To Stalk: That J. Crew Gingham Shirt
There is definitely a uniform among girls who go out. It varies, of course, depending on where you go and what your “scene” is, but in New York City on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night I can guarantee that you will see the following items in such repetition that you may think you’re seeing the same girl multiplied by 250. I assure you it’s not your alcohol intake. The items are as follows:
- A leather jacket
- A black, tight “bandage” skirt
- Nude pumps
- A white tank top
- A black, Chanel-esque purse
For a while it seemed there was no male equivalent. Guys would go out in polo shirts, oxfords under under vests (shudder), sportcoats and khakis or various forms of jeans. The shoes were all over the place — loafers, sneakers, flip flops with the bottle openers on the soles or those terrible, terrible square-toed “dressy” things. But they all looked different. At the very least, you could easily assess who it was that you’d just been talking to do a mere five minutes ago.
But then it happened. THE SHIRT.
An unassuming gingham shirt — always based in white with corresponding checks in either navy or black, buttoned down, typically rolled at the sleeves, tucked into belts or worn over pants — found its way into literally every. Single. Man’s. Wardrobe.
EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Raise your hand if you don’t know a guy who owns this shirt. Just what I thought. All hands on deck.
My friends and I began to count these shirts. On a slow night we’d average 10-15. Other times, we’d get all the way up to 30. Then the shirt began permeating into the daylight hours and soon it was as if men were cartoon characters with a single item to complete and punctuate their now-eternal uniform.
Surely the trend began because some guy saw another guy and was like, “Hey, that’s a nice shirt,” and he was like, “Thanks I got it at J.Crew, it wasn’t that expensive and you can throw it in the wash.” But how it grew from a few “twinsies!” into billiontuplets is nothing short of a phenomenon, leaving me to wonder two very important things:
1) How many guys do you know with this shirt?
2) Do they acknowledge their 800 twins? Ignore it? Do they do that same thing we do when we see a girl wearing the same outfit as us, where we either compliment it (“Cute shirt!”) or make some sort of faux-jab (“Ugh, can’t believe you’re wearing that shirt”) because the big old joke is that we are both wearing it?
More importantly, do you think they turn to their friend after and ask: “But I look better in it right?”
Which is awkward, because their friend is also, uh, wearing the shirt.
Join me in the crusade, will you, and stalk that J. Crew Gingham Shirt.
Images via @thatjcrewginghamshirt Instagram, Illustration by Charlotte Fassler