It’s cooler to wear clothes than buy them; dope sneakers to flambé; underrated UK jawns; a Spring SpyGiveaway & more
Welcome to Blackbird Spyplane — your no. 1 “inbox experience.”
Today we’re linking with Boulder’s Canoe Club on an Unbeatable SpyGiveaway. If you’re a Mach 3+ clothes appreciator, chances are you already know Canoe, because they carry a bunch of lines we f**k with — including Cottle, And Wander, Orslow, Visvim, New Balance, Birkenstock, Marni, and Lady White. With SS23 slappers hitting the racks, it felt like the perfect time to come together for a Spyblessing...
So 5 lucky ppl will receive Virtual Blackbird Spybucks Cards (a.k.a. “store credit”) worth a cool hundo each.
Cla$$ified Subscribers can enter via the button at the bottom of today’s sletter. We’ll pull names at random this Saturday, Apr. 15, at 9 a.m. PT.
REAL QUICK —
We’ve got the most “unbeatably insightful” readers across all media, so it’s no surprise that one of our most divisive sletters yet — about the “Little Timmy Quotient” (L.T.Q.) of grown men in backpacks — brought a flurry of compelling reactions into the Spyplane Mailbag.
On Twitter, listenupnerds wrote that the post was “divisive but correct: there is no good way for a grown man to wear a backpack and I lament this every day.” Comedian Spyfriend Max Silvestri probably nodded solemnly as he typed, “Lotta hard truths in this one” on IG. Commenter Mary actually broadened our indictment, arguing that “Backpacks look dumb on everybody, not just men. I think I stopped wearing one when a little girl on my block stopped me to ask why I have to go to school as a grown up.” Meanwhile tzaratotalfootball prepared us for detractors with an Easter-themed comparison: “most people rejected His message.”
Other Spyfriends indeed pushed back — but blessedly & respectfully. Wes Allen embraced the Little Timmy Quotient: “Maybe it’s my backpack-rocking that has kept me in youthful spirit all these years. I’m actually trying to boost L.T.Q. numbers for vitality.” James from Throwing Fits argued unassailably that backpacks have their “Ts and Ps (time and place).” Some ppl who f**k with backpacks got into the finer points of, e.g., how low you should wear one: on IG, gripsauce wrote, “I pro-pack, but if pack is slapping a** you look like a herb.”
Other pro-pack Spyfriends made the case that the unparalleled practicality when hauling s**t hither & thither in a daily commute — and the fact that packs do not put a strain on creaky bones like shoulderbags do — trumps all alternatives and outweighs any potential dorkiness pitfalls. Commenter SpikeLeonard went one further, though, pointing out that there are archetypes besides gradeschoolers for pack-rocking, e.g. gorped-out adventurers: If Mach 3+ clothes appreciators can freak technical rain shells, why can’t we freak backpacks, too? Spike was on his enlightened and magnanimous s**t, inviting me to choose hope (expansive, radiant) over fear (small, self-sabotaging): “Maybe *you* don’t actually look like Little Timmy in your dope Visvim pack,” he wrote, “and once freed from your preconceptions about this noble workhorse of a sack, you may come to embrace it once more … or more appropriately, let it embrace you.” Beautiful 🥲
YO — today we’ve got a slapping sletter featuring:
Sick simple sneakers screaming to be COOKED this summer, and the debut of P.S.Y.K.E. (Pan Sear Your Kicks Excessively) Mindset.
Beautiful UK-made clothes built to look exponentially more FLY with time.
Natural-dyed socks and vibey brass keychains.
A tight intel dossier on cool vests — a “transitional” springtime garment as goated as they come…
FIRST UP —
We’ve long been proponents of what we’re officially naming “P.S.Y.K.E. Mindset”: Pan Sear Your Kicks Excessively. Last year we sent out a much-cited sletter about how beating the s**t out of hyped shoes specifically is a fantastic way to assert ownership over buzzy sneakers that might otherwise risk marking you as a “kick lemming.”
But this holds true beyond hyped sneakers. A constant BBSP refrain is that nice clothes that look worn are ~ 9 times outta 10 gonna look cooler than “box fresh” joints, and so pan searing even non-hyped shoes tends to make you look better — less like a store mannequin / “sauce arriviste” who’s better at buying clothes than actually rocking them…
The other day I came across an extremely vivid illustration of this principle… Peep the picture above right!! First my eyes went to the very ill black zip-up jacket (more on that in a second) — but then my gaze dropped to broski’s dogs, swaddled in SUBLIMELY COOKED CANVAS…
That’s the same pair brand new top left — handsome enough, but they feel so cold & inert by comparison, whereas the worn pair thrums with ancient talismanic energies !! I had a hunch what these sneakers were, and it took me a few minutes to reach a conclusive I.D.: