeves off.


Excerpt and photo below from http://gearjunkie.com/the-rise-of-the-lumbersexual

"Today, the metrosexual is a disappearing breed being quickly replaced by men more concerned with existing in the outdoors, or the pseudo-outdoors, than meticulous grooming habits.
He is bar-hopping, but he looks like he could fell a Norway Pine.



He looks like a man of the woods, but works at The Nerdery, programming for a healthy salary and benefits. His backpack carries a MacBook Air, but looks like it should carry a lumberjack’s axe."

And where I live he may or may not wield an axe at least on weekends but every self respecting axe wielder knows you don't put them in a backpack!    And speaking of weekends, I hope yours is a good one.

18 comments:

  1. It's so funny watching men's fashions change. The whole hipster thing of beards and geeky glasses is a reinvention of my dad's generation in the 1970s, kind of. And now lumbersexuals (although I've also seen metrojack, and I think that's more apt) have just moved the plaid from their hats to their shirts.

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  2. Oh I like metrojack. That's a good one. Whatever we call them, I would expect to see a fair number of them in your state and my province. My grandfather wore those hipster type glasses with the thick black frames. They were probably very cool and hip when he got them in the seventies but I can't wear them because to me they look like grandparent glasses just as mid-century modern furniture looks like grandparent furniture to me. Too bad I had such hip grandparents. LOL

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  3. Well I'm not sure what that last guy is … but he looks pretty fine to me ;0)
    xx

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  4. I found out about this term myself only recently:) It seems funny...I mean weren't they always there?

    Have a great Sunday!

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  5. You need to write about the hipster look. The ones that have tattoos up and down their arms, perfectly trimmed BIG beards, side parted hair, expensive retro inspired clothes, that ride a bike everywhere, even in winter. Those are 90% of the waiters in Toronto.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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  6. wonderful! sooo funny! :-D
    as someone who lives in a woody, rocky environment too i always have a good laugh when i see the city slickers in berlin running around in goretex coats and hiking boots when winter hits the streets. even in our teensy mountains most of that hardcore outdoor gear looks totally out of place. and a pale, slouching nerd stays a nerd - mac jacket or not :-P
    hug you! xxxxx

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  7. I love this Shawna! I think my son gravitates toward the lumbersexual but he would hate to think he resembles a hipster. The look is very fitting to the PNW. We always like to be ready for a hike, no? ;) I remember very clearly begging my mom in about 1968 to buy me some "waffle stompers" which were a sort of hiking boot. All the cool kids had them.

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  8. You have summed up these fashions and lifestyles well. I don't like to see this trend, and I am disturbed by the number of gold rush, swamp wrangling, hunting, and survival shows on TV. There are often few if any women. I fear this is a trend brought on by anxiety about the world and a reversion to the "good old days" for simple comfort. "Woman, bring me my grub!!" It may appear to be a style trend but the messages that go with it go much deeper. Please tell me I'm paranoid and just plain wrong!!

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    1. Okay. You're paranoid and just plain wrong. But....who knows? I know nothing. That doesn't stop me from having a theory though. I think clothing is often armour. Putting on something that feels tough, manly, rugged, competent and capable of handling whatever comes is probably a symptom of uncertain times but I don't think it has to come with misogyny any more than a woman wearing a vintage dress is indicating that she wants to behave or be treated like women of the fifties.
      Optimism is the name of my game. Always look on the bright side of life....and all that jazz. xoxo

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  9. Interesting post Shawna. My son loves those plaid shirts but certainly looks like he should be working at The Nerdery rather than felling any trees!!!

    I really think the guy in the last photo is a fine specimen no matter what he's got in his back-pack!!! Thanks for the education on Lumbersexual ~ never heard of it before!

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    1. Well the plaid shirts are darn comfy! xoxo

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  10. I've been wanting one of the red and black plaid shirts for myself. I call the specific style of these shirts "Buffalo plaid." I hadn't heard of lumbersexual until today. Always glad to learn something new. :) xx T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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  11. Funny post Shawna and I have learnt a new word today. Lumbersexual. Sounds like the ones you read about in romantic novels. lol. Enjoy the rest of your week.

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  12. Whatever you call this type of male species, I find them uber sexy. We don't see these type of men much in my area. Mostly well dressed surfers, hipsters, rockers, urbanites, corporate types...you get the point. I would love to have the Timberland boots in my closet. Have a great week!

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  13. I just love your blog so much. This made me giggle. We have such males, and I can dig their cool earthy style as long as they don't smell. Sometimes they smell and I can't get on with that. Bathe, even if it is in that creek you're looking to save. :-P

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    1. LOL-now THAT made me giggle too. And thanks for loving my blog and for visiting. I love yours too and am seriously envious of your talent. xo

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  14. Fascinating, Shawna! I learned a few new terms (hemp dress for one - and I like them too). I'm no good about all that, categorizing I mean. That's not how my mind works I guess. But I do see such fashion, rough men so to speak. I think when I was younger, I would be more attracted to such macho men. These days, I'm rather fond of finer things. But I have a feeling that it's not what this post is about. :)))

    I miss seeing you!!! Love and hugses always! xxxx

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    1. LOL-I think the idea is that often the lumbersexual man is not rough, only looks it. I always choose brains over brawn though I wouldn't object to a combo pack. xoxo

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