University of Hertfordshire

Timeless style? - The rejection of fashion in online menswear communities

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

  • Nathaniel Weiner
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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Event52nd Annual Canadian Sociological Association - Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 29 May 20171 Jun 2017


Conference52nd Annual Canadian Sociological Association


Members of online menswear communities spend their leisure time engaged in extensive textual discussions of menswear, contributing to discussion forums by reviewing garments, describing experiences with tailors, recounting visits to specialist boutiques, comparing manufacturers, providing information on garments and sharing bargain-hunting tips. While a growing body of research has looked at fashion blogs (Luvaas, 2013; Rocamora, 2011), this aspect of online fashion culture remains a neglected area of study. This paper presents some of the findings from a study of these online communities. It is based on an online ethnography of five menswear forums and fifty in-depth interviews with men from Britain, Canada and the United States who use these forums. It looks at how the research participants, despite their passion for clothing, produced a rhetorical distance between themselves and what they saw as fashion. They rejected fashion brands and the fashion press as inauthentic and manipulated, preferring instead what they saw as ‘timeless style’. This paper argues that while these online communities promoted a more accessible and authentic form of men’s fashion, the notion of ‘timeless style’ was an affectation that worked to erase the feminine connotations of ‘fashion’ in order to associate clothing with more traditionally masculine attributes.

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