Dropping The Work Boots

— Thu, 21st January 2010 —

Having a little fun with “heritage-heads” — i.e., guys who fetishize and sentimentalize classic American workwear — new New York TimesCritical Shopper” Jon Caramanica visits Dave’s New York, a modest Modells-esque Sixth Avenue shop that has serviced the city’s blue-collar workers for nearly half a century.

“Never before in men’s style has looking rugged been such an expensive proposition: art directors and architecture students jaunt around the city in jackets from Woolrich Woolen Mills or Pendleton Meets Opening Ceremony and skinny black jeans scrunched up at the bottom over bulky boots from the Nom de Guerre-Red Wing collaboration,” Caramanica writes.

“But what of the thousands more struggling somewhat further down the economic ladder?” Caramanica asks — to which I’d add those of us unwilling to spend $500 for a flannel. “For them, there’s Dave’s…” — to which I’d add sales, vintage shops, eBay, StyleForum, …

Bigger picture, Fashionista is suggesting that “Americana” — a term Dave’s itself uses to describe its gear — has peaked as a trend. ACL‘s Michael Williams, arguably the movement’s official spokesman, agrees. “I think Americana is a trend most likely at its peak or near the height of its popularity,” he told the blog. “But, while the bubble may soon burst and many will go back to their drop-crotch Rick Owens, it is my feeling that a substantial appreciation for Americana will persist.”

When that time comes, I’ll be mourning the loss of Americana’s chic status because it is so easy to acquire — relative to, say, Russian Oligarch-chic — and, as I’ve said before, if guys are overpaying for anything, it might as well be truly classic gear that’s built to last a really long time.

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