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The Retrosexual Revolution

July 12, 2010

FSC Barber in New York. Photo by Andrew Ingalls


I just picked up the first issue of the relaunched Menswear, and they had an article by David Lipke and Brenner Thomas called “The Retrosexual Revolution.” The article is interesting enough and gives those who aren’t familiar with the whole culture a decent idea of what it’s about. While I had never heard the term “retrosexual,” a quote from the article explains it:

It’s all part of a movement some call “retrosexual,” a play on the dated and derided term “metrosexual.” If the latter heralded the rise over the past decade of a newly manicured and somewhat emasculated modern male, the retrosexual is at once an evolution and a renunciation of that trend. While these men are looking back to the styles, values and pastimes of traditional masculinity, they are doing so through the lens of the post-metrosexual male—one with heightened discernment about brands, aesthetics and lifestyle.

That begs the question: while the term retrosexual can apply to any guy rocking that look, even if he is in the ‘burbs, shouldn’t the urban woodsmen of major metropolitan areas like LA or NYC technically be metroretrosexuals?

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2 Comments
  1. July 12, 2010 4:11 pm

    I took a peak at this article while checking out the mag at a local bookstore. I’m not sure I agree with the idea of tagging men who want to dress like men as “retrosexual” although those who may have an obsession with it’s aesthetic should be explored.

    I think what’s is less talked about is the inherent lifestyle that men are trying to emulate by returning to more traditional, stylish, but functional attire.

    I think it’s safe to say that a lifestyle of working, building things, traveling, playing, and spending time with friends and family has become a much more appealing pursuit than what was trendy not long ago (trying to get filthy rich). That change has brought a cultural reassessment on what the guy doing those things would traditionally look and dress like. This is an interesting topic that I hope more is written on but hopefully from a more subjective standpoint. Thanks for letting me rant!

  2. July 23, 2010 11:16 am

    So basically, trad.

    But yes, I also dislike the term. Though I completely see this trend. What fathers and grandfathers know isn’t being passed down. I think (some) of it, at least clothing wise, might have to do with the fact that when young men buy clothes, its often their mom who accompanies them. They’re not learning how to dress.

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