Get dressed from the cuffs out
And unlock layering superpowers
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Blackbird Spyplane is synonymous with a range of horizon-expanding mindsets and acronyms. A classic example is “Tuck All Tops,” where we encourage you to be adventurous, footloose and — f**k it — fancy free when it comes to tucking unlikely garments into yr pants. Going “H.O.H.” Mode?? That’s when you wear a hat over a hoodie swaggily. There’s also Coaches Mindset, which is about taking pride in homies’ wins and being a good friend rather than a passive-aggressive lil baby bitch-ass marooned on your own personal 🏝️“Loser Island”🏝️
The list goes on, profoundly. And more profundity is incoming, because today? It’s time to get S.Y.C.K. with it…
…and Stack Your Cuffs, King. Cuff stacking is an underrated sauce-enhancement technique that Erin and I both love, and spring is a fantastic time to explore it. That’s because, like autumn (and unlike summer and winter) spring’s an ideal season for layering, and S.Y.C.K. Mindset relates closely to the layering arts. So closely that, if you were to ask us, “Plane, what’s a simple way to elevate my layering game??” we might tell you to start by focusing on your wrists.
Let’s back up a bit. The other day Erin and I took a stroll through these verdant East Bay hills, savoring a riot of April blooms after a long, cold & rainy winter. It was a crisp sunny day with highs around 58˚F, and as we left the cribbo, I put on (A) a longsleeve white tee, under (B) one of the “SEINFELD 100” Spyplane bootleg Nike sweatshirts we made last year, under (C) a yellow Visvim coverall jacket.
Then I got on my S.Y.C.K. s**t, tugging a hint of the white cuff out from under the black cuff, which in turn jutted rakishly from the rolled-up yellow cuff — creating a simple but slappy triple-tiered telescopic effect 🔭🔭🔭
But stacking yr cuffs isn’t simply about going Judd Mode on ‘em and creating an isolated zone of “flair.” O no! It’s about “dressing from the cuffs out,” a technique that can help you unlock unlikely juxtapositions that reverberate enjoyably throughout your entire outfit — juxtapositions that might have never occurred to you otherwise…
One recent morning, fully in the grips of S.Y.C.K.-ness, it occurred to me that the brown cuffs of a mud-dyed Vis hoodie I own might look nice jutting from the shaggy beige cuffs of my Auralee mohair sweater … and that I could top off the stack with earthy-purple cuffs (dark purple = the new brown!?) thanks to a hadal-dye Tender denim jacket I just got…
Rocking a hoodie under a sweater is not an unprecedented move, but it’s a relatively rare maneuver that I personally wouldn’t have deployed — at least not this way — if I hadn’t been focused first & foremost on stacking my cuffs.
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If your cuff stack goes wrong — and there’s always the risk of a cacophonous pile-up — that’s because getting S.Y.C.K. with it is about experimentation and discovery… kind of like an oblique strategy for swag, not some failsafe cheat code for fit-crushing.
If a stack’s not popping, see what works, jettison what doesn’t, and on to the next one.
And to be clear, my cuff-stack game is child’s play compared to some of the virtuoso S.Y.C.K. s**t I’ve seen Erin assemble — arranging her cuffs into 2-, 3- and even 4-part “swag harmonies” to rival Michael McDonald’s ethereal multitracked vocals on “Peg” !!
Peep this combo of SILK, DENIM, WOOL and COTTON…
Or, below left, check the detail shot of another fit Erin recently threw together: (A) faded-black tee under (B) a faded-black Shaina Mote denim overshirt under (C) a faded-burgundy vintage Gap cotton anorak from Procell under (D) a matte-black old rubberized-canvas Patrik Ervell jacket she plucked from yr boy’s B.I.G. B.U.C.S. Library.
Below right are those elements displayed one on top of the other with the PUNCHY CONCISION of a 4-glass wine flight 🍷🍷🍷🍷.
This illustrates a central virtue of Stacking Your Cuffs, which is that a sick stack bears evidence that your overall layering game is Mach 3+, distilling your entire layering gestalt into a pleasing wrist-and-forearm-concentrated bundle.
By the way, we’re picturing mostly 3- and 4-cuff stacks today for the sake of illustration, but a 2-cuff stack still counts as a stack — just try and make it slappy!
The fundamental pleasure of S.Y.C.K. Mindset is that it’s an act of creative ASSEMBLAGE. Imagine some baller with a fancy watch glances down at their wrist and feels pleasure and satisfaction at the sight of that flossy timepiece shining — stereotypical watch bozos notwithstanding, this can, in some cases, be mad cool.
But now imagine that, instead of spending a ton of money on a splashy watch, you festooned your wrist region with a lively collage of colors, prints, textures and/or tones.
In the first scenario, some Swiss experts crafted a beautiful, compact machine for telling time, and you spent a lot of money, so you get to wear it. In the second scenario, by constrast, you crafted a beautiful, compact machine for beautifying the world and/or dripping on these lames (😜) and you get to wear it.
I know what you’re thinking: Why choose between the two? Can’t you stack your cuffs AND toss a watch into the equation? Great point, d*mn straight — if you rock a fire watch along with a fire cuff-stack, you can achieve exponential levels of S.Y.C.K.N.E.S.S. (Stack Your Cuffs King — Nice Exponential Sauce Strata.)
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