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Esquire September 2020

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Esquire is a funny, informative, connected magazine that covers the interests of American men—all the interests of the American man: Politics, style, advice, women, health, eating and drinking, the most interesting people of our time. All that and it’s the most-honored monthly magazine in history.

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United States
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
a letter from the editor

THE OTHER DAY, I GOT DRESSED for the first time in months. I put on jeans, a knit polo from the designer Brett Johnson, and a pair of shoes that wasn’t the dirty white Vans I’d been wearing for months. I even went to the office. It felt good. Refreshing. Cold, in fact. The air-conditioning at the Esquire office in Manhattan was cranked so high I threw on a cashmere sweater pilfered from our fashion closet. The simple act of getting dressed was transformative, despite the fact that I saw practically nobody inside the empty office. I hope the style pages in this issue—all of which were shot with strict social-distancing protocols—inspire you to get dressed, too. Even if, like the subjects of our feature on page 92, for which we…

2 min.
take it easy: italian style

EVEN BEFORE A PANDEMIC-INDUCED WORK-FROM-HOME WARDROBE turned us all into connoisseurs of casual wear, able to sniff out the slight shift in bouquet between a simple sweatpant and a true lounge pant, the trend toward dressing down had been going strong for decades. Americans usually get the credit (blame?) for that, but well ahead of the advent of Casual Friday (and then Casual Every Day), some of Italy’s sharpest dressers were already leaning all the way into taking it easy. It’s not exactly the same, of course, but swap T-shirts for almost impossibly lightweight jackets and you’ll get the idea. From the days of buttoned-up bella figura, Italian tailors, spearheaded by the godfather of it all, Vincenzo Attolini in Naples, experimented with the structure of the suit to make it…

2 min.
let’s face it: you’ve been coddling your feet

WHETHER WE’RE SHUFFLING around in house shoes or dipping out in sandals or sneakers, our day-to-day lives haven’t demanded much in the way of non-cushy footwear recently. Well, fall is here, and whatever weird, wild world awaits us, you should step into it wearing the right shoes. Slippers don’t belong outside. Sandals have a built-in seasonal expiration date. And over the past few years, the constant grind of the sneaker release cycle has given way to a sense of fatigue. We’ve all got way more serious shit to worry about than taking an L on the latest Mad Lib of a sneaker collab. So allow me to introduce what I’ll be wearing the most in post-lockdown life, a new go-to as versatile as any sneaker but better suited to this moment:…

2 min.
a return to hard pants

PARAPHRASING A CLASSIC NEWTONIAN NUG get might help us get at what’s happening with trousers nowadays: “For every waistband action, there is an equal and opposite waistband reaction.” In other words, the era of soft pants has, inevitably, given rise to the golden age of the waistband. Just think about it. After months of you languishing indoors in sweatpants, that elasticated waist feels played out. Now it’s time to not just put on clothes but get dressed again. What better way to make it feel real than to step into a proper pair of trousers with a waistband to match? We’re talking tab fronts. We’re talking buttons galore. We’re talking feats of sartorial engineering like the Gurkha waistband, with its strap-and-buckle closure that makes going to the bathroom an adventure but…

3 min.
18 reasons to fall in love with getting dressed again

1 Small but not exactly subtle accessories, from avant-garde earrings to intricately detailed rings worn by the bunch. 2 THE RELEASE OF AMERICAN, ALSO, A DOCUMENTARY CHRONICLING THE TWO-YEAR LEAD-UP TO THE STUNNING SPRING/SUMMER 2020 PYER MOSS FASHION SHOW HONORING SISTER ROSETTA THARPE, THE INVENTOR OF ROCK ’N’ ROLL. 3 Raf at Prada. 4 Enjoying knitwear at its most functional. Let there be cold, and not just that of the air conditioner. Bring on the big sweaters. 5 Martine Rose’s impeccably executed gun-check topcoat. (For more on the pattern, see page 40.) 6 Cuban-heeled boots, for a little more height and a lot more vibe. 7 Contentious Proposition No. 1: Wear a tie to your job. It will confuse everyone, but it’s so alien that it might just work. 8 Contentious Proposition No. 2: Pop your collar. What once said “pretentious” now says “easygoing”—or at…

2 min.
got a decision you’ve to make

TWO CAMPS, BOTH ALIKE IN DIGNITY: THE GUYS WHO GRABBED the clippers and chopped off their hair in quarantine, and the dudes who let it grow. The follicular foundations have been laid, and now the question is: Where do we go from here? Hair trends, even for men, are born from culture—like the clean-cut 1920s and the wild 1970s. So which will the 2020s more closely resemble? The answer may just be “Pick your poison.” TIGHTEN UP There are always men who feel more comfortable with crisp, traditional looks, particularly a certain sort of men. “Businessmen are going to be the first ones back at the barbershop,” says celebrity groomer Melissa DeZarate. But even before his shop closed due to the pandemic, barber Doug Paster advised some clients to go shorter. “Every…