It’s me, the quarter-zip merino wool sweater. The king of casual corporate menswear. The undisputed flatterer of dadbods everywhere. The purest distillation of Midwest Regional Sales Manager energy. I am everywhere you look. Good luck getting through a TSA pre-check line without seeing me. I dominate breakfast buffets at Courtyard by Marriott and working lunches at Panera Bread. I practically own TJ Maxx. My range is legendary. Whether you need to make your billionaire health insurance CEO look “relatable” or need to just class up your Pep Boys reception desk a little bit, I’m your guy. My appeal as the moderate white men’s fashion choice is so universal and so transcendent I could easily beat Joe Biden in the Democratic primary.
But that’s not why I’m here. No, I’m here because I’ve that noticed you, the fleece sweater vest, are starting to step on my turf, and I won’t have it.
First, it was the VC tech bros in Silicon Valley, which, OK, fine. It’s California. You want to pretend you live on top of a sequoia? Cool, whatever. Then I saw you one afternoon on the Acela quiet car from DC to Boston. Now… it should be ABUNDANTLY clear that the quiet car, and in fact the entire Northeast Corridor itself, is my territory. Every Dunkin’ Donuts. Every airport DoubleTree. Every Carraba’s Italian Grill. But even despite that, I was still willing to overlook it and chalk it up to a good faith, gentlemanly misunderstanding.
The final straw, though, was the Bill Barr interview on CBS This Morning a few weeks back. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The soft-focus, disgraced politician “sit down” interview? That shit is MINE. The Attorney General in a fleece fucking sweater vest? Oh, hell no. Are you kidding me? Now we have a beef, my friend. Shit just got real.
I mean, what even is your deal? You are a sporting vest. You are an OUTDOOR garment. Full stop. You have no sleeves! What are you trying to signal, that you’re more “rugged” than me, that you’re some kind of tough guy? That you’d rather be out there free-soloing El Capitan instead of taking this meeting? That you strolled into this Sky Club lounge straight from fly fishing the Snake River? “Ooooh, look at me, I can start a campfire with pencil shavings and still rock this PowerPoint deck all at the same time.” OK, there, Park Ranger.
Look, I might not be “flashy” or “cool,” I admit that. But at least I wear my white male mediocrity literally right there on my navy blue or burgundy sleeve. I’m honest with myself. I don’t sit there pretending I can tie a bowline knot or make my own venison jerky. And take a look below the belt… oh, what’s that, you’re wearing Old Navy relaxed-fit twill khakis, too?? Yeah, I thought so.
Anyway, this stops now, are we clear? Step off. Because I swear to God if I ever see you at a David Brooks’ Ted Talk, or a Fox NFL pregame show, or some Cory Booker corn-dog eating photo-op, I will fucking wreck your shit.