Alphet: Is it just a silly word? On the surface, it certainly seems as such. Is it a pejorative, tongue-in-cheek mocking of the great linguist French Montana? On the surface, to a plebeian, it's very possible to appear that way. But all nuance is missed on a cursory glance. Detail is lost when looking at anything from 30,000 feet. An "alphet" is not simply an outfit.
Have we used "alphet" in jest here at Four Pins? Sure. We have also used every word in modern language in jest because those are the rules of this menswear blog shit. "Alphet" is not a noun. "Alphet" is not a word. It is a signifier of an indescribable feeling: that overwhelming swell of esteem that starts deep in the cockles of your heart that replaces your marrow, courses through your sinews, emanates through your very being and oozes through your pores when you look at yourself in the mirror and every fucking detail is on point.
Your inseam is the perfect length to achieve the perfect stacking atop your perfect footwear. You've got the golden ratio of high and low fashion. Your blacks match, looking like the eternal nothingness we face after we die. Your whites are blinding, seemingly so bright they make people regret the gift of sight they've been given. You aren't retaining the water weight you were yesterday, so your tailoring is extra flattering. Your accessories enhance without distracting. Your hair is so coiffed that Samson himself would shave his own follicles out of sheer jealousy: "I mean, his hair shines with a light from within. Why even bother having hair when his hair looks like that?" You look like a god. You are God.
That is an alphet.
Perhaps the closest we will ever get to knowing if an intergalactic deity exists is by compiling the most fire collage of clothing imaginable on our person. In those moments, you operate on a higher plane. You become a prophet with a direct connection to the spiritual realm. You are the plug to the plug.
Think about it this way: Every decision ever made, and every event that has ever happened in the history of time has led to this moment.
An alphet bolsters your soul. It erases all weaknesses. It rejects the idea of a meaningless existence. It shuns mortality. It dissipates the fog of darkness that chokes us every second of every day. It provides a buffer to the pain. An alphet is transformative, the obtect pupa that protects you, facilitating your metamorphosis into a radiant swaglord.
Alphets are, after all, but a costume—nothing more than a textile exoskeleton. They are a representation of our very essence, but it is a costume. Its purpose is to be the physical manifestation of our entire life story and, yet, at the same time, the purest distillation of our current mood. We hope to simultaneously inform strangers of what we are about and who we are through the ancient, primordial language of fabrication. Don't fuck with me. I'll stunt on everything you hold dear, you pathetic fuccboi. I'm feeling hella libidinous. Let's smear genitals. I am better than you. You want your book judged by its cover because your Rick Owens durag is completely and utterly fucking flawless.
Be wary of the volatility of an alphet, as they are transitory by nature. They may feel like wearable Lazarus Pits, but permanence is a fool's ideal. Time can be tamed by no one and happiness is fleeting. Even if you wear the same combination of clothing a few weeks later, it will not be the same. The moon won't be in the same phase and everything around you will be different. You'll be chasing that high for the rest of your time on earth. If you are extremely lucky, you'll possibly achieve full Alphet Nirvana maybe 10 times in your entire life. Sure, you will come close. You may even convince yourself you've done it. But you'll know that you are lying to yourself.
Never take an alphet for granted. If your plans fall through, make new plans. Do not waste this ethereal gift sitting at home watching torrented episodes of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. You are Captain Ahab harpooning that great white whale. You have found a holographic Charizard on the floor of your middle school bathroom. This shit is rarer than Lil B DMing you back. Harness it and wield it wisely. Cling to that power like a rosary. Eke out every ounce of euphoria. Think about it this way: Every decision ever made, and every event that has ever happened in the history of time has led to this moment. If a Triceratops had escaped a Tyrannosaurus instead of being eating 66 million years ago, you not might be here, in the present rocking, the flyest of alphets. Hell, you might not have even been born.
So, how do you create an alphet? There are no hard and fast rules, but it starts with listening to that voice in the back of your head. That is our ancient lizard brain that has been robbed of its legitimacy through millions of years of evolution. That's the voice that you should always listen to. That's the voice telling you, "Yeah, man, definitely do not have sex with this person that probably has herpes," that you ignore 30 seconds before having sex with a person who definitely has herpes. That voice is not ever present, but, when it pops up to chime in, listen to it. Don't ask one of your swaggerless trashfriends which shirt you should wear because they will pick the wrong one. You already know which shirt to wear. You already know what pants to wear. You already know what ensemble to craft. Be decisive and don't question the masterpiece you are painting on your body. Never ask, "Should I?" Just do it.
When we say "alphet," know that we are doing so in earnest. We love clothes so much and we take this shit deadly serious. We are all on this journey called life, trying to be draped up and dripped out in the finest garb amalgam any human has ever seen. Ultimately, it is you, and you alone, that can achieve a dream alphet. Keep layering. Keep matching. Keep mismatching. Keep trying. And, when you do put together that quintessential alphet? Take as many pictures as humanly possible. Feelings may be temporary, but selfies are forever.
Justin Roberson is a decorated and esteemed alphetologist. Follow him on Twitter here.