Yes you can wear blue with black, CHILL
Embroidered Samuel Zelig Slapper SpyGiveaway — and a Profound Wisdom Retrospective
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— Jonah & Erin
Every issue of Concorde, our new spinoff for Cla$$ified Tier subscribers, is here.
Ayyy next week we will close out 2022 by handing out ILLUSTRIOUS SPYPLANE AWARDS honoring popping achievements across art, life and the jawn sciences.
But this week at the sletter? It’s “Wisdom Week.” On Tuesday we published an instant-classic Spyplane Meditation on Why Everything is Mids. Today we’ve got more ruminating for you, into various burning questions about how to dress cool, in the most profound and expansive sense of the word.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, though, we’re very excited to “unbeatably link & build” with the gifted Spyfriends at L.A.’s Samuel Zelig on a Cla$$ified Spygiveaway for 6 new embroidered pullovers they just put out —
We’ve covered SZ’s “Traveling Band” hoodie (above middle in new pink, light blue and khaki versions) in the past, so when Dylan from the line hit us up a couple months back to let us know about this next batch of pieces, we were INTRIGUED…
Samuel Zelig source all their fabrics from Japanese mills, and their clothes are sewn in L.A. The new styles, Dylan told us, are “heavily influenced by American knitwear from the ‘30s-‘50s,” featuring “two-tone color blocking, felt lettering, vintage-inspired patches, jersey appliqué and intricate embroideries.” Music to our ears!
We’re giving away Samuel Zelig’s 6 new pieces, which you can see above, to some beautiful & blessed Cla$$ified SpyFriends. This drawing closes at 9 a.m. PT on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, so toss yr name in the hat by hitting the button down below, and good luck.
We’ll contact the winners over the weekend to put these handsome sweatshirts under yr tree like “Recon Santa.” 🎅🛰️
Wisdom — here at BBSP, we shovel tons of it into your cranial furnaces with every sletter we publish. During a recent Personal Spyplane Open Call for questions on IG, several readers asked us important questions whose implications we’ve explored in past sletters, and which are clearly worth revisiting. Since it’s “Wisdom Week,” we decided to serve up a helpful Spyplane Wisdom Retrospective …
“What makes a jawn worth the price? What makes something overpriced, in your opinion?” — @ihateslab
“Is it smart to buy multiples of a jawn you truly love, or should a sick jawn remain finite?” — @naoisemairead
Vexingly, there’s no direct, consistent correlation between the material facts of a garment (namely, the fabrics it was cut from, the labor involved in making it, and the quality of the finished product) and its pricetag. Yes, nice fabrics tend to cost more, as does a well-compensated workforce, but there are also all kinds of “extrinsic” forces, like artificial scarcity and hype, that intervene — not to mention economies of scale (the same fabric will cost less if bought in bulk, which most small makers can’t do, etc. etc.) So how, in that fog, do you figure out what something’s worth??
And when it comes to buying multiples, when are you being “smart” and when do you have “brain parasites??”
We explore the shifting status of a garment’s “true” worth — and the way this can be heightened or distorted by what we call Collector Brain Worms, with a detour into the “multiples stockpile” question — here.
“How did you come into your personal style identity without being a reckless consumer?” — @amelia_lyonsss
A good friend of mine is currently undergoing a to-the-studs renovation of her personal presentation. She told me that, earlier in this process, she’d been buying mad s**t from [SWAGLESS TIMELINE-BRAND REDACTED] with the intention of returning a ton of it, and necessarily discarding a bunch more, down the line, as her style came more clearly into focus.
That’s certainly convenient as exploratory strategies go, and if you live in a “swag desert” it might even be “necessary.” But all things being equal, if you’re fortunate to live somewhere with a lot of cool stores nearby it’s obviously way tighter, way more pleasurable, and way less wasteful / depressing to try things on I.R.L. than do a bunch of e-commerce hauls.
There’s also enriching & valuable conceptual work that you can do that requires no wasteful consumption whatsoever — we get into how to develop personal style (and how to figure out the degree to which you’re dressing for yourself vs. dressing for others) here.
“When is imitation no longer flattery and just straight-up stealing?” —@livelaughryan
“How to balance taking “inspiration” from other folks’ fits and freaking your own” —@mattlbrnche
Usually when your homie takes inspiration from you and, in the process, notches a W, it’s something worth CHAMPIONING rather than being a resentful petty b*tchass about.
And yet sometimes the act of “inspiration-taking” does seem to cross a kind of line & enter into “perpetration” territory….
We developed C.O.A.C.H.E.S Mindset (Chill Out And Celebrate Homies Enjoying Success) and D.I.S.S. Mindset (Disrespect Imitators Stealing Swag) to help navigate and correctly assess such situations. Read about these and other secrets of swaggy relationships here.
“What do I do if my taste outstrips my credibility?” — @_joe_baxter_
This question, if we understand it, is about poseurism, and can be paraphrased along the lines of, e.g., What if I want to dress like a skater but don’t skate? Or, What if I want to dress like a Deadhead but have never listened to the Grateful Dead? Or, What if I want to wear Carhartt but have soft princely hands that have never seen a day of manual labor?
This is where we bump up against the limits of a blanket, free-for-all, “wear whatever you like” clothes-rocking ethos. Because if clothes are, in large part, a language, then doesn’t it follow that a jawn can theoretically represent … a LIE??
And if clothes are also a zone of exchange between different cultures, then it follows that some of these exchanges, however symbolic, can feel fraught by ugly, asymmetrical power dynamics. We grapple profoundly with the notion of “Jawn Cultural Appropriation” here. And we complicate, and ultimately REJECT, the notion of “blue-collar stolen valor” here.
“Would be awesome to break down ‘Uniform Dressing’ for jawns enthusiasts” — @_alexfuchs_
Believe it or not, at the start of this year I embarked on the “O.F.F. (One Fit February) Challenge” — attempting to wear the same outfit for 28 days straight, in order to see what uniform dressing actually felt like in practice.
I emerged vowing to NEVER do that s**t again, but many insights were uncovered along the way.
BY THE WAY I’m plotting a related-but-different “endurance jawns-experiment” for this coming February… It promises to be both mad dumb & revelatory. Stay tuned.
“Would you wear blue and black together in the same fit?!” —@bansheeh_beat
We absolutely 100% would — the old “rule of thumb” that you should not do this is HOGWASH and betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the superpower that is Tonal Dressing.
Erin went nutty with the easily digestible & accessible color-theory in a two-part CHROMATIC WISDOM EPIC about how to wear colors (including navy & black at the same time!!) with Mach 3+ panache.
NOW TOSS YR NAME IN THE BUCKET HAT for the Samuel Zelig SpyGiveaway — !