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We Deserve Better Dressed Billionaires
July 10, 2014 4:58 PM   Subscribe

"You're a rich white man. You're used to being listened to. But while you're jabbering away, all anyone can see is your garbage shirt that you bought for twenty bucks and have been wearing all year, shoved nastily into your shiny off-the-rack suit. Why would you do this to your brand?" - Shirterate, a clothing consultation service for tech moguls by opinionated homosexuals.
posted by The Whelk (75 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Me and several friends have joked about this business idea for years. If they market it well, they're going to need an army of accountants to manage all the money they'll be raking in.
posted by emptythought at 5:09 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


We know that stores are scary. Sometimes you can't tell if the clothes are for men or women, either! You probably don't even know where the good stores are! It's not your fault. There's always one more level of privilege to break into. You're just not there yet. And then every time you go into Louis Vuitton it's full of rich black people and you get uncomfortable and leave. "How are there so many rich black people!" you wonder. And where did all these chic Koreans come from? Wow, shouldn't someone gin up a startup that serves people who aren't white socially incompetent overly paid coders someday? Probably someone should. Big world out there. Oh right, the fashion world already did! Serving a diverse international crowd! That's why they make billions and billions of dollars. Unlike most startups! Which don't make anything! Haha! Right??? Anyway, you're too busy to shop. All that VC ass-kissing takes a lot of time.

Almost spit my cocktail everywhere!
posted by rtha at 5:12 PM on July 10 [22 favorites]


"Queer Eye for the Rich Guy"
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:15 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


It's a pretty douchy idea for douchebags, but I laughed out loud at "Hi, I'm noted gaywad Choire Sicha, and I've assembled a crack team of homos..."
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:17 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


I likes this so much more than I thought I would.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:19 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


This sad teen in his dad's jacket is apparently a CEO?

Ha ha these guys are ok.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:22 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


I know it's a joke but this is basically the job I was bred in a glass tube for
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on July 10 [61 favorites]


Well, they have a point. Why the rich always gotta dress like shit?
posted by oceanjesse at 5:25 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


'Cause they got so much money they don't give a crap what you think.
posted by Justinian at 5:27 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


Koreans are chic?
posted by curuinor at 5:28 PM on July 10


Very. Korean fashion and design is Having A Moment. Very art school. very LACMA
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on July 10 [20 favorites]


"The big words are spelled fo-net-i-cal-ee."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:31 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


"That queer eye show was ok, but let's make it edgy."
posted by jpe at 5:36 PM on July 10


I would like to request an FPP on Korean fashion and design that is Having a Moment, please.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:38 PM on July 10 [48 favorites]


P.P.P.S. Seriously tuck in your shirt, you look like an animal.

Word.
posted by arcticseal at 5:38 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


> Koreans are chic?

I've never felt as poorly-dressed as I did in Seoul. And I never dressed worse than business-casual while I was there.
posted by ardgedee at 5:44 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


That is a goddamned copywriting.
posted by brundlefly at 5:47 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


I know it's a joke but this is basically the job I was bred in a glass tube for

I'm starting to realize that I may need the non-VC version of this service, so if this ever leads to downmarket spinoffs I may be calling. The space between "fashion forward" and "did you dress yourself out of a dumpster?" is difficult for some of us to navigate...
posted by Dip Flash at 5:51 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


There are a ton of Korean language students here on the West Coast. Very chic. The women are unbelievably beautiful as well. Awesome country. Korean style.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:51 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Ha! Error message on the form: "Whimsical email subject line is required."
posted by brundlefly at 5:53 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


No "Metafilter's Own"?
posted by JPD at 5:54 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


Can we just get the non-VC version of the service for white guys who are super tall (like 6'7") and hate cheesy Big & Tall stores? I would sign my husband up, like, yesterday.
posted by jeanmari at 6:07 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


This is well done except their rates are way too low. No VC would take them seriously until they charged two to three times that much.
posted by emjaybee at 6:29 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Was it Coco Chanel who, when told her perfume wasn't selling well went "not expensive enough." , tripled the price and sales boomed?
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Her, or maybe Sean Combs
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:51 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


According to Adam's lawyer, we regret the joke.

Heh. That's a damn fine non-apology. I wonder if they also offer passive-aggressiveness consultations?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:53 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


When I read his description of the t-shirt I started sobbing, quietly.

Why do gay men keep me from the t-shirts I deserve.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:54 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


Wait, what about Chick Corea?
posted by munchingzombie at 6:55 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


yesssss. yes.
posted by sweetkid at 6:57 PM on July 10


Not sure if serious...
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:05 PM on July 10


Justinian: "'Cause they got so much money they don't give a crap what you think."

Or probably, they never gave a crap what you think, and then found some money. Or maybe even their millions because they didn't give a crap about what you think.
posted by pwnguin at 7:20 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Why the rich always gotta dress like shit?

Because self regard has come to trump self respect. One is inward looking, the other, outward.

A hundred years ago, even the newspaper boy would not be caught dead without a hat. Now...

(On the other hand, Bill Gates, who helped start the clueless geek slob ethos, now wears ties, so there is that. Probably Melinda doing a bit of civilizin' on his sorry ass.)
posted by IndigoJones at 7:23 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Dressr.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:44 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


I now offer the same service except in reverse: for a modest fee I give wealthy gay men pointers on how to conduct sports small talk with their direct reports. PM for rates.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:56 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


ugh, I know more gay men who can talk about sports than straight men. I'm not even a man.
posted by sweetkid at 7:59 PM on July 10


I have a really hard time telling whether "disruptive" new services like this are jokes or for real. Maybe someone will create a startup that can accurately tell the difference, so I can pay $250 for an attractive gay ninja on a bike to bring me fresh popcorn and tell me which way to roll my eyes.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:06 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


Up you roll your eyes up.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


I'm still not tucking my shirt in.
posted by octothorpe at 8:27 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Given their target market, they might do better if they were called Shirtly.
posted by twsf at 8:27 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


First one's free or is it the same as in town?
posted by rtha at 8:27 PM on July 10


I have a really hard time telling whether "disruptive" new services like this are jokes or for real.

It can be hard to tell nowadays, because the Internet's default setting is "snark". None the less, I would think that a genuine service would spend more time sucking up to its potential clients, and less time insulting them. Also, there are people who really do this sort of thing for a living. If rich people don't use them, it's because they choose not to.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:32 PM on July 10


It's time like these I'm sad my blunt, fashion-foward Russian tailor is dead. He always had the best advice. ( I bring him an old suit to be recut, he grabs the shoulders and goes "did you used to be a great big fat person?" )
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on July 10 [18 favorites]


First read that as shiterate, and I thought there's a good idea.
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


My partner works in tech, and he has such a nice, lean figure (genetics, bah) that I thought it was quite a shame to hide it behind baggy, indifferent clothes. So a few years ago, I talked him into letting me overhaul his wardrobe. He didn't put up a fight at all--he just didn't care enough about clothes to even have an opinion.

I didn't do much, really. Chose better fitted shirts and jackets, upgraded his Clarks shoes to sleek ankle boots and Italian oxfords, switched out the khakis his mom got him in college for dark wash selvedge denim, sent stuff to the tailor for him, and made sure that he wore flattering colours. And people noticed! His male colleagues, their wives ("My wife says I should get shoes like yours."), our friends, and new work acquaintances who first mistook him for being in sales because he was always "dressed up" (by Silicon Valley standards; the bar is admittedly low.).

It was a really fun project, and I absolutely fantasized about being a stylist to the geeks for a couple of weeks. I was lucky that my first and possibly last client was very sporting, though he will never ever be persuaded to wear shoes decorated with holes (brogues).
posted by peripathetic at 9:35 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


its amusing for sure, but i think really misses the point. "dressing well" is generally something that one does to either impress others or as a social signifier. but there really isnt a more powerful social signifier than rolling in to head a board meeting full of ivy leaguers in suits while you are in baggy jeans and a hoodie.
posted by young_son at 11:42 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


Wearing suits in a biology lab: a guide posted by en forme de poire at 11:57 PM on July 10 [15 favorites]


It's nice to see Type A narcissists reaching out to each other to help with the small things.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:19 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think a lot of rich people, especially rich dot-com people, dress "badly" because they can, it's comfortable, and they can really show that they don't give a shit. They probably never gave a shit, but now they can command respect anyway, and they like to rub it in.

I can sympathize, really. Fuck "dressing well".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:59 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Clothing is the same as music, wine, cigars, literature or pretty much everything that has an inherent subjective qualitative component: you need to care to even begin to be cultivated. Having someone else pick out albums, books or clothes for you allows you to fake cultivation to some degree, but you're still a poser and you know it. If I were rich, I'd almost certainly have someone with cultivated taste build me a wardrobe for every conceivable occasion and I might even pick up some basic dos and don'ts from them in the process, but I'd know I'd just be faking style consciousness. The fact that I'd use such a service would mean I already care to some degree, but it would still be the fashion equivalent of listening to the same music as my friends do in order to fit in.

For many people, myself included, clothing serves to shield us from the elements and/or to cover up any naught bits as required by law. We may have osmosed some rudimentary style guidelines from our environment, too. But that's the extent of it. Style snobs will insist that everybody should cultivate a sense of style, but doing so is effectively a demanding hobby and a massive cognitive workload when you don't have the same inclination for it as the snobs do. Their privileged myopia is no different from those that scoff at people who prefer sloppy pizzas to nouvelle cuisine or Linkin Park to 18th century Italian opera.

Finally, while the site is humorous (OR IS IT ha ha), the entitlement apparent in the title of this post rubs me the wrong way. Nobody "deserves" people around them, billionaires or otherwise, to cater to their superficial sensibilities. The joke barely conceals an all too real toxic attitude.
posted by jklaiho at 2:17 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Seriously tuck in your shirt, you look like an animal.
posted by StephenF at 2:59 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I had this idea like six months ago. Did... Did I just get disrupted?
posted by dudekiller at 3:05 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


These people seem awful.

So I guess helping to dress other awful people is a natural fit.

#SYNERGY2.0LETUSOPTIMIZEYOURFASHIONMATRIXOVERFLOW
posted by modernnomad at 3:22 AM on July 11


Are we sure this is a joke? The startup that sold rolls of quarters at a ridiculous markup was real.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:17 AM on July 11


Can I get a budget version of this service, or shall I spend another lonely night trapped inside Ross Dress for Less trying to decide between generic western-style button snap #1 and generic western-style button snap #2?
posted by echocollate at 5:58 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


As long as they're worrying about their dumb shirts they're not ruining my day so yeah, you need a better shirt, rich guy.
posted by Legomancer at 6:05 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Hi, I'm noted gaywad Choire Sicha, and I've assembled a crack team of homos ...
And like a reversible jacket, you'll also get a team of homo cracks. (If you're, you know, into that whole BOGO thing.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:08 AM on July 11


Now if only Shirterate could sort out the tacky-ass houses of the rich and famous as well, I'd be grateful.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Their privileged myopia is no different from those that scoff at people who prefer sloppy pizzas to nouvelle cuisine or Linkin Park to 18th century Italian opera.

Its possible, nay preferable to appreciate both. To say a sloppy pizza is inherently superior to nouvelle cuisine can be just as problematic. Too many folks in the "I don't care about how I dress" are basically doing that.

Although I do appreciate there is for some a sense of "fuck it - I made it, now I can dress however I want."

I have two friends who are very successful in our field and have their own firms. I swear I think they are secretly having a contest to see who show up to drinks wearing crappy clothes. I bet they dress nicer on the weekends when their wives are there to tell them what to wear.
posted by JPD at 8:06 AM on July 11


On the flip side, there's this, which makes my teeth itch: The New Business Casual is Still Uptight

(Rejecting a qualified job candidate for wearing a suit to his interview? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck you!)
posted by usonian at 8:08 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Now if only Shirterate could sort out the tacky-ass houses of the rich and famous as well, I'd be grateful.

If you get rich - or even cashed-up to the level that nobody here is - there is an industry of people that call themselves 'interior designers' and they've been doing this for years. They choose the colours for your lounge or whatever, like that takes a brain.
posted by colie at 8:39 AM on July 11


They choose the colours for your lounge or whatever, like that takes a brain.

Yow!

At least Choire was funny in his poking-fun-at-people-who-don't-dress-well.
posted by rtha at 8:48 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Fair enough - serving the rich clothes- or house-wise is just another hustle and good luck to anyone who can make a buck from it; bonus points for those who can simultaneously amuse the non-rich. :-)
posted by colie at 8:56 AM on July 11


Are we sure this is a joke?

It has to be, since the service offered for $2,000 is offered free of charge by any high-end department store that sells expensive clothes like Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges etc., and the guy you get doing it will likely be witty and funny too.
posted by colie at 9:10 AM on July 11


For many people, myself included, clothing serves to shield us from the elements and/or to cover up any naught bits as required by law. We may have osmosed some rudimentary style guidelines from our environment, too. But that's the extent of it. Style snobs will insist that everybody should cultivate a sense of style, but doing so is effectively a demanding hobby and a massive cognitive workload when you don't have the same inclination for it as the snobs do. Their privileged myopia is no different from those that scoff at people who prefer sloppy pizzas to nouvelle cuisine or Linkin Park to 18th century Italian opera.

That's a bit dismissive ("privileged myopia"?), and the comparisons don't really work. Your taste in pizza or music is not something anyone else has to look at. Your clothing is. If you choose to wear Baby Huey pants in public, or a hoodie to work, you are throwing a middle finger to the world. Much the same as if you were picking your nose at the cafe or paring your nails on the subway.

Question becomes - why? Egocentricity or contempt/indifference for others? (Or just fitting in with the in-crowd, baby? Osmosed, in your terms.) Would it kill you to tuck in your shirt? Yes, it can take some effort to up your game, but it's not impossible, there's plenty of guidance if you feel you need it. It also need not be more expensive than a lot of what passes for acceptable clothing these days.

The most stylish people I know are notable for their self confidence (which is not the same as arrogance). And their sense that the world can always do with a bit of sprucing up. Walking around NYC these days, I find it hard to disagree. (I've also noticed more men wearing ties again - I put it down to the economy and the need to look professional.)

They choose the colours for your lounge or whatever, like that takes a brain.

Clearly you've never seen it done badly.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:10 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think a lot of rich people, especially rich dot-com people, dress "badly" because they can, it's comfortable, and they can really show that they don't give a shit. They probably never gave a shit, but now they can command respect anyway, and they like to rub it in.


The beige LL Bean/Patagucci aesthetic of the wealthy is couched in white privilege, which they may not be aware of. With the (male) dot-com wealthy at least, they appear to think that it's a waste of time to spend an extra minute thinking about what to wear in the morning. So they don't really judge others for dressing down nor do they rub it in--if anything, they may be more baffled as to why anyone would not do the same, not realizing that many cannot risk looking that casual... or sloppy.
posted by peripathetic at 9:45 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


If you choose to wear Baby Huey pants in public, or a hoodie to work, you are throwing a middle finger to the world.

No, you're only throwing a middle finger to the world if you're constantly extending your middle finger, and even that doesn't carry any inherent meaning.

From an earlier comment you made:

Because self regard has come to trump self respect. One is inward looking, the other, outward.

A hundred years ago, even the newspaper boy would not be caught dead without a hat. Now...


So you're making the claim that the neuro-/physiological process that create and define self-respect require the wearing of a hat, at least for men? That's a strong claim. Are you claiming that in societies where wearing a hat is or was uncommon, that self-respect was rare among men?

The most you can say is that (some) people will form judgments about you on the basis of what you wear, just as they'll form judgments about you on the basis of your race and sex, your regional accent, or if they observe you being affectionate with someone of the same sex. And that to the extent that you care about those judgments -- which you might well, because some people who make such judgments are in a position to hurt you -- you'll probably find catering to their prejudices easier than living as you like.

These things get especially silly when privilegedly-myopic people complain about broad trends, like men generally not wearing hats (except for ball caps etc) or wearing shorts, and remark that most men don't look like men. Which is silly; what men look like is an empirical question. If most men go around wearing shorts and hoodies, that is what men look like in that time and place. If they go around wearing extensive facial makeup, no shirts, poodle skirts, or nude except for deelyboppers and crocs, then that is, by definition, what men look like.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:47 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Style snobs will insist that everybody should cultivate a sense of style,

It's interesting that a lot of this seems to revolve around what people wear to work. The vast majority of humans for centuries wore clothes that suited the jobs they had to do. Wearing a suit (or whatever it is that the personal shopper guy wants you to wear to have self-respect) is simply a symbol of not having to do any manual work at all. The lowest people in society actually have to wear uniforms with their names on.
posted by colie at 9:55 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


What you wear communicates something; you can argue that it oughtn't, but it seems beyond foolish to argue that it doesn't. At the very least, make your communication intentional, and don't pretend that intending to communicate not-caring means that everyone else is required to not-care the way you do. They're going to, just like you (general you) will likely care in some way about the statements other people make with their sartorial choices.
posted by rtha at 9:56 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


from usonian's link
It’s the aging white hippie who can cut the ponytail of his youthful rebellion and walk into senior management while aging black panthers can never completely outrun the effects of stigmatization against which they were courting a revolution.
and

> many cannot risk looking that casual... or sloppy

This is a tricky one. Working at a company founded by a barefoot pescatarian with plenty of sloppy-ish old white (or in my case, mistaken for white) dudes, there's an odd unspoken pressure to un-slop-ify. The pretty young white (SF-dwelling and commuter coach riding) Stanford and Carnegie-Mellon dudes I feel comfortable ignoring, but when I get frowns from (better dressed) people who grew up around not-by-choice rag-wearers, I start thinking about how I present. It does seem like a middle finger a bit.
posted by morganw at 10:25 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


What you wear communicates something; you can argue that it oughtn't, but it seems beyond foolish to argue that it doesn't.

The problem is that people who enjoy fashion as a hobby assert that common modes of dress communicate all sorts of outlandish things, such as a lack of self-respect, disrespect to others, or even that you are some other sex and age than you obviously are.

There's a difference between "Wearing X communicates Y" and "Some people draw prejudicial inferences on Y about people who wear X." Most obviously, there's a question about how accurate the inference is.

don't pretend that intending to communicate not-caring means that everyone else is required to not-care the way you do. They're going to, just like you (general you) will likely care in some way about the statements other people make with their sartorial choices

Did I pretend that? Sometimes people whose actions can help or hurt you are going to care about what you wear, so it's often best or at least easiest to go along with them. In the same way that you might find it best or at least easiest to try to adopt the local regional accent or speak "proper" instead of AAVE because someone who can hurt you thinks that the way you'd normally speak communicates a lack of intelligence.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:30 AM on July 11


The beige LL Bean/Patagucci aesthetic of the wealthy is couched in white privilege

Or as I like to call it, Dad privilege. (Stain-resistant! Unshrinkable! Now at LL Bean for only 16.95$!)

Seriously. That dude's so white I'm starting to feel oppressed.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:29 PM on July 11


Now do academics. Some universities still require suit and tie for lecturing in (if male).
That tenured profs and dot-com millionaires stll can wear what David Foster Wallace termed "Eastern European-type Hawaiian shirts" says "I am famous already" (for my mind)
posted by bad grammar at 2:33 PM on July 11


Did I pretend that?

Maybe? I did mean a more general-you (English is useless in some ways!). And yes, people will definitely infer all kinds of absurd things about someone based on how they're dressed - I'd bet that pretty much everyone does this at least occasionally.
posted by rtha at 2:59 PM on July 11


Do VC's love to rock the cashmere half-zip if its too cold for the fleece vest? Big HF look. Big.
posted by JPD at 5:02 PM on July 11


Some universities still require suit and tie for lecturing in (if male).

In 2014? Most academics are lucky to remember to zip their pants and wear matching socks with their Birkenstocks, hard to imagine them in suits daily. Jokes aside, I thought the days of formal dress codes for profs were long gone (departments tend to have informal dress codes, of course).
posted by Dip Flash at 6:42 PM on July 11


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