In recent weeks I have received several inquiries as to the meaning of the term iGent. This is my reply.
The term iGent refers to the pompous, stuffy, serious little men on Interweb clothing forums. Or, as they would relish in pointing out, fora.
They desperately aspire to be gentlemen, members of the elite, and spend vast reserves of time and money acquiring the (faux) manners, clothing, cultural pursuits, politics, and accoutrements thereof.
Sometimes they even acquire a pedigree.
They often affect a liking for Jazz.
Their natural habitat includes several Interwebsites devoted to men's clothing.
Being an iGent is serious business to be pursued with solemn, humourless determination.
Young iGents, a particularly unattractive and self-satisfied breed, are sometimes known by other names, such as Trads.
Trads confer unique meaning on relatively cheap brands of clothing, shoes, and watches as a way of signifying their membership of what they consider an exclusive club, without actually having to achieve anything noteworthy or fork over the large sums that would be required of them in the real world.
Some iGents, particularly the young and the cheap, obtain their affordable clothing through thrifting, which is considered a sort of Sacrament bestowing upon the practitioner a blessed chosenness.
The behaviour of iGents is a form of competitive status-seeking and one-upmanship.
How does one know if one is in the presence of an iGent? He will use the word commission a lot.
In some cases, iGents can be cured by getting laid.
Above all, iGents yearn to be correct.
They delight in critiquing the clothing of others and pointing out minor differences in style and taste, which they consider incorrect.
A fellow columnist at another newspaper kindly sent me several examples of typical iGent behaviour, which I reproduce here with his permission:
"The jacket needs to be taken in another half inch, and the [trouser] cuffs could use a sharper forward press"
"I would have paired it with a lighter blue pocket square with a yellow or white trim near the roll"
"No gentleman would be caught dead with a reversible belt"
"I couldn't help but notice that you like to wear your jacket cuff too long. It should ride about an inch higher above your thumb than where you have it"
"I think that those cap-toes don't work with the flannel pants and the [shirt's] collar points are too spread for the lapel shape"
"If the herringbone pattern were at a steeper pitch than 90 degrees, those pants would be more suitable. Consider having them remade"
If you are aware of other examples of iGentism, do let us know.
Consider yourself warned.