08 June 2011

A Guide to iGents

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.

25 comments:

Death Bredon said...

I think that I am a iSlob.

Unashamedly Crap said...

Excellent; thank you. I am too old and tired to affect a liking for jazz, but otherwise that's me to a tee. Well spotted.

JJUSA said...

Thank you for the definition. Plenty of iGents out there today. Based on my yearly clothing bill, iNotgent for sure.

Ed Hill said...

These kind of comments are funny, because it's true.

HGB said...

Can't be an iGent. Too lazy to blog. None of their business anyway.

Bruce said...

Dear Admiral, many thanks for putting your finger on another idiocy of The Age. So many of these otherwise solid citizens seem to know everything about clothes except how to enjoy them. Their obsessive concern with the rules has more than a faint whiff of insecurity about it.

Yrs most sincerely,
Bruce

Styles Bitchley said...

Of course, after a certain age (adolescence) anyone seeking “advice” on how to dress can never be a gentleman. Being a gentleman is an effortless, natural result of family tradition, cultural influences, and the proper interpretation on how one should present oneself. The type of person the iGents are trying to emulate has no need of their advice on anything -- especially on what to wear.

Anonymous said...

To point out an iGent is to be an iGent.

oldmoney said...

Uh, FUCK YOU!

oldmoney said...

Shut up already you West Coast, East Coast wanna be! I lived here 45 years and put in my time blazing hot summers and nipple cold winters. Don't tell me who or what by my clothes, manners, behavior etc.!

Anonymous said...

Don't you have to enjoy the company of women in order to get laid???

Lacroix said...

Interesting Reflectins, hoher Herr Admiral...

what i consider the most terrible outgrowth is when the discussion starts about which brands are trad and which aren't.
For example: You wear an english Blazer from Pakeman with double vents and so you can't be trad ...

In german you'd say:

Nietenzähler (rivet-counters)

v. Braun. said...

It's mainly an American phenomenon, no?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

DB ~ That's nothing. I'm an iBastard.

UC ~ I doubt it. You appear to have a sense of humour.

SB ~ Assuming, of course, that one aspires to be a gentleman.

Anon @ 17:18 ~ Nonsense. That is a fallacy. Only someone educated by non-Jesuits would make such a case.

Lacroix and v. Braun ~ The Trads are predominantly American, but iGentism infects English and German online style circles, letztere vertreten durch einige der fucktards und kostum klowns auf London Lounge und Stil.

Giuseppe said...

And here you took the time to write a blog post about this for the benefit of those who read your blog.

Funny.

Giuseppe said...

p.s.

I was educated by Jesuits.

Anonymous said...

I think that your comments are interesting. However, this kind of put-down would, in my opinion, be better directed toward the almost-universal iSlob who now dominates American culture from Hollywood to your local restaurant.

KLEINWILD said...

Sadly, most young men are not taught how to dress properly by their fathers anymore. That some of them turn to online "experts" is not surprising.

The dress standard in the US has fallen to such a low point outside of business and military circles that I can only applaud any efforts to improve it.

That said, the igents and online dandies can be annoying. I've met a lot of real gentlemen over the years; they are not obsessed with dress.

Anonymous said...

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9081206974005845104&postID=5261255625797155096

these are the comments of igents.

Vernon said...

I have never understood how someone could wear another person's clothing, even pay for it.

Other examples of the habits of these people:

Never takes a taxi.

Never leaves a tip.

Always shines his own shoes.

Always makes telephone calls after prime time.

Never buys a new auto.

Checks books from the library instead of buying from Amazon,etc.

Wears his father's suits with Yankee high water pants cuffs.

Only eats out when others are paying.

Picks his Wall Street Journal out of the trash can @ Grand Central.

Suffers a bad back instead of getting treatment.

Vern Trotter

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

iGentism seems to stem from the same rigid social salivation point of "expert testimony". The ultimate value here (after conformity, of course) is to be able to sit from a fortified and insulated point of authority and critique those around you. This fantasy manifests itself in all aspects of popular culture, the heroes for whom are sports "analysts", talk radio hosts, and subject matter experts who can weigh in on worthless issues to the point of creating entire tiers of secondary "analysis", which is the parroting of talking points delivered as if original in diners, cafes, and office break rooms.

Our popular culture has finally pinpointed the crux of its lust, and that is judgment through "expert evaluation". To be a judge is not only the possession of authority, but most importantly, the wide acknowledgement of it. Judge as I use it, means not the gavel-punctuating legal heavy in the robe, but a king-like decision maker, using taste, style, or "normalcy" as the final framework. Obviously, the hot-blooded quipping and scolding belittlement of television judges settling the pathetic squabbles of bloated half-wits is legal-judgment fantasy par excellence. But the real source of the fantasy can best be viewed by the "panel" judgment shows. American Idol and similar themed programs (which are multi-billion dollar enterprises, mind you), allow this inkling to flower into a full wet dream. The moron's psyche is sated by this three-part dynamic. It must contain:

(1) Someone willing to say, do, or make something, be it art, music, photography, writing, etc.
(2) A panel behind a table, keyboard, or bench gives harsh critique.
(3) A gallery of twits to sit and revel in the judgments, thankful that they are not the ones up there.

This trident of stupid skewers and impales our society, to the point where I see television anchors covering not the news of war, natural disaster, or the economy, but which D-lister might not make the final cut in their televised dancing performance. For every person willing to offer up something, there are dozens willing to publicly critique, and thousands who are there for the show as gallery bench-warmers. Obviously, there are blogs that deserve harsh criticism, but there are a lot which do not. Men's style blogs are perhaps one great niche for this sort of fantasy. They allow the blogger to create a carefully groomed or even fully fabricated fantasy world where they can either display style or weigh in on topics thereof. After that, anonymized judges can issue their expert utterances, (as "comments") and because it's men's style, there are in fact no true regulations, quantifiable benchmarks, or much beyond widely varying custom. Put all this online, and you have an exquisite incubation dish for the creation of this type, who can sit safely behind a computer screen providing "analysis" of the particular clothing selections of the blogger, and "Sunset2002" can heroically suggest that the blogger made the wrong sock choice that morning.

Simon said...

They could also be called Shitters from Shit Forum (Style Forum).

Thom said...

The joke of the matter is that these so-called iGents, (what a great term my hat goes off to you,) they are in my view nothing but permanent losers, who fling cheap uninformed bullshit around thinking in their own little minds they are something special. The funny part is what true men of style and money see ...they aren't.

Anonymous said...

Your focus on this is as funny and meaningful as their focus on fashion is incongruous. Good job.

RM Bantista said...

Sirs,
It is merely an insult, mean spirited, and meant to be depreciating of the referenced person, denigrating and disparaging of the person's thoughts, positions, ideals, and aspirations.
Very rude and beneath any gentleman to use in any context.
Regards,
rudy (iGent)